– stripping surfing back down to its most elemental form

Biofoam Project: Handshaped Organic

Getting a custom board can be a long process. I easily spend weeks, even a few months sometimes, dreaming about plan shapes, fins, foils, what style and approach will work for a board, etc. Once I finally decide on the board and have some dough saved up comes the process of taking everything in my head and unloading it on my shaper Tom Neilson, who inevitably will bring me down from cloud nine and make sure that he shapes me a board that will work for me. I always have doubts until the first go out and when paddling and catching a wave is eased by the right volume and foil all my hard thinking becomes the fluid turns I’d only dreamed of.

6'6Dreaming is fun but it’s even better when you see those dreams come to fruition and they exceed your expectations. We started this little project as an avenue to practice what we preach and try some Biofoam for ourselves. Now, there is an East Coast distributor for Biofoam and Tom already has several orders for Biofoam boards so it looks like others are willing to try out some newer options as well, which in the surf industry is a pretty big deal. Traditonally, the surf industry is not the quickest to try and adopt new products but it seems there is a niche to be filled with more earth friendly products. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, but back to the topic at hand, here is the low-down on the second Biofoam Project board.

I opted for a 6’6” thruster as my choice to fill a gap in my mini-quiver. This board is intended for fall and winter surf on mostly right point breaks (I’m a goofy foot). Because I weigh about 175 lbs. and wear 7 mm rubber, Tom felt that it would be best to go with something with a bit more volume than the standard high performance shortboards. I asked for a low entry rocker, a squash tail and a single concave to v out the tail. Tom has been making surfboards for a long time and although I have a pretty good idea of what I want, I let him make the final decisions and usually it pays off. He has seen me surf and knows what will work for my style (or lack of).

Biofoam 6'6Here’s the final specs on the board from the man himself: “6’6″ x 12.5 x 20.5 x15 x 2 3/8 Squash tail, double six ounce deck, single six ounce bottom, future fins, speed finish or sanded finish. Blue lams.”

As part of the initial Biofoam project ideas we wanted to show some video footage of one of the blanks being shaped. Partly because it’s cool to see a shaper at work and partly because a visual of a Biofoam blank coming to life under a the planer of a skilled craftsman speaks volumes about the viability of the product. We would like to thank our good friend Kevin for volunteering some serious surfer labour hours in making this great time-lapse video. We would also like to thank Tom Neilson and Ned McMahon for making it all come together as well as Larry Pope and his crew at LP Glass. The next step in the Biofoam project is to show some photos and/or video footage of the boards in motion as well as to provide some feedback about performance and durability. Stay tuned and keep it squirrelly. Enjoy the video:

BioFoam Surfboard shaped by Tom Neilson from on Vimeo.

• Category: board construction, environment,

6 Responses »

  1. Who is the East Coast distributor for Biofoam blanks? Thanks


  2. Hey Tim,
    As listed on the HomeBlown US site:

    Kirby Langelier, C/O LP Glass
    122 Tomahawk Drive
    Indian Harbor, FL 32937
    (800) 580-3735
    Contact: Kirby

  3. Is that Springsteen on the soundtrack? If not who is it? That is one awesome video! WG from
    posted it,otherwise I might never have found this terrific website,thanks!

    Lawrence Cox

  4. Hi Lawrence,

    The band is The Arcade Fire. They are from Montreal, CA. Thanks for checking out the site. Check in with Tom to get your own Biofoam board.

  5. Rad video !!!

  6. Great video, and cool website.
    Do you guys know if anybody is shaping biofoam in Australia?