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It's another win for the bioeconomy as bio-based paddle board outperforms its competitors.

Posted on May 15, 2017 8:51:00 PM

Future Fins is a Californian surf equipFutures Fins introduces environmentally friendly stand-up paddleboard fin. (Photo courtesy of Green Dot Bioplastics).ment manufacturer which first started business in their modest garage. Twenty years later, they are now more conscious than ever about their sustainable footprint. Ever since the beginning, Future Fin has always prioritised building locally but now the brand is introducing a new fin for stand-up paddleboards created from biocomposites. Using a reclaimed wood composite Keel outperforms on its positive environmental impact as well as its traditional performance. The new fin was manufactured by Green Dot Bioplastics after a collaboration was instigated by Future Fins. They are researching extensively to deliver a bioplastic which meets consumer expectations and put an end to our war with plastic. One of their wood-plastic composites, a blend of reclaimed wood fibres with recycled plastic, was the right solution for Future Fins.

"The new biocomposite-based fins tested just as well in the three categories: flex, rake and flow, but at a lighter weight as compared to the products they were replacing."

Futures Fins makes thousands of plastic products every year. Aware of the impact of plastic effecting our oceans, the owners felt a responsibility to protect the environment that they come into contact with every day. Seeing the plastic waste swept on the shores, they felt driven to deliver a product that would reduce landfill waste.

The biocomposite-based fin tested well (Photo courtesy of Green Dot Bioplastics).

Their prerogative has been to market products as the ultimate, premium performance. They use materials such as carbon fibre and Kevlar to produce high-quality, performance-driven, dramatic-looking fins. The new biocomposite fin disrupts this traditional marketing model.

Collaborating with Green Dot Bioplastics and using the wood-plastic composite wasn’t Futures Fins’ first attempt at creating an environmentally friendly fin. Previous materials were also experimented with: mushroom foam, hemp, flax, soy-based items and more. Ultimately, these materials were difficult to work with, and did not meet the performance level required.

The composite used ended up being a plug-and-play solution. It’s easy to mold, and creates a product that’s about 35% lighter than the standard products Futures Fins manufactures. Green Dot’s wood-plastic composite can achieve a wide range of characteristics by adjusting the species, size and concentration of wood particles in the formulation. While the formulation can change to produce dramatic differences, the common characteristic among all iterations is sustainability.

The new biocomposite-based fins tested just as well in the three categories: flex, rake and flow, but at a lighter weight as compared to the products they were replacing.

Future Fins’ FutureFuture Fins 2.jpg

Futures Fins ( @FuturesFins  is living up to their name as they plan to continue collaborating with Green Dot Bioplastics ( @gd_bioresins ) to introduce more products utilising biocomposites and bioplastics. The key will be increasing the stiffness while keeping the product light, a task Green 

Previous attempts to manufacture an eco-friendly fin.

Dot is prepared to help Futures Fins achieve. This will enable fins to be made for long board and twin fin surfboards as well. Additionally, the eco-conscious company aims to develop a biocomposite or bioplastic for short boards, but the aggressive riding style demands more out of the fin.

Future Fins' website: 

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More plastic than fish in oceans by 2050; report urges circular economy response.

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Forget bio-based bottles, one Dutch designer believes we should fight plastic with plastic.

Expert View: Fast-fashion retailer H&M "conscious" to deliver sustainable solutions.

Topics: bbwnproducts

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About the Author

Emily O'Dowd
Emily O'Dowd
On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in more