All of my surfboards are made from Paulownia timber grown by iPaulownia in Spain. Light, water-resistant, strong, renewable and environmentally friendly it is the ideal wood for surfboards. The Paulownia tree (common name: Princess Tree), originates from Asia, where it is revered for its unique qualities in the production of a wide range of products including aircraft fittings, furniture and musical instruments.
Light, odorless and an easily worked hardwood, it is the lightest known timber other than balsa, but unlike balsa is water-resistant meaning no need to fiberglass or varnish. Only oil is needed as a final coat, meaning no dead weight and a fast surface.
1. The oiled wood finish is faster than any other surfboard surface.
2. They have very little dead weight as they only consist of wood, glue and oil, plus an FCS fin system.
3. Highly resistant to the stresses on a wave and the greater stresses when paddling out. If you haven’t caused a knee dent or worse snapped a foam board when paddling out you are one of the lucky ones.
4. While not so good for me the board will maintain its rigidity and performance for an extremely long time.
5. No need for tape on the rails, handles or deck pads, although, happy to add.
6. Beautiful boards that feel and look fantastic.
Paulownia trees are ready to harvest after 9 to 12 years with the trees re-coppicing from the stub to produce the same volume of timber in 8 to 10 years. Renewable, fast growers, they are great absorbers of CO2 and must be one of the most environmentally friendly raw materials for surfboards.
Unlike a conventional surfboard, a chambered Paulownia surfboard requires no glass fiber shell for strength, or to prevent water penetrating the core. The oil finish provides a durable finish requiring little maintenance. Scratches and dings are easy to fix - just clean the surface and touch up. More substantial dings can be repaired with wood, glue and oil. The board doesn't need to be re-coated with oil for years, but if you like your board to look new, or the scrapes are adding up, its great fun to re-oil the board. I use Le Tonkinois.