In this article ,we will talk about deck "Wear and Tear" and why surfboards snap or crease and what you can do to reduce it .
Getting a new surfboard is up there on one of the better days in life ! But footwells , depressions ,pressure dings , marks whatever you call them , kind of suck to most . However a lot surfers especially at the elite level, embrace them as it helps you find the sweet spot and that particular board . One pro surfer back in the day actually had footwells "shaped" into the blank on his brand new boards, to give him that instant familiarity with his boards .
But the reality is if you want to surf "well"and push your ability a lightly weighted board you will get the most out of your surfing . And there lyes the trade off , lightweight performance over durability and a long lasting surfboard .
Carbon Innegra composites, some of the strongest materials on Earth !
Board today are constructed in two main material PU (polyurethane) and Epoxy (EPS) foams, PU being the original foam used, Epoxy is newer to the surfboard industry but well accepted . Fibreglass again we have Polyester and Epoxy resins dominating the market.
Without going down the rabbit hole of looking at which is stronger in Polyester or Epoxy resins , firstly let look at the "Blank" or the foam core !
Foam has little to no memory and its brittle as a stand alone material . So what that means, is that if you push on piece of foam the foam will not rebound to its original shape. In fact its brittle, PU is full of air and when you push on it essentially you are squashing it the air pockets . EPS has a closed cell hence when you push on it it tends to react by cracking or breaking because there is "no give". Both will have permanent visible damage.
Good Old PU with a little Carbon re-enforcing around the tail area.
Ok , so imagine your foot denting the deck every time you catch a wave , the amount of cloth (fibreglass) covering it is not really what stops the deck from denting , sure its relevant to a degree but essentially if the underlying core is soft as foam is then you going to trash your deck unless?
Well you could add more cloth and glass right ? Of course you could but as we talked about weight of surfboard is critical to go good ! Most boards today have lay ups of 6ounce and combination with 4 ounce on the decks , obviously the less cloth the lighter .Adding more cloth may protect the foam from denting but your board will probably weigh a ton and lack speed and drive and be slow to react etc . And in fact it may have no flex and actually snap easy than a lighter board !
Confused ? No flex , "no give" especially on the closed cell epoxy boards and "bang" the board construction can't deal with the flex or distortion produced by a wave and the board snaps in dramatic fashion . Often shredding the glass.
Epoxy boards are light and very white .
Often surfers are really surprised when they snap a board ! And find it hard to believe that that one particular wave broke there favourite shooter ! The reality is the damage was probably done earlier. Hairline cracks on or around your "laps" or rail line or even fin boxes create weak points , where water can penetrate . Most times it hard to notice these small cracks and you really need to look hard. These create structural weak points and as the board flexes and lets go this is how your board breaks in most cases. Breaking boards sucks and we build them to perform but also to last . Frustrated with breaking boards ? Give us a yell and we can point you in the right direction and get you off the "board breaking train".