The closing of Laguna Niguel's Clark Foam Cores sparked such a massive ripple in the surf community you'd think powerful economic forces had somehow managed to do what chronic pollution, rampant overdevelopment and Ma Nature could not: permanently blackball SoCal wave riding. But as the free-market whores love to say, behind every closure is a golden lining.
Exhibit A: the marriage between Marko Foam Products of Corona and Surflight Hawaii to produce new surfboard blanks for the makers and shapers of custom, high-performance boards. Officials at Marko, a Southern Californian pressure-molded shape manufacturer, claim the partnership has resulted in a line of blanks that will produce lighter, stronger and better-performing surfboards. And the new Marko blanks, unlike their conventional urethane foam counterparts, are made with environmentally friendly polystyrene materials that are recyclable. That added bonus is no doubt what caught the attention of the water-quality protecting Surfrider Foundation's Newport Beach chapter, which will host a presentation on "The Changing Surf Industry" with guest speaker Clay Peterson, who heads up research and development at Marko. The chapter will also discuss their March 2 fund-raiser at the Blue Beet, where for $10 you can take part in prize raffles and hear live music from Tony Bohnenkamp, a solo artist when he's not drumming for the folk-rock group the Nadas.
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Surfrider Foundation Newport Beach Chapter at Newport Rib Co., 2196 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 683-4645; www.surfrider.org. Tues., 7 p.m. Free (and free food!).