I recently made this rad foilboard for my own personal use. Its dimensions are 33•16.5•1” and it weighs a shocking 2.56lbs (1,160g). It’s made from book-matched paulownia wood, black locust hardwood inserts for the foil mount, cork rails, and a cork deck.
It has algorithmic artwork laser-etched into the deck, generated by software that I wrote based on the Traveling Salesman Problem.
I mill paulownia wood for the top and bottom, which allows me to book-match any interesting grain patterns. The paulownia wood is structural and is part of the stiffness of the board. The threaded inserts for the foil mount are embedded in black locust hardwood plugs. Black locust is an extremely strong wood that’s rot-resistant and native to North America. The rails are cork, and there is an exposed cork traction pad covering the entire deck.
Despite shooting for the lightest weight possible, I did decide to do a gloss coat with a mirror polish.
The artwork on the deck of the board is laser-etched from an algorithm that I wrote. Each squiggle on the deck is made from one continuous line that never overlaps itself. I wrote software to randomly apply points to form a Memphis-Milano style graphic. Once the points are sufficiently distributed, they’re fed into a Traveling Salesman Problem solver, which returns back a single line that visits each point. I feed this line into a laser cutter to etch each of the squiggle graphics.
The Traveling Salesman Problem is a fundamental optimization problem in computer science that is so hard for computers to solve that it cannot be done for a large amount of inputs…the best we can do is approximate the answer. Lots of research has gone into this problem, which has been used to route delivery trucks, send messages over the internet, or make artwork for hydrofoil boards.