Updated: Nov 21
Surfboards, the main tool for riding waves, have undergone a remarkable evolution over the years. From traditional wooden boards to the high-tech materials of today, the composition of surfboards plays a pivotal role in a surfer's performance. In this post of "What Are Surfboards Made Of," we'll dive into the diverse materials that shape the modern surfboard landscape, understanding how each material affects the board's characteristics and, consequently, the performance of ones surfing.
Photo Courtesy of Surfline.com
What Are Surfboards Made Of
Overview: Wooden surfboards, reminiscent of the sport's early days, are crafted from various types of wood. Modern artisans use techniques that combine traditional craftsmanship with contemporary shaping methods, but are pretty rarely seen out in the line up today.
Impact on Performance: Wooden boards offer a unique feel, often praised for their aesthetics and the connection they provide to surfing's roots. They are suitable for riders who appreciate the nostalgic aspect of the sport.
Board Types: Wooden boards are versatile and can be shaped into various styles, from classic longboards to shorter, more maneuverable designs. The wooden board might be more common as a wall decoration than someones actual board in todays world.
Overview: Polyester resin is a type of synthetic resin widely used in the lamination process of traditional surfboards. It bonds with layers of fiberglass cloth to create a durable outer shell. This is likely the most common board you will see, especially someone riding a perfromance shortboard.
Impact on Performance: Polyester resin boards are known for their responsiveness and the classic "feel" underfoot. They are often favored by surfers who enjoy the traditional surfing experience.
Board Types: Commonly found in polyurethane (PU) foam-core boards, which are popular for their balance of weight and performance.
Epoxy Resin Boards
Overview: Epoxy resin boards have gained popularity in recent years for their strength, durability, and lightness. These boards use epoxy resin instead of polyester resin in the lamination process.
Impact on Performance: Epoxy boards are known for being buoyant and responsive, making them good for a wide range of surf conditions. They are often considered more forgiving for beginners and are typically very lightweight.
Board Types: Epoxy surfboards can vary in shape and design, catering to different skill levels and surfing styles.
Polyurethane (PU) Foam
Overview: PU foam is a type of foam core used in traditional surfboard construction. It provides the internal structure, shaping the board's overall design. Then the resin will be added.
Board Types: Commonly found in shortboards and high-performance boards designed for more critical maneuvers.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam Core
Overview: EPS foam is a lightweight, closed-cell foam often used as an alternative core material in surfboard construction.
Impact on Performance: EPS foam cores contribute to a lighter board, enhancing buoyancy and maneuverability. These boards are popular for small-wave conditions.
Board Types: EPS foam is often used in the construction of epoxy surfboards.
Surfboards are a very special thing to a lot of people, with each material contributing to the overall performance and experience of the ride. For a deeper understanding of surfboards and their diverse shapes, check out our guide to the 7 Types of Surfboards. Discover different surfboard types, and find the one that resonates with your surfing style.