FlamaEvolve construction


> FlamaEvolve are the second most ecofriendly surfboards being commercialized today in Europe, only behind our FlamaClassic technology. They're 70% organic by weight!

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

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.

FlamaEvolve construciton

Vacuum bagged skins
Paulownia wood helps dissipate water vibrations and it doesen’t crack as easily as fiberglass.

Cork rails
Cork rails add more flex to the board. Actually our boards became more responsive and more similar to PU/poly boards since we switched from our previous paulownia rails to cork. They also absorve impacts without deforming and you'll ding them less. Otherwise, dings and scratches are not necessary or urgent to repair, as cork is water resistant. You can also easily repair it yourself with a bit of cork (the classic chipboard cork found in many stores) and PU glue. Cut, glue, polish and varnish. Easy!

Cork deck option for added flex
With the CorkEvolve techonology we're able to control flex: having a hard bottom (paulownia skin) and a soft top of cork allows us to adjust the right amount of flex, even in certain parts of the board.
Also, our CorkEvolve boards can be considered the most ecofriendly soft-boards, and they're also well suited for begginers.

Cork as a natural grip
Under request we can leave the cork exposed and natural in the deck area 'cause when it's wet it's super grippy!  

Laminated parabolic rails
The parabolic rails help control flex while adding strength to the eps core. There's a 3mm paulownia strip around the perimeter, and then we cover the rest of the rails with cork (for performance) or paulownia (bulletproof option).
—Cork rails: cork rails are way stronger than you might think, very resistant against impacts but soft enough if the board hits you. Rapairs are super easy and you can make it yourself!
—Paulownia rails: this rails make the board stiffer but super strong and durable. And if they’re dinged, then there is no rush to repair them ‘cause paulownia is water resistant. And if you need to, you can repair with wood paste and a bit of varnish.

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.

Deck inner reinforcements
We strengthen the deck using flax cloth glued under the paulownia skin. 

Fin wood blocks
Fin boxes are firmly installed in paulownia blocks.This makes for a super strong bond: you might brake the fin, while finbox will remain unscathed. 

Nose and tail blocks
As you know, the nose and tail of your board are the most delicate parts and the ding quite easily. These wood blocks act as bumpers. They may ding, but since paulownia is water resistant you won't need to repair them urgently.  

Wood floor varnish
Easy, cheap, practical and you can do it yourself.

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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.

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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.


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.

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. 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!