Mercedes-Benz Portugal has produced a new surfboard in collaboration with Corticeira Amorim for Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara made almost entirely of Portuguese cork. The new board was recently presented toMcNamara by Mercedes-Benz Portugal CEO, Joerg Heinermann and Commercial Manager of Amorim Cork Composites, Alberto Batista.
The MBoard Project, started by Mercedes-Benz in 2013, resulted in the production of four boards designed by BBDO Portugal and developed in partnership with McNamara for the North Canyon Project and the Mercedes-Benz Design Studio. As part of this joint effort dozens of design, research, aerodynamics, and materials development specialists helped manufacture the ideal board to surf big waves in Nazaré, Portugal. Cork seemed the natural next step. According to McNamara, “Since Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer, it makes perfect sense to use this material to make high-performance surfboards for surfing in Nazaré. When we surf big waves, we need a flexible board, although resistant enough not to break.”
McNamara currently holds the record for the biggest wave ever surfed, securing himself a place in the Guinness Book of Records. The athlete used boards designed by Mercedes-Benz in 2013 to surf big waves in Nazaré at 62.4 km/h, a staggering speed whose measurement was only made possible by the use of a telemetry system developed by Mercedes-Benz. In addition to this innovative surfboard, there will be an effort to develop another surfboard made of the foam used to manufacture aircraft wings. Portuguese company Polen Surfboards, which has also joined this 100% Portuguese project, will be responsible for manufacturing the boards.
All images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Portugal.