Jason Wiggers is the owner of a small surfboard shop in Victoria, Australia. He is a passionate artist and pioneer in the eco-friendly Australian surfboards industry. Using his background in mechanical engineering, Wiggers recently developed a new eco-friendly board replacing traditional fiberglass with Biotex flax. “We all have to find that one thing that feeds our soul and sets us free. For me it is right here with my boards and my family,” says Wiggers.
How do you stay competitive against other surfboard manufacturers?
I’m heavily involved in mechanical design and I consider myself a very good artist. I believe that I’ve successfully brought these two personal qualities together to make a highly competitive eco-friendly surfboard. At the moment there isn’t much competition in this area of the industry, but I think competition is good and I invite other board makers to try to make their boards easier on the environment.
What influenced you to manufacture eco-friendly surfboards?
Surfers are very connected to the ocean, we go on about how “wicked and spiritual” the whole experience is – and it is! But here we are riding foam chemicals on sticks of fiberglass. Don’t get me wrong, I still have to use some of the same products for my base model boards because customers are reluctant to try something new. I end up catering for both markets, using as many eco-friendly products as I can.
What do you see as your company’s greatest accomplishment?
Our greatest accomplishment so far is creating a reliable, competitive and quality eco-friendly board for the marketplace that stands up against all the normal boards out there.
Where did you first learn about manufacturing eco-friendly surfboards?
I first learned about eco-friendly boards from my epoxy resin supplier Entropy Resins. They sell the eco-friendly resins I use to build surfboards and I thought, with all that was going on with the climate change at the time, why not start an eco-friendly surfboard company? Especially since nobody else was doing it and I loved the challenge that the new flax brought to create a good product.
Why did you choose flax material to integrate into your design?
I chose the flax as a natural substitution to carbon fiber and fiberglass because I saw some other manufacturers using it to make stringerless boards with a parabolic frame around the outside, or strips underneath the board to take the place of the stringer. So, I wanted to make an eco-friendly version of that design and Biotex flax was the answer.