San Diego, California -- Biotechnology students at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have created the world’s first surfboard made from polyols derived from algae.
California-based biotech firm Solazyme provided the algal oil used to make the board and the project was funded by the US Energy Department.
According to an Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy press release, “the oil was converted to polyols by university chemists and then shaped by surfboard manufacturer Arctic Foam before being coated with fibreglass and a renewable plant-based resin.”
The release added: “Early surfer reviews have said the initial prototype was a perfect ten and the end-product is slightly more flexible than standard surfboards.
“Future work could make use of algae’s unique properties to create polyols that are specially tuned for foam characteristics that could further enhance surfboard performance,” it added.