A few years ago, two young ocean-lovers and surfing enthusiasts had a bright idea: making a transparent paddleboard! The idea was a nice one, but they came up against a number of technical constraints. After three years of research and development, their dream finally came true and the StandUp, a one-of-a-kind paddleboard was born!
“The meeting of an idea and a highly innovative material”
StandUp largely owes its existence to a new type of material offering both a high level of transparency and inalterability, Altuglas® ShieldUp. Developed by the research teams of Arkema and its subsidiary Altuglas International, this nanostructured colourless acrylic glass offers almost crystal-like transparency and, despite its apparent fragility, high resistance to impact, scratches and cleaning products.
The board was first tested in the tanks of the Biarritz aquarium, under the curious gaze of the sharks. “Once on the water,” says Laurent Jaurey, one of the two designers, “the board erases surface undulations and wrinkles. There are none of the optical distortions that can occur when diving, depending on the moiré pattern of the goggles. The material offers an even sharper image than aquarium glass, no matter how much water there is underneath. Once perched on this panoramic screen with a surface area of nearly 3 m², one feels a kind of vertigo when observing the bottom. It is very astonishing! The sensation goes beyond what we had projected. You are truly walking on water.”
An alliance of high technology and design
The underside of the PMMA board is dotted with a row of LEDs which can light up the seabed at night, creating a halo of light with a range of up to 15 meters in clear waters. Powered by a high-tech custom battery developed in France, the lighting system can operate for 3 hours at full power.
As for biomimetic movement, the structure is inspired by dolphin fins.
Raising awareness of the need to protect the seabed
Although StandUp by LOEVA is 100% recyclable and equipped with a vegan leather leash (made from apple peel), its two designers have committed to donating a percentage of the sales of their paddleboard to Reefscapers, an association working towards safeguarding and restoring coral reefs.