This snowboard is made from paper — and it shreds like a dream

Professional freeride snowboarder Cody Bramwell carves thru the deep white powder, left-accurate-left-accurate, down the mountainside. He’s snow surfing, a keen, bind-much less variety of snowboarding invented in Japan in the Eighties. 

Rather than specializing in velocity and programs, snow surfing is about discovering the coast with the trek of the mountain, conserving velocity thru flat sections and turning into one with the terrain. The sport is most attention-grabbing practised in unusual, uncompressed powder, as against crowded ski slopes. 

It’s fitting then that the board Bramwell is using was made in a way that has minimal impact on the pristine nature snow surfing relies on. Instead of plastic or fibreglass, these snowsurfs are made from dilapidated paper. 

British/Swedish pro snowboarder Cody Bramwell holding a papersurf. Credit: Vincent Skoglund/Papersurf

“I wanted to challenge the status quo and encourage companies to take the step extra and note at alternative materials,” says Vincent Skoglund, photographer and co-founder of Swedish audio tech darling Zound Industries (now Marshall Group), who last year based Papersurf. Skoglund says he is struggling to sustain with orders for the boards, which start at 4495 SEK (€390). 

The snowsurfs have been constructed by PaperShell, a Stockholm-based startup that has developed a way to expose paper waste into a durable, excessive-tech composite it calls “picket metal.” 

Past snowboards

“It’s like art and magic meets science and biology,” Anders Breitholtz, founder and CEO at PaperShell, tells TNW. “We have created a material that is fun, swish, stylish and yet versatile, durable, and circular.”    

PaperShell’s picket metal can replace excessive-impact materials like aluminium, fibreglass, and plastics. It can be peaceful, matte, or textured. It can be flat, crooked, or spherical. 

It is heat resistant (even self-extinguishing), water proof, solid, and lighter than fibreglass. It can be primitive to make furniture, car panels, electronics, facades for structures, skateboards, and, as we’ve already seen, snowsurfs.   

“The acquire possibilities are, in accomplish, never-ending,” says Breitholtz.

PaperShell’s picket metal can be moulded into fairly powerful anything, from skateboards to circuit boards. Credit: PaperShell

To make the material, PaperShell sources craft paper made from waste lignin and cellulose from the trees industry. It then soaks the paper in hemicellulose, a natural polymer discovered in the cell walls of plants that is readily available as a byproduct from agriculture.  

When you create paper you lose lignin and hemicellulose which are grand waste streams — so we plan, let’s save these back in to make a composite,” says Breitholz.

In essence, it builds back picket.  

Learning from nature

Fairly powerful every little thing we exercise and eat on a daily basis relies on materials like metal, minerals, biomass, and fossil fuels. In 2022, the material footprint of the average European — the amount of raw materials dug as a lot as meet our wishes — was almost 15 tonnes. This is “simply unsustainable,” as the EU said in a contemporary relate.          

The answer? To break our linear take-make-waste consumption habits and make them circular. In a circular financial system, merchandise are designed to be reused. Once they are no longer precious, instead of waste, they then change into a resource for something novel, appropriate like in nature.  

“Nature has developed mindblowing biointelligence over 3.8 billion years — however humanity appears to be doing its most attention-grabbing to undo that,” says Breitholz. “It’s time to start working with the Earth, no longer against it.”

Today most dilapidated picket is incinerated or landfilled, releasing CO2 into the air or, in the case of treated trees, chemicals into the soil. 

If PaperShell’s material was to be burnt at the tip of its lifestyles — a worst case scenario — the company peaceful claims a 90-98% reduction in lifecycle carbon emissions when compared to the same-sized parts made of plastics, fibre composites, or metals. 

At WIRED impact in London last year, PaperShell showcased the potential of mycelium to breakdown its composite material. Credit: PaperShell

Nonetheless, for PaperShell, that’s no longer nearly legal ample. The company wants to take the dilapidated material and turn it into biochar as a fertiliser to grow novel trees. They are also experimenting with mycelium to break down the excessive-tech picket, return it to the soil, and foster biodiversity.

“We’re teaching the mycelium to break down our material. That’s hardcore. That’s how we must work. If we can tap into that intelligence we’re crazy no longer to attain it,” says Breitholz.

Making it work

Before founding PaperShell in 2021, Breitholz labored for 20 years as a material scout for large corporations and research institutions. His job was to track down the next most attention-grabbing, sustainable materials for professionals ranging from carmakers to architects.  

For the last three years, the self-proclaimed “crazy founder” and his team have been making an attempt out and re-making an attempt out their product alongside industry players collectively with EV-maker Polestar and Italian furniture company Arper.  

“We had to make clear it actually works in an industrial context, so we teamed up with demanding purchasers, so we may fail fast and learn rapid,” says Breitholz.     

PaperShell’s novel factory in Tibro, Sweden, is about to start. Credit: PaperShell

PaperShell has raised €20mn to date, and is at the moment in the course of another funding spherical. Its board includes professionals from Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux, recycling giant Stena Metall, and acquire community Interior Enter.  

The company’s pilot plant, in Tibro, Sweden, has change into a testbed for the material. It has also fulfilled some small quantity orders — like the Papersurf board. Nonetheless now, PaperShell is ready to take things up a notch. 


PaperShell has appropriate constructed a novel factory in Tibro which marks a major step up in capacity compared to the present pilot plant — from 600 to 3,2000 square metres of manufacturing ground space.   

The factory will act as a invent-to-print component manufacturing facility. It will exercise a sequence of automated press tables to mould diverse shapes and designs based upon particular orders. The picket metal will act as a material replacement for an existing component — like a panel for a car — or for an fully novel product. 

An internal note at PaperShell’s novel factory. Credit: PaperShell

From flat sheets to complex 3D shapes, PaperShell expects to be able to fabricate as a lot as 700,000 parts a year at the novel plant. The company is planning to invent an even larger factory in the “near future.” 

“This material is actually so easy, so low-tech,” says Breitholz. “Nonetheless what really excites me is that it has the potential to make an astronomical impact, to act as a catalyst for change across so many industries.”

For snowboarder Cody Bramwell, fun is perhaps high of mind. “Cry out to Papersurf, this board is in wretched health!” he said after a session of shredding powder in the Scandinavian backcountry.   

Test this video to witness how the papersurf was created:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like