New Zealand grown Paulownia
Paulownia is our timber of choice. If you aren’t familiar with paulownia its a very sustainable, fast growing, soft wood that’s a little heavier than balsa but much stronger.
Paulownia is the premier wood for producing surfboards because it has a good weight to strength ratio, is light, and absorbs less salt water than many other types of wood.
Paulownia timber is widely used in Asia. It is light, odourless, and easily worked. In colour it varies from silver-grey (highly prized in Japan) to light brown. It has a low basic density but is easy to dry and, although unsuitable for structural use, has physical and mechanical properties that are acceptable for other purposes. It is straight-grained and easy to plane to a glossy surface.
A further attraction with paulownia surfboards, kayaks and boats is the small environmental impact compared with fibreglass products, which are associated pollutants and long decomposition time.
Lightness – Paulownia is the lightest known timber other than balsa.
High strength-to-weight ratio (although basic strength is low).
Very good dimensional stability.
Resistance to insect damage.
Low thermal conductivity.
Low temperature conductivity.
Resistance to fungal rots (but not to surface moulds).