Bodyboards made from cork?

We speak to the Portuguese shapers hoping to change the game.
Above: They certainly look different. Would you ride one? Image: Refresh Bodyboards.

With the race to create faster higher-performance boards never letting up, it’s no surprise shapers are looking outside the box when it comes to what they’re making ’em out of. We shared with you some images with you on our social media feeds this morning of the brainchild of two Portuguese shapers, who have been experimenting with bodyboards made out of cork. Carlos “Gato” and Nuno Pereira make up Refresh Bodyboards and they’ve teamed up with another Portuguese company – DODO Cork Boards – to put together a few prototypes – and the boards pose an interesting question: Are there better options – not only performance-wise, but environmentally – than what we’ve been producing out of foam? We flicked Nuno some questions about their new creations and his response is below.

The idea of cork boards came to our minds a few years ago. Cork is really famous in Portugal and is used in lots of things. Also over the years our clients ask us to try it. Once we got to know DODO Cork boards, checked their boards [they also make skateboards], spoke with the owner, checked the possibilities… we knew we really needed to at least try it. After a few months DODO contacted us to work on the project and we accepted with pleasure. Working together helped us to develop a new project – top performance bodyboards with cork decks.

It’s not an easy process like laminating a usual [foam] bodyboard deck. We’ve spent a lot of materials, time and effort, testing ways to apply the cork on the bodyboard foam. At the moment we’ve just produced two boards. They look really good, but this is just the beginning. We will need to test the boards and also test more cork options like thickness, density, quality, types… At the moment it’s summer in Portugal and we haven’t had much time to spend on this project because we have lots of boards to produce for our clients. After summer we’ll have plenty of time to test everything and maybe find a new process to apply the cork.

It’s still too soon to know the potential of using cork. One thing everybody knows [however] is that cork comes from a tree – this means natural material instead of plastic. Regarding performance – cork has lots of qualities that match with the qualities of a top quality board. It’s waterproof, flexible, absorbs impact… but we’ll know more after all the testing.

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We plan to start selling the cork boards in 2015 for sure. It should be during the winter or spring time, depending on the time we’ll spend testing everything. When the boards are available to buy we will post it on our website and Facebook. Clients can contact us directly at refreshbodyboards@gmail.com to get all the information they need.