Jonathan van Nes EVO

  • Tauira / Student
    Jonathan van Nes
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Anke Nienhuis, Kate Weatherly

Currently, an estimated 400,000 - 600,000 surfboards are produced each year (Dodds, 2020). It is estimated that 170kg – 250kg of CO2 emissions are released during the manufacturing process of each board (“Surfboards and their hidden environmental impacts”, 2020) while the average surfer owns about 4 boards.
With an increasing number of new people taking up the sport, I wanted to focus my project around a surfer’s experience from beginner to intermediate level.
The EVO board provides a pathway of board shapes that evolve with the user, matching the needs of their progression as their ability advances. It starts with a mini-mal (longboard) shape, moves on to a funboard (mid-length), Fish board, and finally ends up at a groveller shape. As the length of the board is shortened, it becomes more suitable for different wave heights from small to mid-level waves.
Having the ability to reduce the board down to three pieces makes this board easier to store at home and transport to the beach. It will easily fit into a closet as well as the boot of a car eliminating the need for roof racks or laying down the backseats in the car. Once you master all of the different shapes, you can change the shape according to the surf conditions without having to bring up to 4 different surfboards with you.
To assemble the board, all you need to do is insert the nose component into the body component and flip the latches to secure them together. The tail component is then inserted into the other end and bolts are screwed in.
It is estimated that ’80 % of surf equipment comes from the petrochemical industry’ (“Surfboards and their hidden environmental impacts”, 2020), so rather than using standard oil-based materials, I turned to recycled and more natural alternatives. The EVO board uses the same body section and can be changed to three staple board shapes. This reduces the amount of material used by 75% which will reduce waste in the long term. The recycled materials I used were recycled polystyrene for the foam core and recycled nylon for the bolts and fittings. For the more natural materials, I used native New Zealand paulownia timber for the connection parts, Super Sap epoxy bio-resin for the outer coating and natural flax fibre cloth instead of fibreglass.
By using natural and waste materials while reducing the amount of material used, this board is taking a step in the right direction for a more sustainable future.