Torquay-based JUC Surf has made the world’s first recycled carbon fibre surfboard
07.09.2020

Torquay-based JUC Surf has made the world’s first recycled carbon fibre surfboard

Words by Jessica Magtalas

High performance, environmentally friendly and local – a surfboard better for the environment.

These days many concerns are surfacing around the environment and the future of our planet. With the talks of sustainability and eco-friendly products being up in the air for as long as we can remember, JUC Surf has created high-quality surfboards, perfect for surfing and mother nature.

Pioneering a way to make use of reprocessed materials, this Australian start-up company has done just that. Made with carbon fibre in the hands of a team of three, they have designed the world’s first surfboard out of recycled matter.

Working closely with co-founders Dr. Andreas Hendlmeier and James Randall, Dr Filip Stojcevski – an aerospace engineer and one of the three PhD heads behind JUC Surf – has used over 10 years of research into carbon fibre to produce a lightweight and durable product perfect for a surf along the coast.

Sparked from a humble beginning, the trio did not expect to become a business.

“The idea started because one of my students when I was doing my PhD, was doing really crap in the lab,” Filip explains.

“So, I said – alright mate I’ll pay for a surfboard and we’ll build it together if you can pick it up. Initially, we weren’t making recycled carbon fibre surfboards at all, just carbon fibre surfboards for fun. But then once we realised that so much of it was going to waste, we set this challenge for ourselves – could we build it and we did, and it performed great! We soon realised we were probably onto something.”

Along with their mission to create an environmentally conscious surfboard, their philosophy and experience have motivated them to create the most technologically advanced carbon fibre surfboard company.

“The three founders – myself, James and Andy – we all work with carbon fibre and just through our experience of over 10 years working with it we realised that even though it’s supposed to be a premium product that everyone says it’s good for lightweight, emissions and all that, tonnes and tonnes of that is a landfill issue… Almost four Eiffel towers worth of carbon fibre each year,” says Filip.

“We realised that Australia has no recycling facilities at all to recycle carbon fibre. That’s why instead of recycling it, what we’re trying to do is it take it directly from the companies that were going to throw it out to waste,” he continues.

Carbon fibre is most notably used to reinforce composite materials and can be found everywhere from automotive, aerospace, defence and other sporting industries.

Despite its unmatched strength, weight and stiffness, there are a few setbacks that Filip and his team encountered.

“Carbon fibre surfboards have been done in the past and the media criticism is that they’re always too stiff. Not because the carbon fibre is too stiff, but because the people that use it don’t use it the way engineers whose experienced in using carbon fibre would. The techniques and understandings to use carbon fibre aren’t the same as glass, so transitioning the materials just means you need a new knowledge base – and we have that knowledge base and we’re bringing that to surfing.”

Like some businesses, Filip did not anticipate mass support and attention, even partnering with talented local shapers in Torquay to build Australia’s only carbon fibre company for surfboards, especially Michael Van Der Klooster from VANDA SURF.

“We were just building out of a shed just like every start-up, but the media attention was something crazy. As soon as that happened, I think the local support is something that I never really understood,” he explains.

“Like I live in Geelong, but how quickly the entire community gets around an idea like this is just unbelievable. We’ve got carbon fibre companies giving us materials that they don’t use anymore and people that are skilled and talented helping us. I never knew that idea of community spirit like this before and it’s just great. I love it,” he continues.

With years of research and test-trials going into this project, JUC Surf has established themselves as the future of carbon surfing and sustainability. Coupled with a beautiful look and a unique aesthetic, the brand has designed a board more resilient at sea, while marking a huge win for the Earth.

“We’re just looking to make a product better than anyone else on the market – locally in Torquay. It’s one of the best places in the world to start a surfing company and we hope to make something big.”

Check them out here and follow their journey on Instagram.