TODAY |

Kiwi entrepreneurs using wool in surfboards and hoping to spark a technology revolution

The founder of a business using wool instead of fibreglass in surf boards believes the new technology could revitalise New Zealand's wool industry.

Seven Sharp reported board builder Paul Barron and Firewire founder Mark Price are surf buddies who've become business partners.

Mr Barron said he had an idea a few years ago that he wanted to make a New Zealand-made surfboard that used materials made in New Zealand.

When he accidentally spilt fibreglass resin on his clothing, "that's where I came up with wool," and the idea of replacing the fibreglass on a surfboard with wool.

Mr Barron said he approached Firewire, which distributes boards around the world, and through New Zealand Merino, set up a meeting with Mr Price on the Gold Coast.

"When the initial idea was brought up, it sounded a bit weird," Mr Price said.

Mr Barron's woolen fibreglass idea has worked out, and Mr Price said it's "at least as good, possibly better than fibreglass".

He said: "We're the tip of the spear in this project. If we can validate wool as a potential replacement for fibreglass, the industrial applications for that material around the world would have significant implications for the New Zealand wool industry."

Some top surfers including legend Rob Machado have ridden the board and Machado enjoys it, Mr Price said.

"The closer we can bring our surfing equipment to the natural world and reduce its toxicity - it's just a win," he said.

The boards will be on the market early next year.

Paul Barron and Mark Price are using fibrewire in their surfboards, and hope it could replace other fibreglass products. Source: Seven Sharp


Topics