– stripping surfing back down to its most elemental form

Ice Nine blanks

Ice Nine logo The more we explore the essence of surfing and try and simplify it down to the bare necessities, the more we realize that the list is amazingly short. A board, some baggies or wetsuit (depending on where you live), and some wax and you’re set. Luckily all three of these areas are seeing growing options as far as more environmentally friendly products go. There are recycled plastic baggies on the scene, a few different companies using limestone-based neoprene, and a couple different options for petroleum-free wax. And now there is a growing availability for more enviromentally friendly surfboard blanks.

As for greener blanks we’ve tested and reviewed Biofoam in a few different posts. Also available for quite some time now is a sugar-based blank from Ice Nine. Not ones to just write about the alternatives and wax poetic, we contacted the local Rep for Ice Nine and sourced two blanks to try out for ourselves. We scored both a short and a longboard blank for our friend and master craftsman Tom Neilson to carve and see how viable Ice Nine is as an alternative. 6′2″ Ice Nine BonzerThe shortboard was made into a 6’2″ x 19 1/4 x 2 1/4 five fin Bonzer and is being glassed with UV Poly resin using a center box and LokBox for the runners. It’s currently getting glassed, but look for a post in the coming weeks with finished pics and hopefully an initial ride report. For now, here’s a picture of the finished blank.

Ice Nine’s catalog includes 51 varieties of blanks covering 8 families such as high performance shortboard, fish, hybrid, longboard, gun, etc. They also offer blanks in 5 foam weights, in order from lightest to densest: Bantam, Feather, Welter, Light Heavyweight, and Heavyweight. Stringers are custom cut on an in-house CNC machine and are available in stock or custom rockers. They currently have distribution centers in Southern California, Florida and Hawaii making for easy access.

The availability of greener blanks in increasing numbers is a good thing for many different reasons, and especially in creating consumer awareness that there are alternatives. Always a leading indicator of things going on in the surfboard construction world, Swaylocks users have reported promising results using Ice Nine blanks. Also worth mentioning is that Ice Nine supplied the blanks for two recent shape-offs including the Sacred Craft show in Del Mar this past October as well as at Surf Expo in Orlando this past month. They also offer reject blanks through their apprentice program so it’s cool to see that they are not only offering up their goods, but also giving back to the shaping community through efforts like these.

Ice Nine bonzer concaves

Check back with us soon for more on the sugar based Bonzer five.

• Category: board construction, environment

4 Responses »

  1. Bonzer indeed!

  2. We’ve got some Ice 9 blanks at the shop right now. Should be interesting.

  3. It’s nice to see this environmental friendly “trend” coming into surfing. There are already great ideas on exploring nature friendly materials to make boards, fins, etc.

    Congratulations to all of those who dedicate their time and effort in these kind of projects.

  4. Interesting piece – over here in Cornwall, we have some innovators making the greener stick a real alternative. There’s even talk of an edible board – I kid you not. Check out my last post for a tongue in cheek look at this important issue. Great blog you have here – I linked to you guys ages ago. This wasn’t a plug for a reciprocal link – I’m not that needy. Keep up the wood gork.