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2019_05_08_News_TECNUN-Donostia Surf City

Students from Tecnun win a competition for Innovation in Surfboards from the Donostia Surf City Cluster.

Professor Aitziber López has supervised the project, which consists of a dismountable and personalised surfboard.

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The award-winning students of Tecnun (right) with the teacher Aitziber López. PHOTO: Courtesy
08/05/19 11:47 Communication Service

A team of students from Tecnun has won the 2nd Surfboard Innovation Competition organised by Fomento de San Sebastián and its Donostia Surf City Cluster with its Eggy Surfboards project, which consists of a detachable and customised surfboard. The team, formed by the students Pablo Fernández Acín (Industrial Master), Manuel de Benavides (Industrial Technologies), Jon Apaolaza (Design) and Aldo Bertomeu (Design) will receive a prize of 1,000 euros and, in addition, one of the team members will be able to attend one of the cluster's business trips.

This was a competition in which the students had to indicate a teacher who would supervise them and act as an intermediary in communication with Fomento San Sebastián, as the dates of the different meetings were not fixed in advance and had to be discussed. The teacher Aitziber López was the one chosen by the students of Tecnun who finally won first prize. "I simply gave them my opinion when they asked for it, as they were hesitating between two ideas. And then I read the report and made some small corrections and suggestions", explains Aitziber López, who stresses that the merit belongs to the students.

López points out that, of the 20 projects presented, the other 19 were from Mondragon Unibertsitatea. "The companies in the sector were very grateful for the existence of this competition because they commented that for them it is a way of receiving fresh ideas that make them think about new challenges and opportunities, something that they often cannot do because the day-to-day running of the company takes up too much of their time", says the teacher at Tecnun. "After the awards ceremony, Adur Letamendia, from Pukas, spent a long time talking to the students at Tecnun and commented that he was very interested in the idea, that it was something they had already been thinking about and that he wanted to be with them again to see what opportunities could be found. He invited us to come and visit his factory one day", concludes Aitziber López.

For his part, one of the award-winning students from Tecnun , Jon Apaolaza, explains that his project consists of a modular board that is divided into three parts: the central part (the bud) to which the tip and the tail are attached. "Although the real strength of our board, which we have called Eggy, is that everyone can design and assemble their own board". The fact that the nose and tail are made with 3D printing allows the user to combine them in such a way that they can adapt to any type of wave without interfering with the surfer's personality or style, boosting their skills and helping them to learn and know how the different types of boards that exist and will exist work, something that will be much more accessible in the near future. "Eggy is a new step towards personalisation," says Apaolaza.

"I think we won because we deserved it, and I don't say that because I'm cocky, but because I really think so. We were the only group of those who competed in which we all surfed and that was quite noticeable both in the memory and in the presentation we made", says the Design student from Tecnun with pride. "We have understood the new technological innovations in the industry (3D printing) and we have incorporated them into the world of surfing, always respecting the environment. It has also been very valuable to have multidisciplinary people on the team; it is true that we are all engineers, but there are two design engineers, an industrial engineer and a mechanic, all passionate about surfing and eager to learn".

Finally, and after learning of Pukas' interest in the prototype, Apaolaza points out that "for our part we are delighted that this project is not just an innovative idea and that it will develop much more with the help of professionals in this sector such as Pukas, SurfLogic or Trinity, companies that belong to the Surf City Donostia cluster. At the awards ceremony we were talking to Adur Letamendia who was very interested in our project and wanted to give our idea more scope. The truth is that everything is still a bit up in the air and we don't really know what plans there might be in the future, but we are very excited about the idea".

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