Kiwi surfboard manufacturer Kinaroad is aiming to make surfing more accessible with the development of a robotic machine that can build a surfboard in less than a week.
Surfboards traditionally take up to six weeks to build but the Kinaroad machine aims to build and laminate the board within five days.
The design software and robotic building technology allows for low-cost and consistent manufacture, according to company chief executive Scott Fenton, and has been in research and development since 2010.
Fenton said the surfboard industry was labour intensive and characterised by high-volume production in low-labour-cost countries.
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"Most of the surfboards that are made in New Zealand are made in small workshops by designers that are finding it more and more difficult to compete against big brands made mostly in Asia," Fenton said.
"Because of that and their inability to compete with the price points that Asian manufacturers can, they have stopped going through the retail chains. So most manufacturers of surfboards in New Zealand will sell direct to the end consumer and it's difficult to scale like that."
Kinaroad founder Paul Winton said the manufacturing process would help increase the profitability of board building, as well as improve wait times.
The manufacturing operation has been modelled so it can be packed into four containers, allowing it to be easily shipped worldwide.
The company is looking to raise capital to help scale business growth.