This overview of 3D printed surfboards and other surf gadgets shows you the impact that 3D printing could have on surfing. It could not only improve the boards themselves but help the stop the pollution of our environment, that surfing is so dependent on.
In addition, we have made a small list of surf gear, that you can already produce yourself or have them printed. For surfing you need:
There are two main types of surfboards: Softboards, which are made of styrofoam and hardboards, that are usually made of epoxy.
Obviously, the way boards are produced or shaped isn’t environmentally friendly. When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing they did not expect, that the oceans would once be polluted by different plastics and other toxic materials. They would surf on wooden planks and if they broke, they would reuse it to build their houses.
“And like the wheel, it was a hell of a good invention too; simple, strong, and easy to reproduce with local, non-toxic materials… As it produced no lasting negative environmental impacts, the wooden surfboard was a perfectly designed & produced vehicle, for launching a new culture and community that is ultimately dependent on a healthy natural environment.” sustainablesurf.org
It’s much more important to change the way we shape boards and look into the future.
At the moment there is no such thing as a “green surfboard”.
But with the help of 3D printing, it is actually possible to use recycled materials. Some of these 3D printing materials are biodegradable (PLA) or recyclable (like PET). Others (like ABS) are just dangerous to the environment.
So if you’re purchasing a new board, you might ask yourself of what materials it consists of and what impact it had on the environment – and if some 3D printed surfboard parts could be added.
This is the very first 3D printed, compostable, recyclable surfboard ever made. A team of global scientist wanted to change the way we surf. They do that not only by using environmentally friendly products but also reacting to real-life tests of a prototype and thus be able to create the best 3D printed surfboards.
With help of funding from NASA, they created 3D printed surfboards that are partially made of algae. These diatomic algea came straight from lakes in the US, where they were consuming a lot of oxygen and were harmful to the lake’s environment.
Other parts of the 3D printed surfboards are made of recycled plastic bottles. Not to forget, the resin coating of the surfboards have been derived from plant sugar. The company called Algix manufactured the material, that allows producing 3D printed surfboards.
The mastermind behind finding out how to print with algae or recycled plastic bottles is Dr. Nathaniel Petre from Imperial College London. His goal was to demonstrate how easy it could be to 3D print with recycled materials.
Dr. Petre thinks, that with the help of the 3D printing, surfboards could have much more complex designs and possibly imitate aquatic creatures, such as dolphins. The innovation of 3D printed surfboards could help optimize your surf experience in much ways. Due to the partnership with Europes largest surfboard retailer, Surfdome, this prototype might actually be on the market fairly soon.
Dr. Nathaniel Petre and his colleague Zachary Ostroff traveled through California, the state of surfing. The platform magicseaweed.com tested the Dolphin Board of Awesome in action. Take a look.
Red Bull and Protos 2000 teamed up to create 3D printed surfboards and they let Pro surfer Mike Fanning, who is also CEO of 3D printing company Novacad, have a go on their first prototype. Being part of the additive manufacturing community, he obviously very exited to test 3D printed surfboards. He seemed to really enjoy it.
It’s not very common surfboards are printed at home, although there are some pioneers, that have successfully build 3D printed surfboards.
Check out this cool example on Thingiverse.
3D printing your own board at home is difficult and unfortunately not yet entirely possible. But through the development of 3D printer with bigger build volume, it will become more commonplace to produce your own 3D printed surfboards.
Fins give a surfboard the necessary stability to ride a wave well. It is not only the position of the fins but also in the number. From 1 to 4 fins there is quite a lot on the market.
While 3D printed surfboards are not that common yet, there are quite a few who print their own surfboard fins. You could also choose a design and then have your personal fins produced in our Printing Service.
Dave Gaylord from MatterHackers has combined his skills as a mechanical engineer with his passion for surfing and created 3D printed surfboard fins. He says, that the possibility to iterate your design on your computer and quickly re-print it on your desktop 3D printer. With the help of Solidworks, he designed surfboard fins, that you could print yourself. After testing different materials, he decided to use the Markforged Carbon Fiber Printer. This Carbon gives the fin enough stiffness, whereas Nylon provides the right strength.
Here’s how you can 3D print your own surfboard fin:
These aren’t the only 3D printed surfboard fins available. Also, check out some other models:
These nice surfboard fins were designed and printed by Walter Hsiao on Thingiverse. He recommended using PLA or ABS.
You can download the .stl file here or simply print them all in our 3D Printing Service.
Another cool design was made by Kornilyo of a small sized right FCS fin. Take a look here.
For surfing, you don’t need much equipment. But when surfing a hardboard it is necessary to apply surfboard wax.
It is very important that the wax is spread evenly. In order to achieve that you will need a surfboard comb. 3D printing allows you to create your own wax comb. Take a look at some of the pre-designed versions.
This cool surfboard wax comb doesn’t only help you apply your wax, but also includes a bottle opener for your pre-surf refreshment. Very slick design. Download it here.
Also check out this wax comb with a cool engraving.
You could also easily design your own 3D printed surfboard comb with the help of free CAD Software such as SketchUp and have even more fun using it.
At All3DP, we quickly designed our own wax comb. If you don’t know how to 3D print with the SketchUp, take a look at our tutorial.
License: The text of "3D Printed Surfboards, Fins, and Accessories" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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