Un bellyboard Kifoo

A student from Purdue University makes wooden belly boards to glide without soiling

07/20/2022 | The ambition behind these shingles: to reduce the presence of plastic on beaches and in the oceans.

Etienne Keville, 23, has been a Bordeaux student and surfer for 7 years. In December 2021, the young man created Kifoo, a brand of wooden belly boards. Boards, longer than body boards, allow you to take waves and slide while lying down. Kifoo won the 2nd Place and Community Impact Award for the Ubooster. The ambition behind these shingles: to reduce the presence of plastic on beaches.

“For five years I worked on the shores of Sulak, as a lifeguard swimmer,” says the student. “I was seeing 3 broken body boards a day. These are very fragile boards, made up of a polystyrene board covered with cloth. It bothered me to know it’s crumbling, going into the ocean, staying on the sand… Some swimmers put them in the trash, others leave them on the beach . »

So the surfer is considering a solution to replace these body panels. After several researches, he discovered the existence of the tablet in England. “I made several, and had them tested by friends. We liked it, so I took the plunge.”

Billboard (almost) for all audiences

Since December, Étienne Quifille has sold between 150 and 200 paintings at markets and events and on the Kifoo website. The belly board costs between 110 and 120 euros, depending on the model. There are 4, including 3 by size and more efficient for experienced surfers. Etienne makes the boards himself. “I have a collage made of okomi and poplar wood. Then I heat it in a steam oven that softens the wood fibers and then bends them into an ethnic shape,” Details of the young entrepreneur. Linseed oil and pine resin seal the board, prevent splinters and give stickiness to the wood.

“In the end, I didn’t really find the solution to replacing body panels for kids under 10,” Get to know the student. “It’s a board to enjoy but you have to know how to use it well. It can do more harm than a Styrofoam body board.” The boards are intended for children over 10 years old, teens and adults of all ages.

“Beginners and surfers who no longer have the physical ability to ride the waves buy it and go have fun. Advanced surfers add the board to the board cover; when there is a lot of wind or little soft waves they use.” Étienne Quifille does not abandon his original idea and continues his quest to replace body panels with smaller ones. “It’s in the drawers,” Confirms to the businessman.

Nolwin Turnu
by Nolwenn Tournoux

Image credit: Kifoo

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