It was a real buzz to hop on stage and accept the Living Smart Solutions Award for a green surfboard factory producing the magical Alaia! Ten years ago we said there must be a better, or at least alternative, way to make surfboards other than from foam and toxic resins. Our pursuit led to the discovery of paulownia’s astounding application for making surfboards, “It is like God made this wood specifically for surfboards,” says Tom.
This discovery and consequent research and development fuelled the re-emergence of wood surfboard popularity. Our factory slowly morphed from one that produced numerous bins full of foam surfboard waste to essentially producing no waste at all, with the wood shavings and end by-products going into mulch for the gardens and trees. The green surfboard factory has been an important part of the evolution of surfing with the development of the Ancient Hawaiian alaia surfboard as well as the hollow wood surfboard.
For example, there is now an alaia division in the Australian National Surfing Titles and hundreds of surfboard manufacturers and aspirants have been inspired by Tom's Creation Plantation. It has been a great honour to be recognised by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and local community and equally humbling and inspiring to meet the other winners and nominees, who make up an astounding list of individuals all driven to pursue better outcomes across industry and business, for our future and the future of our planet!
We got a mention in the local newspaper too - you can read it here http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2012/06/19/toms-an-eco-hero/