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McNamara’s cork Surf board

Amorim Cork Composites is developing cork surfboards for the Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara Case Studies

Project Description

Amorim Cork Composites is developing cork surfboards for the Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara. These cork surfboards are specifically designed to successfully surf amazing sized waves never ridden before. This project was launched in 2013 with a view to designing high efficiency surfboards making use of Portuguese raw materials and technology, thus enabling Garrett McNamara to face the most extreme surfing conditions that exist in Nazaré, Portugal. In this context, at Garrett McNamara's own request, a project in partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Amorim Cork Composites was started in the last quarter of 2014. The blanks used in the new surfboards are of the Corecork range of products manufactured by Amorim Cork Composites and provide the boards with significant impact strength and flexibility that are essential to withstand safely the impact of giant waves. The cork surfboards were first developed using a stringer entirely made of cork to replace the traditional wood stringers. This, in addition to the flexibility that cork offers which translates into a board that feels light and responsive. This innovation prevents cutting down trees for making the traditional wood stringers - a forward thinking, innovative, and environmentally conscious measure as a result of a greener and a more sustainable surfboard production method.

Three surfboards, out of a total of 12, have already been delivered to Garrett and are strategically distributed over 4 locations worldwide so the surfer can move rapidly in search of the largest waves in the world without having to carry the boards when traveling the globe.

McNamara calls these boards “Magic”.

MERCEDES - MBOARD 2014 1.jpg

McNamara calls these boards “Magic”.

Solution

Cork surfboards with Amorim Cork Composites' Corecork technology, relatively thin, strong face sheets bonded to thicker, lightweight core materials. These boards were the result of a joint work from dozens of designers, researchers, aerodynamics and materials development experts and the professional surfer Garrett McNamara himself, all of whom gave their contribution to the production process of an ideal surfboard capable of enduring and riding the monster waves at Nazaré Canyon.

MBoard Project

Click to watch the video.

Key Characteristics

“This project means a lot to me for several reasons. On the one hand, the use of a cork stringer allows for greater functionality and strength of the surfboard while, at the same time, enabling increased flexibility for the surfer and for the shaper who can customize the board. On the other hand, it is the environmental factor. The cork stringer will, certainly, revolutionize the surfing industry. Just imagine the additional incentive in terms of maintenance and care of the cork oak forests worldwide that this represents for an industry such as the cork industry that does not need to cut down the trees. I am proud to team up in this project with Mercedes-Benz and Amorim, two companies that are the best in their fields and are placing all their know-how at the service of the surfing world.”

Garret McNamara, surf world-record 

Products

CORECORK is a range of cork products designed specifically for the composites industry. Combining a special binder developed for agglomeration, with selected and calibrated cork grains, obtains a unique material fully compatible with all the other raw materials used in this industry, resulting in the Corecork brand. Cork granules are ground and sifted in various dimensions and densities and incorporated in a specific material matrix in accordance with the requirements of this application.

Contrary to other cork materials, CORECORK composition does not contain any plasticizers or any other additive that could bleed or migrate during the curing process or service life. Will not dissolve or distort when used with styrene based resins during the infusion process. Materials are made of cork granules agglomerated with special binder that can be tailored to suit any particular requirement (fire-proof, anti-fungi, etc.)

How it Happened

How it Happened
“Mercedes-Benz has always been concerned about the sustainability factor in the development of its car models and commercial vehicles. With our involvement in the MBoard project, it is very natural that Mercedes-Benz will support the development of surfboards made out of sustainable materials, although highly resistant, durable and flexible to withhold the impact of big waves. This is our commitment at Mercedes-Benz: The best or nothing.”

Joerg Heinermann, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Portugal 

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Headquarters Rua de Meladas,
260, 4535-186 Mozelos VFR Portugal

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