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Tiffany Montgomery
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Green Foam finds a way to reduce, reuse and recycle board blanks

By Andrew Horan
January 23, 2009 7:53 AM

Joey Santley kicked off this edition of ASR - and a new business - at 6:30 Thursday morning with a TV interview.

The San Diego local media love to drop in on the show, and Santley and his partner, Steve Cox, may be onto something special with their new company, called Green Foam.

They've found a way to recycle the industrial waste produced by board shapers and reuse it to create new blanks.

They've gone from a concept in November to prototype boards on display in their out-of-the-way booth on the ASR floor to being in current production. Santley reported commitments from 25 to 30 retailers on Thursday.

Just as important, he has shapers Matt Biolos, Timmy Patterson and Pat Rawson and others on board to use the blanks.

Here's how it works: Green Foam collects the foam scraps and waste from shapers, and ships it to Scott Saunders's Just Foam shop in San Clemente, where it uses a formula developed by Santley and Cox to press the scraps into new blanks. The result, according to testimonials from the shapers, is blanks with as much weight and strength as other blanks.

Santley grew up in his father's surf glass business, making boards and catamarans. Santley said that at one point, his father's company was producing 150 boards a day in the mid-1980s in a shop in San Juan Capistrano.

"I grew up blowing foam in the building next door. As a kid, I saw how to do everything," Santley said.

When his young son was diagnosed with autism three years ago, Santley went on a mission to improve the environment, which he thinks contributes to his son's condition.

"This industry is pretty toxic. It's our dirty little secret," he said.

Green Foam's catalog includes a full range of blanks, from a 5'9" grom model with squared-off tips to a 10'10" standup paddle board - 31 blanks in all.

Next up, he's working on a pilot project to collect other shape shop waste that can't be reused for blanks and instead mixing it into asphalt for road paving and repair. And he has a pilot project to reuse neoprene scraps in the body pads of wetsuits, yoga pads and cooler linings.

 

 

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