Mike Sheldrake, the man with a heart of gold that makes surfboards with a heart of card
The Surf Nomad is always looking for new and interesting surfing related technology particularly when it comes to creating surfing equipment in a more sustainable and more eco friendly manner than is the current norm.
We first came across Mike Sheldrake a few years back when Clark Foam shut down under the massive weight of the environmental liability they had been accruing for over four decades. At the time The Surf Nomad had been wondering if it were possible to make surfblanks out of something other than petrochemicals or plastics. What was more we asked ourselves the question was it even possible to create them out of some kind of waste product like cardboard packaging materials. A quick search of the web at the time revealed that we were not the only ones to have this idea in fact there was a guy already making boards out of corrugated cardboard.
Conceptually Mikes boards are really very interesting. They utilise the strength inherent in geometrical shapes like hexagons and triangles to create a strong yet flexible hollow core structure which is made water tight with an outer layer of fibreglass in the same fashion that a normal surf blank would be glassed. The result is a light and eco sensitive surf craft that looks like it was created by a hive of space age bees.
If you ask nicely and pony up a few shekels Mike will happily laser cut you the board of your choice from his site and and send you all the components you will need to assemble your own cardboard core. He also provides instructional videos on his site to aid you in the assembly process. More than that however, should you not have the cash to pay him for his time to cut and ship your blank the template files are available to download from his site free of charge.
It is rare in any industry to see someone that does something like that purely out of the good of his own heart. For that we would like to award Mike the First Annual Surf Nomad Award for balls out coolness.
To find out more about Mike and his board or to buy a kit or download one of his templates check him out here
We have put a little playlist together so you can see some of his impressive work in action.