“The Daytime Robber”: upcycled surfboard designed by young Falmouth duo reaches the final of a prestigious global competition!

Photo copyright Benthos Surf Co

Dominic Langdon and Niall Jones took up the challenge posed by Vissla and the Surfrider Foundation to convert waste into something that can be used in the ocean and created a surfboard that is made out of…surfboards! More specifically, those single use bodyboards that tourists buy and then discard once their holiday is over. The discarded boards are sandwiched together and laminated using recycled fibreglass offcuts. All the hardware on the new board is made using discarded fishing nets, recycled a little further down the coast in Penzance.

I spoke to Niall, co-inventor of the board, to get the lowdown.

“Dom and I studied product design at Falmouth Uni and we are both passionate about surfing, so this competition was the perfect vehicle to harness our enthusiasm and drive for coming up with innovative products that make use of Cornish rubbish.

Dominic already designs surfboards and I had been using Fishy Filaments’ Marine Nylon ®  to make 3-D-printed buttons for garments for a while, so we put our experience together and started the long process of getting the design from drawing board to manufacture.

Everything  – fin boxes, plugs, fins etc – was designed on the computer, 3-D printed and then tried and tested. It’s been an intensely rigorous process, but it’s really exciting to see how much we can benefit from using waste.

Just as an example, the recycled fishing line from Fishy Filaments is 97% more efficient from an environmental perspective than virgin nylon. We can make 46 fin boxes for the equivalent in CO2 emissions of just one made out of virgin nylon.

The next phase is to get a Kickstarter set up so that we can go into production on a commercial scale, using injection moulding. Just getting the moulds together will be expensive.

We are really keen to keep the local identity and we’re proud to be able to say it’s 100 per cent Cornish!”

Watch the video!

What’s the next stage with the competition? You’re finalists…how do you become winners and what do you win?

Niall laughs.

“I honestly don’t know what we win. Clout? PR? Maybe we get the chance to meet the judges, but they’re in California so maybe not. We need the public’s help, though, as their votes make up 1 of the 3 total votes.” [the other two being Surfrider CEO Chad Nelsen and Vissla CEO Paul Naude]

Voting will be open from 11 October to 15 October. The winners will be announced at a digital award ceremony on 22 October.  

Do you have a message for other entrepreneurs?

“Join the circular economy! There’s a lot of energy to be utilised from waste and couple that with longevity and we’ll see a massive improvement in product sustainability and reduced environmental impact.”

We wish Niall and Dominic the very best of luck…and a happy birthday to Niall (29 September)! You’ve already achieved a lot at the ripe old age of 24!

PS Don’t forget to vote! Champagne next for these boys!