Stealth Surfing: Pope Bisect Carbon Fibre Travelboard
By Mike Hanlon
June 4, 2004
Almost forty years after first conceiving the modular "Travelboard", Karl Pope has applied his experience as an aerospace engineer to invent the Pope Bisect Stealth - a two-piece, 9-foot 6-inch hollow carbon fibre surfboard that not only surfs like a one-piece, but is billed as the strongest, lightest surfboard of its size ever made.
Pope's first travel-friendly surfboard design was the three-piece "Trisect". This concept eventually evolved into the present day two-piece system as construction materials and methods improved, but it wasn't until 1997 that Pope found a suitable method for using hollow carbon fibre (solid carbon fibre would be too heavy) as a construction material. This technique known as internal pressure bagging enables carbon fibre to be moulded into hollow shapes and facilitated the development of the Pope Bisect Stealth.
The Stealth is extremely lightweight (6.7kg) and therefore easy to manuoevre, plus it's durabile enough to be dropped repeatedly on the rocks withpout breaking up - not a trick you can do with a fibreglass surfboard as some of us have discovered.
Pope Biscect Travelboards begin at about US$1100, but the opportunity to slide down the face on Stealth technology will set you back US$1,795. See www.popebisect.com for further details.