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UConn grad students gets rad with ‘Mushroom Surfboard’ project

This is Amelia Martin's attempt to make surfing more sustainable.

STORRS, Conn. — Amelia Martin, a University of Connecticut graduate student in the Agriculture Department has a love of both plant science and surfing, and the two are now part of a project. 

Martin is working to make surfboards more sustainable by looking to the almighty mushroom. Instead of a Styrofoam core, Martin is in the process of developing a surfboard core made from mycelium – essentially, mushrooms. 

“It’s basically the roots of mushrooms,” said Martin. "They can hold together.”

Martin added that, if anyone, surfers should be among the most environmentally conscious on the water and that’s where her project would help. 

"When you look at surfboards, it's just one big chemical and we’re the people that are supposed to be protecting the environment. We rely on a healthy ocean to do what we do so it should be this industry that’s taking the first step to make a change," Martin said. 

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An actual mushroom core surfboard is still at least a year away as Martin works to perfect the shaping process for her surfboards. She said it’s another step for a sustainable future.

“I hope this happens not only for the surfing industry, but I hope it motivates people to look at other sustainable materials because solutions are everywhere," said Martin. 

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, X and Instagram.


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