This week we are exhibiting at the inaugural Surf Cities conference that is running in conjunction with the Bleach festival and immediately precedes the QuiksilverPro starting March 2nd. The conference has a number of speakers that focus on the entire surf industry and also about the design, manufacture, recycling and overall sustainability of the surf industry.
Superior is excited to be exhibiting our range of SUPs that have been designed here on the Gold Coast by Dave Verrall. Once “Feral Dave” had shaped and made the original units they were water tested to analyse performance. Superior then proceeded to adapt this design into a fully polyethylene rotomoulded version. Ram Raghuraman who heads Superior Plastech division, and his team of skilled industrial designers, with finite element analysis, produced a state of the art alumium mould with the help of Mace Engineering in NZ. Ram had to modify the design to suit Rotomolding as this process uses a metal mould in an oven that heats the mould to over 300 degrees centigrade to form a hollow structure. Mace delivered the mould that even survived the earthquake that happened in the middle of manufacture. Mace won the work due to their precision experience as this mould is very high technology for Rotomolding with over 68 kiss offs which are the columns within the unit that hold the top and bottom surfaces rigid and apart.
Once the mould was made, Mace made one in NZ and Ram inspected it. He then talked Virgin Australia into letting him bring it home as baggage! It was exciting to see the product in the flesh. We then had to program the Reinhardt Rotomolding machine to make the board with a repeatable process that minimises the mass, while maintaining a strong durable performance. The answer lay in using a dual shot process with a specialised foam layer under the external coloured skin. This gave the strength and a wonderful new unit to take to the market.
Our initial tests were done at Leo’s operation at Currumbin Creek opposite the Thrower Drive bike path bridge, also built by Superior for GCCC. Leo showed the product was a solid performer for rental companies where durability is a major consideration. The Superior SUP is not designed to compete with the high end GRP boards, however it allows an affordable way for new people to try the sport with a unit that will perform on the water. While it may be slightly heavier than glass boards, it is strong, will not dent, and has easy cheap repairs. When you add to that a smooth base with a professional fin box and fin that cuts through the water, and 100% recyclability then the Superior SUP really tick all the boxes for this segment.