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Advanced manufactured travel surfboard set to make waves

Investment Company, Gowing Bros Ltd (Gowings) announced it has identified a market opportunity for a travel surfboard that requires minimal storage space while surpassing current surfboard standards and delivering equally, if not better, on performance. The investment will be realized in partnerships with Gowings’ brands Gowings Pacific Trader, FCS and Softech.

Advanced manufactured travel surfboard set to make waves
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This ACM CRC project will identify and develop advanced manufacturing techniques for increased board laminating quality, and will adapt automated processes for core shaping, composite material deposition (glassing), and finishing, retaining the board’s high quality while reducing manufacturing costs.

Gowings will lead the project, managing the design scope and drawing on essential market information. In addition, they will oversee compliance and standards testing, ensuring that the surfboard meets regulations and market expectations, even engaging surf athletes for field trials.

Lead research partner, The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), will also offer input into the technology-informed design, exploring the board’s performance characteristics (flex, damping, rebound, “feel”) so that they may be optimised.

The extensive research capabilities of the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Surf Flex Lab will also be leveraged, to encompass the entire surfing experience.

advanced manufactured travel surfboard
John Gowing (centre) and the team at Gowing Bros Ltd, ACM CRC, UNSW Sydney, University of Wollongong (UOW) on 23 April 2024.

These premium travel boards are an exciting potential for national and international markets, offering enhanced durability, performance, and sustainability,” said John Gowing, independent non-executive director of Gowings.“This means no more lugging around sizable, weighty boards for travelling surfers, including, potentially, our athletes.”

By infusing science and engineering into surfing, we’re not just catching waves; we’re changing the way surfers connect with their environment,” said Professor Marc in het Panhuis from the Surf Flex Lab.

On 23 April 2024, Mr Gowing was joined at his Harbour Drive office by Paul Amos, Mayor of Coffs Harbour, Shadow Minister for Tourism, Gurmesh Singh MP, ACM CRC’s Dr Steve Gower (CEO), Professor David Currow (Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research and Sustainable Future, UOW) and Professor Ganga Prusty (Director of Research, ACM CRC), to undergo a contract signing ceremony that made the project official. 

This is a very exciting project for the CRC – one that has great global potential for us, our partners, and for Australia as a nation, with the boards being designed and manufactured right here on our shores,” said Dr Gower, a keen surfer himself! “Australia needs to reposition its manufacturing and sovereign engineering capability to capture emergent markets. This project presents a great place to start.”

Cover photo: l-r. Prof. Marc in het Panhuis (UOW and Surf Flex Lab), Prof. Ganga Prusty (ACM CRC, Director of Research), John Gowing and Dr Steve Gower (ACM CRC, CEO) at the Gowings’ Product and Development lab in Coffs Harbour. 23 April 2024.

More information https://www.acmcrc.com