Starboard has been collaborating with International Federations, leading sports manufacturers, composite specialists, and academics from around the world to tackle carbon fibre circularity.
At Starboard, we constantly work to increase our product quality, at the same time as we decrease our environmental impact. We search and experiment with recyclable and recycled materials. Thus, we are already making net zero plastic fins using different technologies. Furthermore, we are searching for suitable end stations for our products.
The Recycled Carbon Fibre project is an environmental milestone for Starboard, combining both of these goals in one. In collaboration with Carbon Fibre Circular Alliance and Lineat Composites, Starboard is working on recycling carbon fibre from windsurfing masts into SUP fins. We have already successfully recycled our first Carbon Fibre fin, even increasing the product quality in the process!
Globally we use over 106,000 tonnes of carbon fibre every year, in planes, cars, wind turbines and sports equipment. The sports and leisure industry alone uses more than 15,000 tonnes per year. This number is set to increase as demand for lightweight, high-performance technologies continue to rise.
However, this rise in demand is set to cause problems. Carbon fibre is a finite resource which cannot be remelted and easily recycled like metals, glass or plastics. To date, no sustainable end-of-life solution has been available for carbon fibre.
We did it!
With this in mind, we are thrilled to announce that with the help of the Carbon Fibre Circular Alliance and Lineat Composites we have successfully created a fully recycled SUP Flash Fin from broken carbon fibre iQFoiL masts.
Original and Recycled Flash Fin
Gathering broken IQ-foil masts
Since the beginning of this year, the iQFoiL Sustainability committee have been asking athletes to bring their broken masts to competition events for collection. The IQ foil masts were then sent over to Lineat, who successfully reclaimed the carbon fibre, realigning it to create new carbon fibre tapes.
After testing the tapes for strength and flexibility in our workshop, the Starboard product development team identified that the properties of the recycled carbon fibre were best suited to the Flash fin which requires strength, rigidity and minimal flex.
Continuation of the project
Now we know the material increases our product quality, and that production is possible. Further, the next part of the project will be to streamline the production technique.