Strong, flexible, and lightweight, epoxy surfboards cater to the progressive performance now seen in the world of surfing.
Check out the selection of Epoxy Surfboards on Boardcave to find your next shred stick, and if you wish to instil yourself with the essential knowledge of what an epoxy surfboard is, the pros and cons of this innovative construction, and the differences between other types of surfboard materials; then keep on reading!
Surfboard technology has come a hell of a long way since the conception of the first surfboard. Nowadays, you will find two major types of performance surfboards in the water: Epoxy and traditional polyester (PU).
Today, we're going to focus on epoxy surfboards- arguably to some the latest and greatest surfboard material to hit the water.
Epoxy surfboards are shaped with a type of foam blank known as expanded polystyrene foam, or EPS foam. Small beads of polystyrene are first expanded with steam and then fused together with pressure, thus creating an open-cellular foam that allows for high amounts of buoyancy while remaining extremely lightweight.
Just think of the bead-like composition of coolers, and the surfboard blanks are very much the same in foam structure and cellular makeup.
Once the EPS blank is shaped, it is then covered with a fibreglass cloth to reinforce strength and layered with epoxy resin to create the final product: a more durable, lightweight, and buoyant surfboard versus traditional polyester counterparts.
When looking for a new board, understanding the benefits of epoxy surfboards versus polyester surfboards will help you direct your decision.
The lighter the surfboard, the easier it is to whip around in the water for progressive turns and airs, and the faster you can pump down the line.
Epoxy surfboards are the lightest on the market, and a majority of the modern, radical manoeuvers you now see performed are often a result of this lightweight technology.
The strength of epoxy surfboards is admirable. These things are true water-warriors, the EPS construction matched with fibreglass and epoxy resin, creating a far more durable surfboard than traditional poly boards.
The durability makes it so that your epoxy surfboard:
The open-cellular nature of EPS foam blanks creates extremely buoyant surfboards. Buoyancy will help you to paddle with ease, both into the lineup and into waves, catch smaller waves, and cruise right on through mushy sections with speed.
Epoxy resin surfboards are super stiff. This stiff nature creates an extraordinarily snappy and fast feel when locking into a tight snap on the lip, and many surfers find this to be a massive advantage to progressive surfing.
The qualities above make epoxy surfboards a go-to choice for beginner surfboards. Their buoyancy helps beginners to effortlessly paddle into waves, especially when riding a epoxy longboard surfboard, and their durability gives them a surfboard that will last through the entire learning curve.
EPS blanks and epoxy surfboards are much more environmentally friendly and safer versus polyester construction due to fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds). And as surfers, why wouldn't we want to do everything we can to protect our sacred ocean?
Although there are plenty of benefits, epoxy surfboards do, of course, present some drawbacks, and because of such, many surfers stay true to their polyester boards.
Epoxy surfboards are more expensive than a polyester counterpart, and because of this, both stock surfboards off the rack and custom surfboards shaped with an EPS core will have a bit higher of a price tag.
Surfers who enjoy specific customisations will often have a shaper utilise polyester instead.
The lightweight nature of epoxy surfboards can be a great benefit to some, depending on the conditions and the surfer, but this may also act as a con to others.
A surfboard that is too light will feel bouncy when riding over bumpy sections, and these surfboards are more susceptible to being blown away when hucking a big air in windy conditions.
You simply have to learn which conditions require a heavier surfboard and alternate through your quiver accordingly.
Epoxy surfboards sit higher on the water when paddling and riding. This increased buoyancy is extremely helpful but may also create difficulties in digging the rails deep into the face for progressive turns.
A majority of epoxy surfboards are pumped out of a machine. Although this creates a, quite literally, perfect surfboard, some miss the touch of a shaper and the personalisation that comes from the classic method of shaping a surfboard.
Although epoxy surfboards and epoxy resin surfboards are more durable than polyester, dings are still inevitable with time.
Epoxy surfboard repair is slightly more specific than that of polyester. A polyester blank can be repaired with both epoxy and polyester resin, whereas an EPS blank can ONLY be repaired with epoxy resin, so keep that in mind when looking at epoxy surfboard ding repair.
Whether you're looking for an epoxy longboard surfboard or a new shortboard to whip around, there's a ton of available options.
Epoxy Surfboard materials, technology, and design have constantly been evolving over time, with many shapers introducing new high-performance construction methods that offer different performance characteristics.
Haydenshapes and their Future Flex construction is a popular option, along with Hydroflex's 3D Glassing techniques that can be seen on many brands models including Album Surfboards, and many more. Both these advanced construction options incorporate an EPS foam blank and Epoxy Resin, but use different fibreglass and carbon combinations resulting in ultra-high performance flex properties and strength.
Because epoxy surfboards are great for beginners, a beginner surfer may question whether they should start with a standard foamy or go straight for an epoxy surfboard.
Because epoxy surfboards are more expensive, a new surfer might want to ensure that surfing is something he/she wants to continue pursuing by learning on a foam board before investing in an epoxy board.
Foamies are a lot less intimidating, and are one of the best ways to get the hang of surfing before attempting to master the performance derived from epoxy surfboard counterparts.
That being said, after learning on a foam surfboard, an epoxy surfboard is the best next step compared to a polyester surfboard for a beginner, and we have all the info you need to choose your first surfboard in our latest guide, a beginners guide to buying surfboards.
Although epoxy surfboards are incredible, there's a heck of a lot to be said for a good ol' PU shape.
It comes down to who you are as a surfer, your skill level, the types of waves you ride, and what you look for in terms of performance.
If you're still wondering the differences between a traditional polyester surfboard and an epoxy surfboard, keep in mind the pros of epoxy surfboards and read our article on PU vs. epoxy surfboards for more information.
Then, utilise our patent-pending Board Engine to find the surfboard of your dreams!