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Kyle Lawrence from Marko Foam was kind enough to give me a breakdown of the Formula Fun, the world’s first fully recyclable foam surfboard. Photo: Lydia Sawyer-Chu


The Inertia

“What the heck is that thing?!” It came out of my mouth before I knew what happened. A crazy looking surfboard was sitting in our office. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen. A black retro twin shape.

“It’s called a Formula Fun,” someone said. “The guys at Marko Foam gave us that to test drive. Super fun!” I drooled. I coveted. “Can I take it out soon?” I pleaded. “Yeah, go for it.”

Turns out the Formula Fun isn’t your average foam surfboard. As with all products Marko – the guys who have been recycling foam to make surfboard blanks for years – there’s a consideration for what will happen with this board at the end of its lifetime. For that reason, it’s fully recyclable. The first fully recyclable foam surfboard on the market, as it happens. And made right here in the good ol’ US of A.

When I met with Kyle Lawrence and Coby Peterson to get a tour of Marko’s facility in Irvine, they gave me the full rundown of these new boards, and let me see earlier R+D models. I should add if you’ve never been to a foam manufacturer’s facility and you have the chance you should. I felt like a kid in a candy store and my mind continues to race with ideas for foam/stringer setups. But I digress.

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“So basically we used an old mold of ours that we already had. Our team has been modifying that mold for the perfect soft top for over a year now,” Kyle told me.

Looks like a retro twinnie, feels like a retro twinnie. Photo: Lydia Sawyer-Chu

The Formula Fun is made of a high-density molded copolymer core, I was told. After it’s taken out of the mold there’s only minimal assembly required – namely adding a corduroy EVA traction pad, leash plug, and screws that secure the Futures fin box. There’s no additional shaping done on a CNC machine or touching up in a shaping room.

The traction pad is wax-less, and all boards come with Futures’ T1 fins, meaning you can swap them with your favorite if you like. Not to mention rails actually feel like surfboard rails – unlike their Costco counterparts.

Kyle mentioned that the sky’s the limit as far as this construction is concerned – and they already have a few more shapes in the works. “We want to show what American made looks like – attention to detail and a quality product that can be fully recycled if it snaps or becomes unrideable,” he said.

Needless to say, the day after touring Marko’s shop, I was excited to get the Formula Fun in the water. At 5’3″ the thing was about seven inches shorter than any board I’ve ridden in the last five years. I’m 6’1″ and, last I checked, weigh just over a buck ninety, so I was concerned about buoyancy.The thickness of the thing, though, more than makes up for the volume lost in length.

My first wave, I didn’t know what to expect. I paddled into it, stood up, set a line, and cruised. I’ll admit that having surfed my daily driver the day before, I began to wrongfully compare the Formula Fun’s performance to my standard shortboard. Really, no foamie can replace foam and fiberglass when you’re looking for high performance. Still, I was impressed with how this thing felt relative to every other foamies in the category – more maneuverable, high quality, and the corduroy traction is a nice touch if you need to leave your board in your car or on the beach for the day and not worry about the wax.

The Formula Fun is, as it sounds, built for fun – for not so serious days of minor consequence and maximum vibes. And for that, we give this thing a 10/10.

The Formula Fun retails for $250 and (for now) is only available online here. Order by 12/22 and get $25 off your first board with discount code: theinertia10.