A quote from Notox Surfboards... KORKO: the first eco surfboard, making surf easier.
KORKO is the world first affordable surfboard made of sustainable materials and designed to be easy.
I’m beyond stoked for this review and I can’t begin to explain how blown away I am from the surfboard concept from Notox Surfboards known as the Korko! It’s a cork surfboard, yup, you read correctly, cork!! That stuff that keeps old fancy wine from spilling out on the cellar floor!
I’ve been watching with great interest the new developments from Notox. They started a few years back with their Flax seed fibre surfboards, check that article we did with them here. Board is made with waste of less than the half their weight, 75% of which is recyclable, with materials sourced in France and Belgium.
Now they’ve gone and brought us their cork board.
I’m into this board for so many reasons and it’s heaps of fun on the water. Since I’ve had the board, I can’t go 4 paces without someone stopping me to ask and admire it. It’s truly a thing of beauty. From my stupidly oversized surfboard quiver, this is in the top 3 surfboards people grab and don’t want to let go!!
This board could be the 'go to' for all beginners, intermediates and even for the advanced surfer who wants a little more fun in their lives without having to step on a longboard on those smaller days.
Ok, so for the full download check out the article we did with them here.
Korko Length: 6ft Width: 21 3/4 Thickness : 3 1/8 Vol: 49.6ltr
This model comes in at 490euro when I last checked
As far as eco and sustainable goes…the company and the boards seem to be ahead of the game.
The 3mm outer layer is all cork and it looks beautiful, truly stunning! It’s a board you want to pick up, to touch, to feel and never give back!
Nothing goes to waste in the lab and everything that can go into the boards, goes into the boards, it’s that simple. One thing that was very cool is they collect all the off cuts of already recycled PSE foam and store it upstairs. They then invest a lot of time to communicate with various local lorry delivery companies to collect the bag loads of scrap foam. They focus and organise this with lorries that are already in the area on other jobs. This is amazing, it really makes a difference on their carbon footprint and for the lorry companies alike. The pieces get taken to a local company that recycles the offcuts into new surfboard blanks for Notox to make more boards! This is a marvellous way to minimise waste and their carbon footprint.
The fin plugs on the surfboard I tested have screw in FCS I. They do sit a little bit proud was our only gripe with this board. That said though, I went by the factory last week and then new model has recessed future fin boxes that look legit, like a proper board! Plus they’ve recessed the leash plug.
With the materials they use, it means that the board won’t take on water. So if you do manage to get a ding to the core, no stress, keep on surfing and fix it up when you get home….easy.
Ok, so it's claiming all the eco and sustainable stuff, but does it perform?
For its character and design, yes, 110% this thing performs, no doubt about it. This board is pure fun and geared for progression.
The added bonus with the cork, is they can shape in real edges and proper defined concave to the bottom of the board, it really is crazy cool! Giving this kind of performance to this type of board is next level.
For this model they’ve shaped forgiving edges and some slight concave, resulting in a board that will handle a lot more than you might first think.
It catches waves effortlessly and if you like you cork burst start into a wave(a surfers technique which is used to catch a wave - just before the wave reaches you, sink the tail of the board and let the cork buoyancy project you forward out of the water into and down the wave face), then you will fall head over heels for this thing.
The board I tested comes with a basic FCS I box system, which means you can put in real fins. This is a game changer for the board and gives you the option to fine tune your fin choices, in turn, adding extra performance.
No wax needed either! Cork has amazing traction, even in water. I’ve encountered a few foam boards that claim no wax and guess what, they nearly always need wax!
My partner went from learning on an 8ft, to 7’8 and then 3 weeks into her surfing career straight onto the 6ft Korko and she had a ripper of a time. She loved it and she had the confidence to paddle out on a solid 4ft day with this thing and caught a bomb!!
Since testing the board they’ve been making improvements to their latest designs.
The first thing is they’ve figured out how to add real Future’s fin boxes that are recessed into the board, allowing better water flow under the board.
They’ve also recessed the fin plug.
They have refined the finishing touches. With the testing, feedback and improvements, they have now designed and shaped some cool new models, from single fin mini eggs, twin fins and more high performance shapes. They can pretty much shape any board you want!
Looks and feels stunning
Performs as it should do….fun!!
Light, which means easier to carry than a longboard or foamy
Defined edges and concave
Great board to progress on for beginners to intermediate
Fun board for advanced surfers on small days or even bigger days for that matter
No wax needed
Solidly built and would make for a great travel board(I’m taking one to Peru with my partner)
Doesn’t soak up waster when damaged
When it looks a little old, just sand it and it’ll look like new again
FCS I fin box means you can put proper fins in
ConsThe only thing with the model I tested was the fin boxes or leash plug weren’t recessed into the board…but they went and fixed that, so that answers that!
Ok, it’s not as soft as a foamy, but not as hard as a conventional board either….it’s someplace in the middle, more towards the firmer side.
I got so excited about this product I first gave it a score of 10, which is the highest score I’ve given. After reflection and discussing with my peers it went down to a 9 because of the fin boxes and leash plug not being recessed, but now they’ve gone and fixed this...
This board is now sitting proudly in my quiver of boards, so that should give you an indication of my opinion! Everyone who has ridden this board comes away grinning from ear to ear. It’s a no fuss, just go cruise and have fun kind of board.
The amount of attention and admiration the Korko get’s is really impressive, I genuinely can’t believe how much. I feel this kind of construction is a step in one of many right directions and couldn’t be more stoked about the development of this product.
I’ve been working and coaching in surf schools for 7 years. If I owned my own surf school, I would have a range of these boards for all levels, that’s without a doubt. It’s a great stick for learning and progressing on.
Nice work Notox, we look forward to seeing the new shapes and models. Look out for the full video review coming soon to Surf Bunker, if you want to know more about the Korko, check out the details at their website here.
All Photo credits with huge thanks to Lucy Mason.