Flowstate Surboards

This is another small Australian operation, making beautiful outdoor gear – in this case surfboards – with great attention to minimum impact production.

Image: Mathew Farrell

Mathew Farrell is based in Tasmania, and makes hollow wood boards, hand crafted from recycled timber.

As he explains:

“Flow State Surfboards is pretty much a one-man band, Mathew Farrell. I first encountered timber boards several years ago in a magazine article. I was already unimpressed with the disposable nature of most surfboards, as well as much of the tat we are encouraged to buy and consume in our modern western world”.

“Wood struck me as a much … beautiful and responsible way to do things. The notion of our kids inheriting functional and beautiful surfboards excites me”.

The boards and kits are built in light weight Paulownia, Western Red Cedar and a range of Australian timbers.

About the process:

“All of our boards start with internal recycled plywood framing, then has rails, deck and hull planking crafted from recycled timbers. A bit of engineering trickery with an internal and external epoxy-fibreglass matrix provides additional strength without a significant weight increase, as well as sealing the board. Upon request we can use bamboo fabric in place of glass, though this makes for a heavier board.

We have been researching ways to reduce our ecological footprint, which are chronicled on the Essays page. In short, this combination of timber, epoxy and fibreglass is the strongest and most responsible method of producing surfboards we have come up with”.

Image: Mathew Farrell

Obviously, hand made boards sourced from natural raw materials will be more costly than the mass produced commercial boards on offer in most stores. As Mathew says ‘Why should you fork out a serious pile of cash for one of these when a foamy costs a third of the price?’ before going to list the many reasons: the aesthetics of a hand built board, the reduced environmental impacts and the different riding dynamics compared with foam boards, which tend to be lighter.

Flowstate can make custom shapes to particular specifications. They are a member of one percent for the planet.

They also offer surfboard building courses – check the ‘news’ section on the website for details.

For further details please check their website.

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