“In an effort to push boundaries with new materials and encourage outside-the-box thinking, Varial Surf Technology is offering cash prizes for any surfer who rides boards made out of Varial Foam and to their shaper who made it,” reads the PR statement. “A surfer may be eligible for a maximum cash prize of up to $35,000 and their shaper up to a maximum cash prize of $15,000. To be eligible they must participate in any WCT event during the upcoming 2016 seasons and win a Quarterfinal, Semifinal and/or Final heat on a Varial Foam board. The board must have clearly displayed “Varial Fm” logos.”
And it’s not just for the WCT’ers–freesurfers have a shot at lining their wallet, too. One surfer who puts together a 2-3 minute clip on a Varial Foam board will walk away with $5000 after a panel of judges has a look. Every wave in the clip has to be surfed on a Varial Foam board, and the clips must submitted by the end of June.
Varial Foam, while relatively new the surfing industry, has been around for a long time. It’s been used in both aerospace and automotive fields, lending itself to the construction of both rockets and vehicles. It’s a pretty amazing technology; because it has a much tighter cell structure than regular foam, it is both stronger and lighter. So strong, in fact, that it doesn’t need a stringer, and unlike many other stringerless surfboard materials, it doesn’t require more glass.
Varial was brought to the surfing market by Edison Conner and Parker Borneman. Conner, who worked on rocket construction for Space X prior to wading into surf, says it’s unlike anything else.
“It’s extremely high modulus,” Conner explained. “Through the thickness of the core, from skin to skin, it’s very firm. And that’s what prevents the skins from buckling into the core. It also gives the board more responsiveness and increased pushback. But at the same time the foam’s rigidity allows the board to flex overall just like normal board.”
Perhaps most notably, Varial Foam boards have been under the feet of Shane Dorian in the last few years. He’s switched most of his shortboards to Varial Foam, and recently, he surfed a massive Jaws session on a board made from two interlocking pieces of Varial Foam, and he’s done nothing but sing its praises. He even rode one at the Eddie. Back in 2013, Garrett McNamara rode a specially designed tow-board at Nazaré. Italo Ferriera, one of the most promising up-and-comers on the Tour, has been riding them in events, and his first year in the big leagues was something out of a movie. After placing seventh in the world and taking the Rookie of the Year Title, Ferriera shows more promise than almost anyone else. Mick Fanning reportedly predicted that he’d win the 2016 World Title. Filipe Toledo, Keanu Asing, Caio Ibelli, and Alejo Muniz have all ordered Varial Foam boards for Snapper.
Here’s how it works:
The first surfer to win a men’s WSL Championship Tour event quarterfinal on Varial Foam will win: $5,000 pro $2,000 shaper
The first surfer to win a men’s WSL Championship Tour event semifinal on Varial Foam will win: $10,000 pro $4,000 shaper
The first surfer to win a men’s WSL Championship Tour event final on Varial Foam will win: $20,000 pro $9,000 shaper
The first surfer to win a women’s WSL Championship Tour event semifinal on Varial Foam will win: $5,000 pro $2,000 shaper
The first surfer to win a women’s WSL Championship Tour event final on Varial Foam will win: $12,000 pro $6,000 shaper