An innovative new product could be a game changer for New Zealand's struggling strong wool industry says John Brakenridge.
The CEO of the NZ Merino Company spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about Paul Barron's new surfboards which are made with a wool-based substance instead of fibreglass.
"We are incredibly excited about this [and] the opportunities that are sitting there for strong wool."
It's not only potentially great news for strong wool but also the environment says Brakenridge, who points out that the use of fossil fuels to produce textiles makes it "the second largest pollutant behind oil and gas in the world."
"This is one example where the rural community is making a positive difference for the world and the environment."
Some big names in the surfing world could also help raise New Zealand's strong wool profile, as Barron's invention caught the attention of Firewire Surfboards, a company majority-owned by 11-time surfing world champion Kelly Slater.
Brakenridge says he thinks Slater is the perfect candidate for "making wool cool again."
Also in today's interview: John Brakenridge discusses whether New Zealand needs to reintroduce a wool-growers levy and talks about a very strong fine wool market.