Haydenshapes: the Australian shaper developed a new upcycled cloth for surfboards | Photo: Haydenshapes

In the manufacturing of a single surfboard, around 30 percent of foam and fiberglass waste is created, which typically ends up in a landfill.

A few months ago, Haydenshapes launched a floating pop-up workshop titled "Remote," where Hayden put to the test a number of design ideas on how surfboard manufacturing waste could be put back into the creation of a board.

The concept of FutureFlex Upcycled Multiaxial Cloth was born. But what is it exactly?

It's an upcycled fiberglass cloth that is made with chopped carbon fiber and fiberglass offcuts, aerated, then woven into new multiaxial cloth.

It is a sustainable material created with the ethos of reducing and repurposing waste created from surfboard manufacturing back into creating a new product.

Visually, the monochromatic black and white synonymous with FutureFlex is honored by the disbursement of the chopped carbon.

Haydenshapes: the floating pop-up workshop launched by Hayden Cox | Photo: Haydenshapes

How Does it Compare With Traditional Fiberglass Cloth?

The FutureFlex Upcycled Multiaxial fabric is a 6oz cloth made up of a stitched biax with the chopped strand upcycled fiber content in between the layers.

Shapers can use it in a single-layered wet layup bio-epoxy lamination on each side of the board to create a standard weight lamination with a nice homogeneous flex pattern.

Compared with a traditional surfboard lamination of a single 4oz bottom with a 2x4oz deck, you will use about 10 percent more resin.

Yet, the durability and strength of the lamination are substantially higher through the multiaxial and random nature of the FutureFlex Upcycled fabric.

FutureFlex Upcycled Multiaxial Cloth: it looks great | Photo: Haydenshapes

When and Where Will It Be Available?

Right now, Haydenshapes have progressed past the first rounds of samples and are now focusing on scaling up and making the upcycled cloth available.

The two key focus areas will be the development of machinery to cut and sort the waste fiber and a hopper/spreader to work with Colan Australia's existing multiaxial weavers.

This will take capabilities from small quantities to hundreds of meters.

Ways to collect/receive carbon and fiberglass waste from not only Haydenshapes but other manufacturers are also being explored.

A decade ago, Hayden worked directly with Damien and the team at Colan Australia on developing carbon fiber tapes, which are now used by the majority of surfboard manufacturers industry-wide.

The goal for the FutureFlex Upcycled Multiaxial Cloth is to provide material to the wider industry once again.

However, in this instance, the company wants to create something that is sustainable and works to minimize the environmental footprint by reducing waste.

Like the carbon tapes available, this cloth will also be distributed by Colan Australia - however, it will sit within the FutureFlex brand offering.

Hayden Cox: he wants to minimize surfboard shaping's environmental footprint | Photo: Haydenshapes

How Did the Idea Come About?

In 2018, Hayden was invited to the IWC Schaffhausen manufacturing facility in Switzerland, watchmakers of over 150 years.

He saw first-hand ways that metal offcuts were collected and repurposed back into products.

From here, Hayden linked up with Damien at Colan Australia to weave the upcycled cloth, and the first sample board was built in October 2019.

Top Stories

The most successful competitive surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, rode what may have been the last heat of his 24-year professional career.

We can't choose our height, and 80 percent of it is genetic. But if you're into surfing, taller and shorter surfers feel noticeable differences in getting acquainted with boards, paddling for, and riding a wave.

Big wave surfing is an industry with an industry.

Ryan Crosby is the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the World Surf League (WSL).