Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Pukas and Tecnalia work together to develop the world’s first surfboard with integrated technology


Surfers can improve their technique through the acquisition of quantative and objective data.

surfens_1.jpgDonostia-San Sebastián, 22nd February 2011. Today, PUKAS and TECNALIA invited the elite surfer Aritz Aranburu to present their research work into the mechanical behaviour of surfboards. The results obtained and the conclusions drawn from them open up a whole range of options for applying technologies, training and product development.

Surfing is still a sport governed by feelings. Most innovations in board design and manufacture, as well as analysis of surfing technique, have been the result of “trial and error” procedures and the experiences of shapers, trainers and surfers. The driving forces behind this joint project, PUKAS and TECNALIA, aim to “turn feelings into facts and figures” and provide as yet unquantified data that can be directly applied to improve the features of surfboards, the technical performance of surfers and measurement of parameters during competition.

This research project will revolutionise surfboard manufacturing processes, as they will provide a map of the critical points and their properties, something that will make it possible to incorporate a determined amount of various materials with known properties at specific locations on the surface of surfboards.

In order to carry out the project, we had to install the data gathering electronics – sensors and hardware – in the surfboard itself to transfer the data to a computer. In addition, we characterised the mechanical properties of surfboards so as to quantify the mechanical behaviour of the same and adapt it to the requirements of individual surfers. We have also defined laboratory tests that allow us to quantify the stiffness/flexibility of boards and their resistance to breakage.

Here, the elite surfers Aritz Aranburu, Hodei Collazo, Kepa Acero and Mario Azurza have been responsible for carrying out the initial experiments designed to characterise the stresses affecting surfboards as faithfully as possible. Other professional surfers, such as Tiago Pires, Joan Duru, Eneko Acero and Tim Boal, are expected to join the project at a later date.

Who’s who:

  • The mission of TECNALIA RESEARCH & INNOVATION, the leading applied research centre in Spain and the fifth largest in Europe, is to transform knowledge into GDP to improve the lives of all by creating Business Opportunities. TECNALIA is part of the Tecnalia Technological Corporation, together with AZTI-Tecnalia and NEIKER-Tecnalia. In the framework of the Corporation, the 3 Technological centres share strategies and an innovative operating model based on sectorial Business Units with a high degree of transversality.
  • Pukas Surf es el mayor fabricante y distribuidor de tablas de altas prestaciones de Europa. La marca guipuzcoana es mundialmente conocida y surfistas de la talla de Sunny Garcia (Haw) o Gabriel Medina (Bra) han sido proclamados campeones del mundo surfeando tablas Pukas. Aritz Aranburu (EUK), Tiago Pires (POR) y Joan Duru (FRA), entre otros, son algunos de los mejores surfistas europeos que podrán beneficiarse de los frutos de la iniciativa Tecnalia-Pukas.

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Further information

PUKAS: Adur Letamendia -
TECNALIA: Germán Lasa - Tel.: 902 760 000


Tecnalia - Inspiring Business



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