These Upcycled Bamboo And Recycled Basalt Fiber Fins Are Genius
Photo by Jason A. Frank

These Upcycled Bamboo And Recycled Basalt Fiber Fins Are Genius

Meet Korey Nolan and his enviro-brainchild, Hydrophile.

elsewhere // Jul 5, 2021
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

With an excess of new gear, various fin models and genres, and endless proprietary techs, an off-brand piece of hardware rarely stops us in our scroll, especially when it comes to fins.

Photo by Jason A. Frank

Coming across New Hampshire’s Korey Nolan’s environmentally-conscious skeg program, Hydrophile, left us with a few questions. The US Northeast Coast has a long history of talented craftsmen in the region, but Korey’s focus on reclaimed materials and a scrappers mentality piqued our interest.

Check out our interview with Korey below:

Hey Korey, we’re fans of what you’re doing with Hydrophile. Tell us, though, who are you, and where are you from?

My name is Korey Nolan. I was born and raised In Massachusetts before settling down and starting a family with my wife on the New Hampshire Seacoast.

Photo by Jason A. Frank

What was your introduction to surfing like up there?

In college, my uncle gave me an Eaton Bonzer he acquired while living out in San Diego in the early 90s. It was considerably roached from spending nearly a decade behind my grandmother’s house exposed to the elements, but it was enough to get me into it.

My wife and I went to UNH together. We would both flap around at the local beach breaks trying to learn the ropes. After a bit of moving, we relocated to the seacoast area again, and I rekindled my love for surfing enough to upgrade to a locally shaped single fin by Jacques Beriau.

Getting that board changed my perspective on surfing entirely. Beneath the commercialism, branding, and competition is an immersive culture of passionate and remarkable individuals.

Photo by Jason A. Frank

When did you start working with fiberglass?

I first encountered fiberglass when I started tinkering with building handcrafted snowboards in my garage.

How did Hydrophile come about? Can you explain the brand ethos and what you guys are trying to do as far as sustainable materials, etc.?

My first fins were born from the scrap pile of those snowboard builds, from scrap bamboo, basalt fiber, and epoxy resin.

I still make wood composite fins, but most of what I make now are volan glass and Entropy epoxy resin. Using a “greener” resin solution in a composite is still far from a sustainable solution; however, I feel that this is a step in the right direction.

Photo by Jason A. Frank

To be hydrophilic means to be attracted to water. The name Hydrophile is a convergence of my love for music(I spent a decade working for a record store; a person obsessed with audio fidelity is known as an audiophile) and my love for the ocean.

Check out Hydrophile fins here.


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