Mercedes-Benz has a long and distinguished history of building high-performance cars, from Formula 1 racers to luxury sedans. Its reputation as a surfboard manufacturer is less established, but that didn’t stop the company from creating boards for big wave surfer Garrett McNamara.
McNamara, who holds the Guinness World Record for largest wave ever ridden (approximately 100 feet), teamed up with the automaker on a series of innovative surfboards. McNamara set his world record and has ridden numerous monsters in Nazaré, Portugal, and has become very involved in the community there. So for his board, he decided to use Portuguese cork instead of traditional foam. “Since Portugal is the world’s largest cork producer, it makes perfect sense to use this material to make high-performance surfboards for surfing in Nazaré,” McNamara said. “When we surf big waves, we need a flexible board, although resistant enough not to break.” Cork is also a more sustainable material than foam.
In addition to the cork board, McNamara is working with Mercedes and Portuguese board shaper Polen Surfboards to build a board out of the same foam used in airplane wings.