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VIDEO: UBC professor invents sustainable balsa wood pull buoy for swimmers

If you’re familiar with how decrepit your swim gear can get after years of use and neglect, one swimmer is starting to find the solution.

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A University of British Columbia professor and masters swimmer, Dr. Phil Evans, has created the first environmentally-friendly pull buoy made from balsa wood, which he describes as “nature’s foam.” Offering more durable and attractive alternative to the traditional pull buoy typically constructed of EVA foam (ethylene-vinyl acetate), a petroleum product which contains formamide. Testers have said the pull buoys feel great in the water and are “an improvement over the traditional foam pull buoys.”

Dr. Evans, who works in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC, says as of right now he isn’t trying to market the product and has only produced a few as gifts for coaches who have helped him with his swimming. He started developing the pull buoys as “a way of bringing attention to the urgent need to start using materials derived from sustainable resources (ex. plantation grown trees) instead of ones derived from fossil fuels.”

Dr. Evans says he’s received tremendous feedback on the balsa wood pull buoy. He has been using his prototype for 18 months.

More info on the balsa wood pull buoy can be found here.

With files from SwimSwam.