Artists often find inspiration in their environment. It turns out, sometimes, product managers do too.
Here’s the story: One of New Surf Project's (NSP's) product managers rides his bike by a coconut farm on his way to work at NSP’s factory every day. One day he notices that the discarded coconut husks in a pile on the farm’s perimeter look very similar to the fiberglass NSP specs in its surfboards. The product manager stops. Curious, he picks up a few discarded husks and squeezed them into his pannier, next to his computer and his lunch. When he reaches the factory, he put the husks through a battery of tests. What he finds: coconut husks have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than fiberglass. That means that coconut fibers could theoretically make a surfboard or paddleboard both lighter and stronger.
The paddleboard manager got to work and created NSP’s line of Coco Mat surfboards. Coco Mats are the first and only surfboards built using all-natural coconut husk fibers. According to NSP, Coco Mats are the lightest and strongest surfboards on the market today—14 percent lighter than traditional epoxy stand-up paddleboards for the same strength.
And Coco Mat boards have a great eco story. Natural coconut fibers are readily available as waste right near NSP's factory (this saves the environmental impact of transporting raw materials from far away), and they need minimal processing.
According to NSP, Coco Mat boards “have a responsive, fluid ride with great flex characteristics and look organically beautiful with the visible, randomly oriented natural fibers.” Made in numerous styles. Three models available now in NSP's performance stand-up paddleboard line: 10’, 10’2” and 11' from 29” wide to 32” wide. Prices start at $1,325; newsurfproject.com.