Merci Bamboo

It’s hard enough to make floors out of it. It’s soft enough to make super-fluffy towels. It’s durable enough to make cutting boards or salad bowls, but so ecofriendly you can feel good about throwing away disposable plates and utensils made from it.

You can even eat it as a vegetable in stir-frys.

It’s a good thing bamboo grows fast enough to keep up with the list of things you can make out of it.

Like surfboards.

Big Island shaper Gary Young makes surfboards from recyclable foam blanks, bamboo veneers and a low-volatile epoxy coating. Which means the boards are far more ‘aina-friendly than conventional models made from polyurethane foam, fiberglass and toxic epoxy resin.

The bamboo makes them more surfer-friendly too – the boards are lighter, stronger, highly dent-resistant, and more flexible to turn on waves. Pros like Sunny Garcia and Laird Hamilton know this first hand – Young has shaped bamboo boards for both of them.

Besides surfboards, Young makes canoe paddles, standup boards, and even snowboards from bamboo. Each one is custom made, a one-of-a-kind design, shaped just for one person.

You should get on board too.

Gary Young shapes his surfboards on Hilo, Big Island. For more info, call 808.965.5190. Check out all of Young’s bamboo surfboards at