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CHOOSE EVOLVE IF...

- you want a very light surfboard.

- you want to attack the lip vertically or maneuver above the lip.

- you're a beginner and you're ready to leave aside your foamie. 

- you want to make a replica of your favourite PU or Epoxy board.

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CHOOSE CLASSIC IF...

- you like trim and slicing gently through the wave's face.

- you're a classic longboarding lover.

- you're up for speed, flow and drawing big clean lines.

- you want a board for choppy or windy waves.

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Why a new technology?

For the past five years I’ve brought the FlamaClassic technology of hollow wooden surfboards as far as I could: my hollow boards are as light as they can be without compromising durability. But weight is a crucial issue when it comes to designing a surfboard, and I quickly understood that I would have to adapt my designs to a somewhat heavier reallity. That’s why I always refused to make high performance boards and the reason why the FlamaClassic catalogue is all about trim, speed, glide and flow.

But as soon as you want to pull an abrupt directional change or surf above the lip, then you need something light under your feet. And I knew that if I ever had to build high performance boards it would have to be done with a completely different approach.

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Evolve: our new quest

Grant Newby is a self-taught shaper and wood surfboard builder from the Australian Gold Coast. He’s the organizer of the Alley Fish Fry and the Wooden Surfboard Day, “a meeting between like minded people who enjoy being challenged by spending countless hours in the shed building wooden boards”. His blog  http://woodensurfboards.blogspot.com is perhaps one of the most visited amongst wood board builders around the world.

After testing some building techniques, Newby was the first to experiment with EPS cored boards with paulownia skins vacuum bagged on without the use of any fiberglass. The results were so promising that Firewire bought the idea off him, they adapted the system to a mass-production process and started their new range of boards called Timbertek.

FlamaEvolve construciton

When Grant Newby invited me to the Wooden Surfboard Day in 2014 I knew I’d come back with my luggage stuffed with new ideas. I had doubts about the use of EPS foam, because using it would be like taking a huge step back from the 100% organic target. But lukily, there is already a bunch of bright minds accelerating the sustainable transformation of the surfboard industry, such as:

http://arcticfoam.us/algae-technology/
http://www.ecovativedesign.com/
http://biomblanks.com/

It seems reasonable to think that, within a short time, we might have some organic alternatives on the market to finally say bye to PU and EPS foam surfboards. And we’ll be ready for it that as soon as it happens!

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CONCEPT & MATERIALS  

It’s essentially the same concept than a standard surfboard –a soft core covered with an outer shell– but with huge differences:

FlamaEvolve construction

Recycled/recyclable EPS (expanded polystyrene or styrofoam)
Let’s make it clear: EPS IS NOT an eco friendly material. It emits less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than polyurethane foam, and it’s recyclable. But polystyrene is still a petroleum-based material, made with carcinogenic components; it’s harmless in its final form, but it does not biodegrade for hundreds of years; and remember that those huge plastic islands floating in the Pacific Ocean are full of it! Therefore, we should say recycled EPS foam is far more ecological than PU, but we must find an alternative for this. And the solution might be around the corner.

Vacuum bagged Paulownia skins
It’s amazing how nicely 3-5mm of paulownia skin bend over the shaped blank. It also helps dissipate water vibrations and it doesen’t crack as easily as fiberglass.

Laminated paulownia parabolic rails
The parabolic reails help control flex and add strength, and also protect the board against rail dings. And if they’re dinged, then there is no rush to repair them ‘cause paulownia is water resistant.

D4 Polyurethane glue
The glue foams and expands during the vacuum bagging process and the glue is forced into any pores of the EPS, thus sealing it.

Bamboo veneer
We discovered than when you glue 0,3mm of bamboo veneer at 90º on paulownia, it becomes a bulletproof, super elastic material. We use this technique to strengthen the deck, especially under the feet area.

Polyurethane foam offcuts
Recycled PU offcuts from MontjuichSurfboards production to get a firmer grip of fin boxes and fin plugs.

Wood floor varnish
The same treatement used in the FlamaClassic boards: easy, cheap, practical and you can do it yourself.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EVOLVE TECHNOLOGY  

> FlamaEvolve are the second most ecofriendly surfboards being commercialized today in Europe, only behind our FlamaClassic technology.

> No fiberglass or resins of any kind are used. FlamaEvolve surfboards are only coated with wood floor varnish. That means you can give a new coat of varnish to rejuvenate the board as often as you like.

> Feels as light and lively as an Epoxy surfboard.

> They are as stiff and solid as a PU surfboard, yet paulownia wood feels soft and warm.

> Flex is similar to a PU board, but it can also be controlled and customised to desired needs.

> FlamaEvolve surfboards can be custom built: super durable –but slightly heavier; or they can be made very light –but not as bulletproof.

> FlamaEvolve surfboards are CAD designed, but they are handshaped start to finish.

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BUILDING PROCESS   

1-     the board is designed with AkuShaper and the final plans are drawn.

2-     the recycled EPS blank is ordered with the rocker already cut.

3-     the board is hand shaped according to the plans (rails can be cut before or after shaping).

4-     deck and bottom skins are vacuum bagged.

5-     rails are laminated (4 x 5mm thick strips).

6-     the final outline is cut and the rails hand shaped.

7-     fins and leash plug are installed.

8-     the board is varnished and ready to go.