Home Chennai Head to Auroville to get your own surfboard

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Nico Erni from Indi will help you customise your own lightweight, eco-friendly surfboard

What do candy sticks, bananas and egg yolks have in common? No, they are not a hangover cure, but different varieties of surfboards that Nico Erni, 34, designs. Currently living in Auroville, the Swiss native has designed seven boards for expats, under the brand Indi. a�?Wea��ve tested them and they work great. Usually people say it takes about 20 boards before a good one comes out, but Ia��m proud to say that all the boards are good and we have received great feedback,a�? he says.

Mind your weight
According to Erni, his boards are made from expanded polystyrene (EPS)A� instead of polyurethane and are customised to suit the level of expertise, weight and size of a particular surfer. The length of a board can go up to 8 inches. a�?Until now I have just been having fun designing different shapes. My art work is freestyle. Ia��m trying out different art techniques on the surfboards. You can paint it after the board is made or mix it with the resin,a�? he says, adding, a�?We also take the volume (in litres) into consideration when we design a board. Volume is very important. Ita��s what makes you float at the right ratio according to your weight and surfing ability.a�? EPS makes the boards lighter, long lasting, easier to work with and environment friendly.

After hours
Erni, who started his surfboard manufacturing company in January, sharesA� how his life revolves around the sport. a�?When I was 15, a friend named Patrick Duboos just handed me a board and asked me to go surfing. Now, when I am not making boards, I give surf lessons in Kallialay Surf School, research FRP materials (fibre-reinforced material, which is also a component used for making surfboards) and learn more about shaping,a�? says the man who has other hidden talents.A� He also plays the drums for a band called Medicis and has completed an apprenticeship in sound engineering in Auroville with musician Didier Weiss. But Pondicherry, he admits, is what keeps him going as a�?it is by the ocean. And ita��s multi cultural.a��a��

Starting price for boards is `20,000 and takes a month to be made. You can follow him on Facebook under INDI Surfboards. Order boards at indishapingbay@gmail.com

-Mrinalini Sundar


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