Log in  \/  Register

Login to your HotSwell account


or
 Use Facebook account

Search Surf Breaks

What's Hot

Here you can find out the latest surf news, enjoy a variety of articles and surf stories and check out some of our weather and forecasting features. This is also the place to find out about how the launch and development of Hotswell.com is progressing. If you'd like to contribute to or comment on these pages, drop us a line or click here.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

These guys make surfboards from mushrooms. Seriously. We've interviewed them.

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry

David Purser is co-founder of Surf Organic Boards.

Otherwise known as The guys making surfboards from dehydrated mushrooms.

We caught up with David to find out what's going on.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1658.JPGThe finished board. Glassed and ready to go.

H. So. Where did the idea come from? And don't say 'mushrooms'.

D. In 2013 we met Gavin and Alex from Ecovative Design at the boardroom show in Southern California and knew we had to be involved. We spent the next 6 months collaborating and getting a mould built. And the next year learning how to grow a 6' mushroom and glass it into a surfboard.

H. I've read that each board starts as mulch inoculated with mushroom mycelium. What's that?

D. Mushroom mycelium is basically the root of the mushroom. So what would be underground, or in the tree, not on the surface, not the actual mushroom cap or fan. What the team at Ecovative Design does is re-purpose agricultural waste (stick, stems, leaves, stalks, etc.) of hemp and corn farms and grind it into a mulch like you see in the pictures.

b2ap3_thumbnail_750IMG_0968.jpg

From there they spray their mycelium formula all over the material and let it grow for a day or so to ensure the mushroom grows and nothing else, like bad mould or dandelions. Once the mushroom takes hold it continues to grow until refrigerated.

Essentially what we get then is a bag of mulch. It takes around 15 pounds of material to grow our 6' surfboard. I break up the mulch, pack it into the mould, hook up a bunch of water and air hoses, latch everything together and seal it all up. It takes 7-10 days for it to grow.

During that time the root begins to eat the mulch and replace it with more root. It continues this process until about 60% of the material is now root and the remainder mulch. After that I put it in the homemade dryer and let it cook for a couple of days.

b2ap3_thumbnail_dehydrator.pngThe dehydrator.

H. Do you shape and sand the boards afterwards or mould them to shape?

D. This is a part of the process that we're refining; shapers prefer material they can carve like foam. Most of the shaping we currently do is trimming off overgrown material and shaving down layers until we have uniform rails, deck, and bottom. Other than that we’ve cut in a few different tail designs to see how it affects the ride.

b2ap3_thumbnail_750IMG_0897.jpgThe finished blank.

H. How do they ride?

D. They ride like any other board. Not a high performance EPS machine but just as well as a solid poly, kind of old school but better.

H. Can you tell us what the sap is you use to glass the boards?

D. We use Entropy Super Sap for every board we make, not just the mushroom. It's simply better than epoxy; less toxic and low V.O.C.'s. Using our mushroom blank, hemp cloth, and the entropy resin we have an ultra-eco-friendly surfboard.

b2ap3_thumbnail_750IMG_1449.jpg

H. How heavy are the boards?

D. We’re working on a few ways to bring the weight down. Our current mushroom completed weighs around 9lbs, but you really can't tell when you're in the water. We’re looking forward to seeing some big airs blasted.

H. How's the crowdfunding going?

D. Crowd funding is difficult. We've dedicated a lot of time and money on our project and getting it this far. It's difficult putting yourself out there and hoping people will understand and believe in you. We have the campaign up and are otherwise plugging away in our workshop doing our thing.

I'll keep posting updates when I can and hopefully with attention from folks like you it will slowly start to build up. I feel like this should be worth $100,000 to start, easily. Especially since we're selling awesome eco-friendly products right there! Unfortunately like with the other big crowd funding sites there is quite a bit of fees involved. GoFundMe was one of the lowest but we're looking at nearly 20% right off the top. In order to make any money we have to add that into the cost. In short, it's quite a headache.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_1706.JPGPacked lunch?

H. Will you name the different board designs after types of mushroom? Like calling a big wave gun The Deathcap?

D. We did name our first mushroom surfboard after a mushroom, the "El Portobello". It's a play on words really. Our favourite local surf spot is called El Porto in Manhattan Beach, CA. Our El Portobello is short and round so it seemed fitting. I believe it's a trend that will continue. We have some ideas in mind, but I might use Deathcap! Probably already a cool metal band named that!

b2ap3_thumbnail_750IMG_1447.jpgThe final product, El Portobello. In all its mushroomy goodness.

To find out more about the project and pledge your support visit their Go Fund Me page.

And check out this video of the boards in action:

Last modified on
in Surfboard Crafting

Comments

  • Six Species of Surfer

      Admit it. We're a weird bunch. Here are six of the creatures you'll find yourself mingling with in the line up.   (Illustrations by Andi Pratt. Check out more of his crazy work here and on Instagram.)     And all together:       So which one are you? Or are you a different beast entirely? Let us know in the comments below.   ...

    by Alfie Hayward
    Monday, 11 January 2016
  • Surfing Valentine's Cards ~ Now you can actually buy them!

      Surfers are sweet. Sometimes salty, but mostly sweet. And to prove it here are some surfing-themed Valentine's cards. You can buy them from our Zazzle shop. Or if you're skint, just copy and paste one of the images below onto your Valentine's Facebook page. If that doesn't do the trick, they clearly have no feelings. Click on any image to view it in the shop.   ...

    by Alfie Hayward
    Monday, 01 February 2016
View more blog entries
12

Top 5 All Surf Spots

Quiver Surfboards
Quiver Surfboards

Atlantic Charts blog

Wed 18 October, 12:00 am
Atlantic Swell Height
Atlantic Pressure
Atlantic Wind Speed

Quick Links

Atlantic Charts
Top 10 Charts

Help/Support

Terms of Site Usage
Surf break pages
Surf break compare
footerlogoWhiteRed

© Hotswell.com
® Hotswell

All Rights Reserved