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Smartboard Turns Any Surfer Into an Amateur Ocean Conservationist

Smartphin, a new data-collecting surfboard, lets wave-heads gather key info on changing ocean conditions while they hang ten.

Below the surface, the ocean offers researchers a wealth of information on climate change.

Did you know that the near-shore zone is one of the most difficult areas of the ocean to chart? Unlike the deeper parts of the water, equipment in this turbulent stretch is often destroyed by storms, waves, or rusted by constant exposure to both air and salty seas. This has left an information gap in the ongoing effort to monitor the effect of climate change on the oceans—until now. Smartphin, a surfboard fin with a data-collecting chip embedded under its varnished exterior, is able to collect this valuable information, turning surfers into citizen scientists.

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An Artistic Way to Master Surfing

A French company’s jaw-dropping surfboards feature iconic Renaissance artwork.

For those who would rather be hitting the beaches than the history books, a new line of surfboards promises to enlighten you about European Renaissance painting while you catch that radical wave. Boom-art, the French skateboarding company known for their locally crafted goods and rare limited editions, has linked with UWL Surfboard to create a series based on some of the Late Medieval period’s most vivid designs. The collector’s item surfboards, all handmade in France, feature such iconic images as The Lady and the Unicorn, based on a series of six tapestries woven in Flanders in the 1500s on wool and silk, and a set of three boards—which together form a triptych of early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. Sculpted from polyester resin and hand-molded polyurethane foam, each set is individually numbered in an edition of only 10.

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Could Bamboo Surfboards Inspire Bamboo Cars?

Bamboo composite is a high-strength material currently being used to make surfboards. But there's hope that it can be used to build cars.

Electric vehicles enthusiast Greg 'Gadget' Abbott usually spends his days thinking and talking about alternative car batteries. But an unlikely innovation, test-driven in the gnarliest waves Hawaii's Big Island has to offer, may soon have him saying "surf's up." Surfboards made from woven bamboo composite, favored for their light weight and resiliency, are inspiring electric vehicle tinkerers to explore bamboo as a possible solution to some of the thornier design challenges posed by building electric vehicles.

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