We last talked to SkunkWorks Surf Co back in August 2016 as they were making their robust soft surfboards available for preorder. They’ve been busy since then: baking boards in the oven.
The two founders (brothers Ricky and Chris Martin) have set out to develop the toughest soft surfboards and standup paddle boards available on the market. They’ve invested over £0.5M in their manufacturing business based in Northern Ireland and have grown to a team of 8 in a 15,500 sq foot factory.
The problem they are solving is one that Ricky Martin is all too familiar with – soft surfboards falling apart and having to be replaced after only a short useful life. Ricky owns Alive Surf School in Northern Ireland and having to constantly reinvest in new boards is a huge a challenge in a business with tight margins.
So, the two brothers decided to find a solution and developed a heat bonding technology that eliminated adhesives from the design making the bond of the materials one of the strongest parts of the board. Not the weakest.
In hotter climates, a huge issue for surf schools is the sun. Leaving boards sitting in the hot sun waiting for the next set of lessons accelerates the de-lamination of the deck. The life of current soft surfboards is much shorter when heat is applied.
The guys at SkunkWorks believed their boards would hold together in the heat and wanted to prove this. Unfortunately, Northern Ireland is not known for it’s Mediterranean style climate!
A more scientific approach was needed and they took some boards to the Belfast Met (one of the largest colleges in the UK) to use their labs.
Tests were performed in their autoclave oven under laboratory conditions. They started with the board at 30 degrees C for one hour, then 40 degrees then 60 then 70, each time for one hour. The test proved the board can withstand these temperatures. You can see in the video below how the tests were done.
After this video was taken they left the board in the autoclave for a further 48 hours moving between 40 degrees and 70 degrees on an hourly basis. The boards remained intact with no de-lamination.
If you run a surf school in a hot climate, you’ll be well aware of the short lifespan of your equipment. These tough soft boards from SkunkWorks are the answer to your problem. They will not fall apart like the current boards on the market and will save your business money.
To get more details and talk about how SkunkWorks can help you, visit their website.