Lib Tech Enters Legal Waterboarding
Will this new eco-friendly, high-performance surfboard change the industry?
Although Lib Tech is just debuting its new surfboard design this year, company founder Mike Olsen says he’s been shaping surfboards since before the Canadian skateboard company ever made its first snowboard.
For proof of how Lib Tech’s snowboards perform, check out what sponsored rider Travis Rice put his board through during the Red Bull Supernatural competition this past winter.
In the YouTube video below, Olsen gives and extensive rundown on the company’s new product offering—which Olsen maintains is so revolutionary they’re calling them “waterboards” instead of surfboards.
Whatever they’re called, the construction techniques of Lib Tech’s new baords are undeniably unique. The company’s new tagline for the product category—“We will change everything you know about surfboards, but your screwing habits will remain the same”—refers to the fact that the only thing in common with other surfboard designs on the market are the screws used to fasten down the board’s fins. And even at that, although Lib Tech’s waterboards will have the industry standard FCS-compatible fin boxes, they’ll come equipped with a proprietary design.
The main difference separating the new Lib Tech boards from their contemporaries is the manufacturing process, and how Lib Tech has apparently found a way around the notoriously toxic foam and epoxy resin manufacturing process used by most surf companies.
Instead, the company’s durable honeycomb board design is made of 50-percent recycled material built with ozone-friendly blowing agents into a closed-cell foam finished product that won’t absorb water—so it won’t rot. What’s more, the boards are made in a U.S. factory and finished without the use of sandpaper, paintbrushes, tape, epoxy, or any solvents other than water.
Coupled with elastomer edges and durable end bumpers, Lib Tech is positioning its new waterboards as a ten-year product, a claim that’s sure to turn heads in an industry where board life expectancy can be limited to a single season.
In addition to their rubber rail construction which is designed to help dampen chatter, the rails themselves sport a slight indentation, making them easier to grab—whether in the air or out of the car, and the boards also sport concave decks.
Of course, this is all pie in the sky until suffers—er, waterboarders—have had a chance to put the new product through the thresher of a summer surf season. The new boards will come in three families—the Ramp, Bowl and Vert series—will come in sizes ranging from 5’4” to 6’8” in length, and pricetags in the $650 to $700 range.