Two people from Kiel have built what is probably the world’s most sustainable stand-up-paddle board using our wood. Kiri is the ecological alternative to the otherwise common glass and carbon fibres and plastic PVC.

The fast, light and stable “Ray Eco” is made of 95% renewable raw materials. The most important raw material is kiri from our plantation in Ladenburg (Baden-Wuerttemberg). KIRITEC provided the two board builders with extra-long kiri planks for this purpose – measuring more than 4.5 metres.

“As kiri wood pioneers, we are proud to play a key role as a partner in the development of this sustainable sports equipment”, says Peter Diessenbacher, founder and managing director of KIRITEC. “The board looks great, is super light and makes a very stable impression”. Water sports equipment may only be a niche market for kiri, but this project is a good illustration of how versatile and sustainable the wood is.

board builder
The board builders: Michael Walther (l.), professional sailor and paddler and founder of the Zero Emissions Project, and Jannek Grocholl, trained boat builder and founder of BoardLab.

Wood instead of glass and carbon fibre – and Fanatic as a market partner

Sustainably grown kiri wood replaces the otherwise standard polyethylene, glass or carbon fibres and plastic PVC used for stand-up-paddle boards. he core consists of a rib structure made of kiri, which in conventional boards is also usually made of polystyrene or polyurethane foam. One reason the designers chose kiri was the tree’s exceptionally low environmental impact. It captures and stores an extraordinary amount of CO2, consumes comparatively little water and, unlike other types of wood, is resistant to seawater.

Jannek Grocholl at work.

The board is to be marketed by the renowned brand Fanatic, which has been producing boards for water sports for around 30 years. It will be the most sustainable product in the SUP line. “Water sports products are pure luxury products that no one needs as an essential. It is therefore all the more important to critically assess the consumption of resources and the impact on the environment”, says Michael Walther, the initiator of the SUP. „Wassersportartikel sind reine Luxusprodukte, die kein Mensch zwingend benötigt. Daher ist es hier umso wichtiger, ein kritisches Auge auf den Ressourcenverbrauch und die Auswirkungen auf die Umwelt zu haben“, sagt Michael Walther, der Initiator des SUPs.

Frame structure board
Clear to see: the rib structure inside the board.

No marketing ploy – genuine sustainability and environmental compatibility.

Throughout the production process, board designer Jannek Grocholl prioritised sustainability and environmentally friendly organic oils and pigments. “The board should have minimal impact on the environment throughout its full life cycle”, says Jannek Grocholl. “It was therefore important to us that it didn’t just become a marketing ploy that looks clean but, on closer inspection, offers few benefits over conventional boards”.

Professional athlete Michael Walther will soon be testing the kiriboard on a number of trips to make sure it can cope with all demands. We are looking forward to his report!

Fanatic Ray Eco
Michael Walther on the Fanatic Ray Eco made from our kiri wood.