April 30, 2008

My newest BioFoam Surfboard by Rusty : Art by Lauren Weber

Biofoam blank from Homeblown usa Rick Hamon shaped Rusty surfboard Art by Lauren Weber www.messlovesnoise.com

Eli MIrandon on NBC News 7/39

You can watch the video on http://video.nbcsandiego.com/player/?id=239154

Local Surfboards Go Green
NBC 7/39's Greg Bledsoe Reports
The ocean is their playground -- and for a few San Diego surfers, it's a priority to keep that playground pristine.

Most surfers say they get something from nature, and one group, in particular, has decided to give something back -- by using a bio-foam surfboard.

"We're the only company that makes foam this way," said Ned McMahon.

His company of Homeblown Foam Systems makes foam surfboard blanks that are 40 to 50 percent soy-based rather than polyurethane.

"Well, the materials that go into polyurethane foam aren't normally such great chemicals," said McMahon. "It was pretty dangerous for the workers."

That explains why Southern-California based Clark Foam was shut down in 2005. And while most production has since moved outside the U.S. toward more lax governments, the bio-foam formula is cleaner, safer and uses about 35 percent less energy to produce.

McMahon said he is also experimenting with bamboo fins and resin made from linseed oil. The final step would be a 100 percent bio-friendly board.

"If you don't take the first step, you're never going to get to the 100 percent So, we have to start somewhere," McMahon said.

And the next step is just getting the word out. NBC 7/39 spoke with local surfers who said they loved the green ride.

"It rides just as well as any foam out there," said one surfer.

McMahon said the materials add about 5 to 10 percent to the total coast of the board.