Is it Art or is it a Surfski? The Wooden Flash

Wednesday, 25 September 2013 17:26 | Written by 
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The bamboo veneered Carbonology Sport Flash The bamboo veneered Carbonology Sport Flash

A few days ago, Hein van Rooyan, CEO of Carbonology Sport sent me a photograph of a stunning wooden surfski.  “Ok,” I thought, “Looks cool.  Bound to be heavy though.  How much does it weigh?”  “11.5kg!  It’s a proper racing Carbonology Flash!” 

Is it Art or is it a Surfski?!

How did it happen?  What wood is it?  How is it moulded?  Can I get one?  The questions tumbled over each other…

Bamboo Flash

Bamboo Warehouse

The story starts back in 2005-2007 when Hein van Rooyen was racing in sprints and marathon canoeing with fellow South African Graeme Soloman.  Soloman now owns Bamboo Warehouse in Cape Town – a company that specialises in products made from… you got it… Bamboo.

Hein and his business partner Jason Goedhals were in Cape Town recently to fetch some Bamboo kitchen tops for Jason’s new home…  In the factory were some sheets of bamboo veneer.  Hein and Jason looked at each other and looked back at the veneer.

Hein asked his old friend Graeme to trust him with two sheets of the veneer, no questions asked.

Bamboo Flash

Back at the Factory

The challenge: Build a racing-weight carbon/bamboo veneer Carbonology Flash.

The Process

“Well, I can’t say too much about how we did it,” laughed Hein, “but it was NOT easy!

“We had to find innovative ways to merge the composite reinforcing used in all our skis with composite core with the old-school properties of wood.

“But it worked in the end, and I think we have the cover-model of all surfskis!  And judging by the stares when I’ve had it on the car, I’m not the only one to think so!

“I reckon the biggest dilemma will be exactly where to store the boat – but who really needs a sofa in their lounge anyway?”

Bamboo Flash

Ooooh, look at the grain!

But is it practical?

“Totally!” said Hein.  “It’s a true racing ski at 11.5kg.  The ski should be as strong as a Carbon construction ski with some care needed in looking after the wood.

“It’s finished with top end Automotive Clear coat, but we recommend storing it in a dry, cool place out of direct sunlight as with most skis.”  

Bamboo Flash

Sorry Solly, we paddled it first!

Where can I get one?

Hein says that they can offer any of their range of surfskis with the bamboo veneer – contact him at the factory for pricing.

Click here for the Carbonology contact details.

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