We are paddlers in the first place. The principle Leave no trace applies to us not only when we are on the water. A sustainable production, based on the use of renewable ressources has always been a central part of our actions.
Flax fiber and Cork Core Materials
In our boats we use fabrics of flax fibers that serve as a robust and lightweight material for centuries. In composites, linnen or flax has many interesting properties: low weight, high rigidity and good damping are some properties that make them interesting for canoe building. The plants are grown in France, Belgium and England. Except for a suitable climate they are very undemanding. No pesticides are used and irrigation can be largely avoided. Compared to the production of fiberglass, the energy use is 5 times less, compared to carbon fiber it is even 20 times lower. During growth, the plants bind large amounts of carbon dioxide, helping to reduce greenhouse gases.
For our core materials we use a special cork from Portugal. Cork is the bark of the cork oak. The bark is harvested every 10 years without harming the trees. Cork forests serve as important habitat for many animal and plant species. Also the technical properties are interesting. Cork has a moderate weight, good damping properties and high resilience which makes it more robust and resistant as, for example PU foam cores. Cork also binds high amounts of CO2 in its cells. In our cork, large portions of granular wastes from the production of wine corks are used.
Getting rid Styrene, MMA, Isocyanates and Solvents
We only use modern high strength resins without volatile solvents, MMA, Isocyanates, styrene and other highly problematic chemicals.
Waste prevention and reduced energy and water use
By optimized processes such as infrared heat curing, we can avoid the use of large, energy intensive ovens and get along with comparatively little energy. Also, the water used in production is a fraction of what an individual needs in their daily lives. Finally, we have been working on replacing as many disposable production aids, for example, through the design and development of reusable silicone bags and other tools.
Interesting documentary about the production and applications of flax fibers
(French, English subtitles)