In 1994, Jim Richardson and Mike Croteau combined their work on flex and new materials to build the first prototype soft board with a composite inner core. Jim founded Surflight Hawaii in 1996 with the newly patented technology.
Jeff Johnston, Fernando ‘Sheena’ Rebeiro, and Jim were the early shapers, refining the designs and flex patterns based on input from dozens of pros and regular North Shore surfers.
Surflight is a true soft board, not just a hard board with a soft skin. A drawing from the 1996 patent shows the composite inner core surrounded by soft (flexible) foam. Note the rails, top, and bottom are soft foam. The inner core is built like a snowboard—a torsion box to provide flex and spring and resist twisting.
After shaping by machine/hand, the thermoplastic elastomer skin is glued on. The seam around the rail is filled and coated with urethane for a seamless smooth rail.
We continue to build boards at the Waialua Sugar Mill on a limited basis. Our partner Spacestick is using our technology to build a variety of boards—foil, kite, surf, and more. Click on the link below to see what they are up to.