We’ve heard of surfboards made of wood. We’ve even heard of surfboards made by 3D printers, but we’ve never heard of a surfboard made out of mushrooms before – until now.
That’s right, while you waste your shrooms via stir fry and digestion, Nicholas Hildebrandt and a couple of friends are making eco-friendly surfboards out of mushroom funghi, with a bit of help from corn starch and entropy resin as well.
The guys have been developing the world’s first mycofoam (mushroom) boards under the company name 'Surf Organic Boards' for the past 18 months, and they're now looking for extra funding via GoFundMe to finish off their work.
The board starts as a bag of mulch inoculated with the mushroom mycelium before being moulded into shape. It's then left for 10 days as the team wait for the shrooms to eat – yes eat – the agricultural byproduct it's in with and grow around the rest.
Finally, after three days in the dehydrator drying, in which time the board loses weight and shrinks, the board is glassed with a ‘super sap’ and hemp cloth, finishing it off and making it the most environmentally friendly shred-mobile the world has ever seen.
“We're about 80% complete, but like many great products in the making, we have reached a roadblock!"
Hildebrandt himself is a student living in Hong Kong, and told Mpora: “I decided to create an eco-friendly surfboard at school for a personal project. I went to New York to visit the 'mushroom foam' factory and they sent me to these two guys Danny Del Toro and David Purser, who are my really good friends now, and now we are working on this project.
“At the moment we need some funding to get the project really underway to start producing high performance mushroom boards."
Indeed, Nicholas and his team are “80% complete on [their] progress to making a marketable surfboard", and he’s now looking for extra funding to continue their work and reach that end product.
“Over the past year and a half we have learned how to grow the mushroom, developed techniques to shape it, and figured out ways to change the density," reads the group’s fund-raising page.
Fast Forward 20 years, you may see the future Kelly Slater catching some barrels on a mushroom...
“We're about 80% complete... But like many great products in the making, we have reached a roadblock with consistent growth, density, and dehydration shrinkage.
“Because the mushroom is a live plant when grown, no two blanks are exactly the same. This also means it's prone to moisture, heat, and other plant contaminants. Because of this about 50% of our blanks are not useable and become mulch for my garden (which has never looked better).
“This is mainly due to the fact that we're growing a 6' mushroom in a garage near the beach. While we do our best to control the environment carefully, it is not perfect a setup.
“What we need is funding to continue our work, get a better workspace, and make it conducive for primitive sized mushroom growing."
The guys have only just started fundraising, so click here to give them a helping hand and you could play a vital part in one of the craziest yet coherent ideas we’ve heard in a while.
Indeed, not only do the guys believe their shrooms were be super-rideable, they also reckon that the substance, which is 100 percent natural, biodegradable and sustainable, will eventually replace all oil based, toxic, foam surfboards.
Fast forward 20 years and who knows, you may just see the Kelly Slater of tomorrow catching barrels on a mushroom. And what a strange sentence that is.