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Surfing and windsurfing have always had close links with hippydom and environmentalism. Surfers often see themselves as “at one with nature”, there are countless surfing websites and magazines with a green agenda. The truth, however, is the sport is not as green as it purports; jetting off across the globe with all that plastic doesn't particularly equate to the zero-carbon footprint sport it dreams of being.
One company though is seeking to clean up the watersports act with their 3D printable, local boards for windsurfing, surfing and paddle boarding. MADE, use their technology to design the perfect sustainable board tailored to your riding abilities, body shape, surfing style etc.
The Chicago (perfect city for windsurfing one would imagine) company have launched a Kickstarter campaign so as they can buy a Fortus 900mc machine from Stratasys. Asking for a whopping $450,000, which will just cover the cost of the machine, MADE say they have a philosophy, they are committed to changing their sport.
“MADE is more than a board sports company, it is an ideology, a belief that we can create the future that we've all been promised - a future that represents something deeper than just more of the same, a future that radically changes our lives for the better and leaves the shattered remains of the status quo on the worn pages of history.” Reads their rather profound Kickstarter page.
Drilling down into the details (which is no mean feat) the internal structure of each board will be made from ABS, 3D printed on a Stratasys machine the bespoke boards are then topped with a bamboo underlayment and fiberglass shell before being treated with a resin. According to the campaign this will give riders their best ever experience.
Stepping in the first time you'll notice how well-matched the board is to you - designed to your exact height, weight, and style, appropriately created for the conditions in which you most frequently ride. MADE's process ensures that:
· You'll spend more time on the water during each session
· You'll spend more days on the water
· You'll spend less time selecting gear
· You'll experience improved progress from session to session
· You'll have a better understanding of your performance
· You'll ride in a wider range of ridable conditions
· You'll spend less money
MADE's message may be one with all best intentions and without a thorough knowledge of how boards are currently made it is difficult to argue, but wide-eyed optimism of 3D printing being the environmental saviour is often replaced with frustration at the amount of landfill created.
There are many arguments to counter 3D printing's environmental benefits in the short term, but in theory if the technology does improve we'll see more companies take on MADE's ideology; to change their entire industry, which could be to everyone's benefit.