This surfboard represents a new approach to surfboard design and manufacture. It has a core of polystyrene foam with a covering of bamboo veneer embedded in epoxy resin. Conventional boards use a core of polyurethane with a stiffening wooden 'stringer' and a covering made of glass fibre matting embedded in resin. This Australian innovation sees a new construction method which results in a board with its primary strength stored in the outer skin, rather than the inner stringer, producing a more flexible board. The weight of the board is distrubuted away from the centre of the board and it is lighter, faster and more durable than conventional boards.
Bamboo Surfboards Pty Ltd, was established in 1999 and is located at Byron Bay, New South Wales. According to the firm, the aim was to produce "eco-friendly surfboards for the new millennium". This belief was confirmed by market research, which stated that "there is the need to a better performing, more flexible, lighter, stronger surfboard, which is relatively non-toxic and non-polluting." More ambitiously, the firmed aimed to "assist in the worldwide trend for eco-friendly products".
The use of natural bamboo on the exterior reduces the need for extensive use of resin and fibre glass. It also gives the board a natural 'eco-friendly' aesthetic. This board represents an approach to redesigning a surfboard to appeal to the 'environmentally concious' consumer market. The community in Byron Bay, NSW, where the board is designed and manufactured, is known for its support for 'eco-friendly' lifestyles.
By establishing themselves at Byron Bay (a place for eco-friendy lifestyles), also symbolised the firm's environmental concerns and assisted in providing the firm with enhanced environmental credentials. Place, product, and material are entwined to provide image and substance for their surfboards.
The firm had a two-year sponsorship contract with Sunny Garcia, who, at the time of production, held the title of World Surfing Champion. The firm's promotional literature and video features Sunny Garcia.
The surfboard received an Australian Design Award for Industrial Design and Powerhouse Museum Selection Award in 2002. At the time of production the board was endorsed by Sunny Garcia who held the title of World Surfing Champion. The Bamboo surfboard represents another Australian innovation in surfboard design, the most significant past innovation being the development of the three-fin surfboard.