Minimizing carbon emissions in product manufacturing and setting up a circular economy are some of the big tasks of our time. Taiwanese outdoor-sporting goods company AGIT Global has taken up the fight against the climate crisis and for more environmental friendliness without neglecting style and performance. Their new ISL Constructed Surfboard is the result of a next-generation foam lamination process that is not only more sustainable but also allows for creating an exceptional style. The board has the look of a traditional fiberglass surfboard but only one seamline.
The unique manufacturing process, called Innovative Smart Lamination (ISL), features an advanced casting method that allows the expansion of foam in a mold. This lowers carbon emissions and the required working time while creating a technically very detailed product. Instead of using adhesives and epoxies, AGIT Global’s method utilizes steam, compression, computer numerical control for edge processing, and heat for lamination. The process also reduces the water absorption of the board.
John Yeh, President of AGIT Global, explains: "Our attention focused on three processes that we found most important within the new ISL method. First is how we chose materials; second is the method in which the materials are processed; and last how easily the surfboard would be capable of returning to the recycled-reusable original state of raw material. Rather than using chemically cross-linked foam skins for the deck and bottom, we chose irradiated foams using only heat sources. After expanding the core itself, there are no residues left and the stringers have been certified against having any presence of chemicals in the treatment stage. At the end of the board’s lifecycle, we have the opportunity to take separated materials back to a useable raw material foam ready for use in other industries unlike any board or sporting item in the market now."
In modern foam construction, materials are normally sourced individually, which generates waste and does not allow for fine detailing due to heavy manual processing. That’s why the market has been flooded with homogeneous products. With ISL, AGIT Global developed a new manufacturing process that improves durability and water resistance, reduces carbon emissions, increases performance, offers more individual styles, and still maintains a fair entry-level price.
Matt Zilinskas, Business Development Officer at AGIT Global, stresses: "Our revolutionary ISL technology is not just about the finished product. This new process starts at the beginning of the product manufacturing lifecycle by selecting the finest irradiated foam materials and through the ISL process, we are able to reduce scrap rate, reduce energy usage, reduce water absorption, improve lamination, and ultimately give birth to a higher-quality, more durable, tighter fused foam-core product."
The new technology allows AGIT Global to work with materials that are an alternative to the heavy emission-based craftsmanship usually on offer. The ISL Constructed Surfboard consists of an EPS or PP core, a 9-layer plywood stringer, a high-density polyethylene bottom, and an IXPE deck. All materials are sourced locally in Taiwan, no more than 2 hours away from the factory. The foams used have little or no identified chemical impact on the environment and can be recycled.
There is more to come, as this process opens up many opportunities for the industry. "Surfboards are just one example of a product that can be manufactured using our patented ISL process," Matt Zilinskas adds. “AGIT is actively testing this technology in other sporting goods products with the ultimate goal of taking this technology beyond sporting goods and into other hard-goods categories."
Altogether, the jury decided that the ISL Constructed Surfboard is a sustainable product for recreational surfers of all skill levels looking for performance and durability, well worthy of an ISPO Award 2023.
In their video, Agit Global explains the new foam construction technology of their new ISL Construction Surfboard.
- Eco-friendly production process
- Recyclable materials Improved durability
- High water resistance
- Individual styles
- Sizes: 58 in, 6 ft, 7 ft, 8 ft
- Colors: White, assorted graphic technology
- RRP: from € 270.00 to € 350.00
- Available: from March 1, 2024