Some years ago, a Global Surf designer was riding his bike in Thailand when a pickup truck filled with discarded coconut husks cut him off. The designer tracked down the driver the next day, more interested in the man's cargo than his poor lane changing, and learned that the husks, en route to an incinerator, had an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio.

Inspired, the designer decided to experiment with the husks, the result of which is the Coco Mat Surfboard line. The boards, available in a range of sizes from six-and-a-half-foot fish to 14-foot paddleboards, feature sustainably sourced, hand-laid coconut-husk fibers arranged between layers of fiberglass.

"We wanted to create a board that used as many sustainable materials as possible without compromising the feel of a great ride," says Global Surf president Mark Kelly. "With the help of the husks, we succeeded." The husks helped slim things down, too: Each board is three to four pounds lighter and 25 percent stronger than epoxy-based models of similar length. [From $525;]