I see and respect were you’re coming from. There is a heightened sense of awareness of issues like the cabon footprint created getting something to market, as well as the actual makeup of widely used and accepted products.
To be quite honest, the unfortunate part of our society that broadcasts news and affects our collective conciousness tends to dwell on the negative. The news at night and the newspapers generally report the news from a pretty limited perspective.
In actuality there is a ton of positive stuff that is currently exploding in science, technology and the burgeoning environmental and recycling industries. It’s happening everywhere around us and yet you hear very little about it in the mainstream. I don’t know why that is nor why it has to be that way.
Perhaps part of it is where our priorities are positioned. Maybe another part of it is that we need to rethink what should be profitable. It really shouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to reward man’s feats that benefit the general good.
Without getting too abstract, we need to be reminded by Shakespeare that “nothing is good nor bad, thinking merely makes it so”. Sure, that’s debateable, but the entirety of something is rarely 100% good or bad. Such is the case with new approaches to what we do.
In the case of surfboards, I can tell you from personal experience that the resins, paints and coatings of yesteryear were far more harmful to your person and environment than they are today. There are enough of us on Sway’s that still remember the pains we went through as the materials we had grown so used to became subject to scrutinization, than legislated change threw us into having to adapt to what was an environmentally more sound product. There was plenty of cursing in the back rooms of surfboard and boat factories, believe me.
I don’t think bamboo needs to be subjected to processing like (OSB) Oriented Strand Board or particle board or some of the other rather nasty materials that go into your living room sofa that will kill you from the vapor if the fire doesn’t get you.
The only reason I think we are even having this conversation is because we are at a starting point for thinking outside of our usual box. Not unlike what a few of us were doing with Kevlar, Spectra, and Carbon Fiber back in the 80’s. But unlike these wonderful synthetics, bamboo has very promising natural dynamics yet to be realized. The longitudinal strands that make up bamboo is inherently well suited to surfboard stringer application. it would be self defeating to grind this stuff up and apply a toxic adhesive to it rather than leave that dynamic as much intact as possible.
In this era of post Clark blank manufacturing, a key focus has been placed on flexural characteritics and how that affects the ride of what we build. Bamboo is promising partner waiting in the wings yet to be called on stage.
I can’t wait to see what we get once the play starts!