Just got back from the composites engineering exhibition, some really interesting stuff there and a new hybrid surface material has been developed. Spread tow carbon / cork !!! there's even a weavers now that produces plain woven cork 0.1mm ish thick!!
The supplier wouldn't give any costs out at the show as there as different price brakes etc... but I have found a supplier of spread tow plain weave (10mm wide tows) that is pretty decent value (email / PM for details as I was asked to keep it from public domain)
The boards in the picture are from hydro kiteboards in italy I beleive. looked really cool and interestingly one of the boards had a sidewall that wall flexible like rubber rather than a hard polyurethene, they were also about 6mm at the tips and 10mm ish from the binding insert onwards.
I think it's just because it looks cool more than anything else it's sold primarily as a decorative cloth. Although the flat weave patters such as this and the spread tow carbon reduce print-through significantly and allow the surface to be flatter (take a look at an F1 wing or bodywork and you'll see they use it on the aero-surfaces)
Some of the stuff thats available now (for high end manufacturing) is literally out of this world and probably beyond anything you could imagine!
They had some cool stuff there such as Bloodhound SSC, the electric jag le-mans car, and a full size A380 (I think) undercaridge http://compositesexhibition.com/
There was also a stand with natural fibres that they'd used to make a snowboard (finishing layer) along with a bio-resin such as greenpoxy 55 (Sicomin) and a cork core to make a "green" snowbaord