Creativity, coffee cups, and home state pride helped this Seacoast local ride the wave of sustainable surfing.
Every year, California-based Vissla Surf Boards hosts the International Creators and Innovators Upcycle Contest, inspiring surfers across the globe to turn waste into usable gear. This past year, 32-year-old Hampton Falls resident Korey Nolan came upon the perfect ode to both surfing and New England. With over 240 locations in New Hampshire alone, Dunkin’s signature white to-go cup was the perfect material for a board buildout. After all, polystyrene is a common material in surfboards. Though he’s been surfing for 10 years, Nolan considers himself to be relatively inexperienced compared to other surfers in the area (looking at you, Tyler McGill). That hasn’t kept him from falling in love with the sport, though, and aligning that new love with his work in eco-conscious design. Despite his experience creating fins, the 2018-born Dunkin’ board – known as “Yewwlatta” – was Nolan’s first go at building and shaping an entire surfboard. With the help of some well-caffeinated friends to help scavenge litter off the side of the road, Korey collected almost 1,000 polystyrene Dunkin’ Donuts cups. Approximately 700 of those cups were hand cut, flattened, pressed into molds, covered in an eco-friendly epoxy, and attached to the next layer. In total, it took about 20 layers of cups and untold hours. Nolan has gone on record saying he’s glad he didn’t track the hours because he’d rather not know how long it took to build up a full-size Mini Simmons–style board with a fin fashioned out of plastic Dunkin’ straws. The hard work paid off – the board won second place in the California-based competition. Plus, after finally leaving Nolan’s makeshift garage workshop, the one-of-a-kind board weighed twice that of a traditional foam board but reportedly rode like a dream.