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2005/222/1 Surfboard and fins (3), 'Bambu', rounded and standard short model, polystyrene foam / bamboo veneer / epoxy resin, designed and made by Mei Yap Gordon and Shale Gordon, Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, 2001-2002. Click to enlarge.

‘Bambu’ surfboard by Mei Yap Gordon and Shale Gordon

Designed
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.

Summary

Object No.

2005/222/1

Object Statement

Surfboard and fins (3), 'Bambu', rounded and standard short model, polystyrene foam / bamboo veneer / epoxy resin, designed and made by Mei Yap Gordon and Shale Gordon, Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, 2001-2002

Physical Description

Surfboard, 'Bambu', rounded and standard short model, 3 fins, polystyrene foam / bamboo veneer / epoxy resin, designed and made by Mei Yap Gordon and Shale Gordon, Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia, 2001-2002

The product is a durable, high performance surfboard, hand shaped made with a bamboo veneer.

Marks

The initials BSA (Bamboo Surfboards Australia) appear prominently on the upper surface of the surfboard.

Dimensions

Height

160 mm

Width

465 mm

Depth

1860 mm

Production

Notes

According to the firm, a specially designed and locally made shaping machine was used to cut the foam to form the surfboard core. The epoxy resin, which has not been specified by the firm in their public literature and only being referred to as a 'trade secret', was created after "experimentation with many different mixtures to achieve the desired result." (2002 Australian Design Awards, entry application). Boards are mostly standardised in production, however the firm is amenable to making customised boards, with individual shapes and sizes of users taken into account and the surfers' beach location playing an important role in the design and manufacture of the surfboard.

History

Notes

The surfboard was selected by the Museum after it had been successfully placed in the Industrial Design category of the 2002 Australian Design Awards. The surfboard received an Australian Design Award for Industrial Design and Powerhouse Museum Selection Award in 2002.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Bamboo Surfboards Australia, 2005

Acquisition Date

25 October 2005

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Bambu' surfboard by Mei Yap Gordon and Shale Gordon 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 26 October 2020, <https://ma.as/354471>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/354471 |title='Bambu' surfboard by Mei Yap Gordon and Shale Gordon |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=26 October 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.