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About Balsawood

Balsawood - Ochroma pyramidale

The word ‘balsa’ is Spanish, It means ‘raft’, and it refers to its excellent flotation qualities. Although one of the lightest woods in the world, balsa is technically a ‘hardwood’ since the trees belong to the angiosperm (a plant of a large group that comprises those that have flowers and produce seeds enclosed within a carpel) not gymnosperm, group. Balsa wood has an air-dry density of only 80 Kg/m3 up to max150kg/m3 (Rileys balsa) whereas oak is 700 Kg/m3 and Paulownia 250kg/m3.

Because it is low-density but high in strength, balsa is a very popular material for light, stiff structures in model bridge tests, model buildings, and for the construction of model aircraft; all grades are usable for airworthy control line and radio-controlled aircraft varieties of the modeling sports, with the lightest "contest grades" especially valuable for free flight model aircraft. However, it also is valued as a component of full-sized light wooden airplanes, most notably World War II de Havilland Mosquito.

Riley uses only light balsa in large section sizes for his surfboards and any other application that balsa is suited to.

They custom cut and laminate to suit all customers needs and can deliver to all corners of the globe.

For all your special requirements email

 In comparison to the paulownia wood, poplar or bamboo, balsa has a significantly smaller environmental impact due to its low density. Taking into account water usage, CO2 footprint and embodied energy, balsa wood has approximately 40% lower environmental impact than paulownia.

Balsa wood is quick-growing and easy to grow without fertilizers or other added resources, so, like bamboo, it can be grown sustainably. It’s a weed tree where it’s native, self-sowing in sometimes inconvenient spots, and it’s not long-lived, either, so it even wants harvesting. Therefore, it can be plantation-grown and harvested and grown again without negative environmental impact.

For every balsawood board made 5 new balsa trees are planted on ex sugar cane land.

 Balsa wood is used for many different applications. Rileys sells different forms of balsa to different industries. Anything is possible because of the large and light section sizes of balsa we have in stock. At any one time we will have 1000 sticks of 170mmx75mmx3000mm to choose from for the right application.

– Surfboard building – solid, foam core and hollow boards


-Nose and Tail blocks

-University Car racing teams - UH formula race car “UH FSAE” (FSAE is Formula Society of Automotive Engineers)

 -RMIT Racing team car chassis
- Boat building
- Deck building
- Model building – airplanes, yachts, ships, sports cards, trucks, houses, buildings, Bridges
- Rifle handle butts
- Sewing boards
- Mould making
- Wind Turbines
- Floors for trucks and sports cars
- Carving for schools
- Model and Hobby Shops
- Rafts Insulation
- World war air fighters jets
- Fishing floats and lures
- Table tennis bats
- End Grain
- Swing tags
- Wedding cards
- Picture Framing
- Chewing toys for birds
- Dart Boards
- Sound insulation for music rooms
- Sanding blocks
- Dowels for fish line reels
- fins
- trophies
- Alaia Blanks
- Clocks                                                                                                                  - Artists panels for painting                                                                                     - Burning balsa to create a charcoal is great for growing orchids and many other exotic plants                                                                                                           - Set building for movies, adverts, commercials for break up of furniture, walls, floors, roofs

-Bee Hives

- Kitchens

-Instrument cases

- 4x4 car and caravan building

- Co 2 car racing