Alternative surfboard construction. (who's doing it? and how do your rate there boards?)

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming started the topic in Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 3:25pm

Im starting this topic as a reference point for board builders that are making boards that are not traditional construction, (polyurethane foam and polyester resin)

Please share board makers big or small that are doing alternative builds and your thoughts or experience with there boards.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 4:00pm

The main obvious one.

Firewire in FST construction.

Had three of these boards now and I think there about three times more durable than a standard PU board, got two ive had for two years and surfed heaps and barely a ding on the bottom, deck barely sunk.

As light as a light to standard PU board and i personally think feel wise they are very similar in feel to PU or not enough difference for me to notice, definitely go just as good if good shape etc.

My rating on FST construction 9/10 honestly cant fault them.

Ada gula, ada semut!

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 4:14pm

Fire wire white rapid fire.

Had one, bit lighter than FST, like a very light PU board with a similar feel, durability wise to me only seem about as durable as a standard PU, still ding and deck dinted up pretty quick. (the bamboo deck rapid fire might be bit more durable, but id still rather spend a bit extra and get FST, plus the bamboo deck IMO looks cheap)

My rating on white rapid fire 7/10

Ada gula, ada semut!

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 3:35pm

Local built epoxy.

Similar weight wise and feel to FW rapid fire, more durable than standard PU board but not much more.

7/10

Ada gula, ada semut!

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 4:16pm

Surf tech

I came back from Indo with no boards and no money and my friend gave me one in dimensions and shape i love.

Similar in weight to standard PU, more durable but in a kind of brittle way, surprisingly I had some good surfs and turns on the board but it also felt horrible at times very stiff, fine in good clean waves fast, but any chop or bump and it was terrible felt every little bit of chop, they also look cheap and ugly, i think these boards have turned more people off epoxy boards than turned them onto them.

5/10

BTW. If i was to give a rating to the about x 30 PU boards ive had id give them a rating of somewhere between 5 to 7, generally think they feel and go good (depending on shape) but theres a huge draw back with PU in that they go great when lightly glassed but don't last long at all, while if glassed heavy and last longer it really affects performance.

The really negative in PU boards for me is durability, I now have four boards as my boards last, while when im riding PU im constantly turning over boards as they only last me 6 months to 2 years absolute max before they look and feel dead.

Ada gula, ada semut!

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 4:25pm

Anyone had any boards from any of these board makers below or others who make epoxy or timber surfboards?

Diverse- dyno core (Love to get one of these, they look nice, and sound durable)
http://diversesurf.com.au/board-finder/dynocore/

Josh dowling shape (look like complete works of art)
http://www.joshdowlingshape.com

Sonova (one of the developers/founders of firewire)
http://www.sunovasurfboards.com

Coil (usa) (enquired to get some sent over from US work out about same price as a new board here after frieight)
http://www.coilsurf.com

Hayden shapes, (seem popular, but talking to by local shaper/shop owner who sells these and seeing the ones in the second hand rack, don't seem as durable as FW,s so haven't been tempted to give one a go.)http://www.haydenshapes.com/page_var11

Any others? (particularly doing epoxy sandwich composite construction)

Ada gula, ada semut!

wesley's picture
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wesley commented Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 5:07pm

Well I've had a fantastic run with boards from Maurice Cole over the last few years. They are glassed with epoxy and they last. I'm heavy on my feet at about 95kg plus Christ knows how many kgs of thick rubber down here in the deep south. These boards spend a fair amount of time bouncing around in the back of my ute or the boat and are really hard to damage. Despite being a pretty average joe out in the surf, I'd like to think they have helped to improve my surfing too. Best boards I've ever had.

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anonymous1 commented Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 at 10:06pm

proctor surfboards - www.proctorsurf.com - US based shaper, read some good reviews, but $1200 odd price tag once you add shipping to AUS

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 9:13am

wesley wrote: Well I've had a fantastic run with boards from Maurice Cole over the last few years. They are glassed with epoxy and they last. I'm heavy on my feet at about 95kg plus Christ knows how many kgs of thick rubber down here in the deep south. These boards spend a fair amount of time bouncing around in the back of my ute or the boat and are really hard to damage. Despite being a pretty average joe out in the surf, I'd like to think they have helped to improve my surfing too. Best boards I've ever had.

Great shaper, never realised he did epoxy boards, but on his website says:

"I have used epoxy resins for over 20 years because of their lower toxicity and superior flex and strength"

Ada gula, ada semut!

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 9:22am

anonymous1 wrote: proctor surfboards - www.proctorsurf.com - US based shaper, read some good reviews, but $1200 odd price tag once you add shipping to AUS

Yeah looking at there website, they look a bit more expensive than a lot of other board builders in USA.

From Coil i got quoted $600 board base price + $200 for air cargo to OZ and about $50 extra if two boards, so $1,450 for two board (works out $725 each delivered)

All US dollar, not as attractive now the dollars dropped.

Also they seem super busy, up to six month wait in line, guys over at surfer mag forum rave about them though.

Ada gula, ada semut!

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manlysurfboards commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 11:55am

I own 3 tech boards.

Sunova 6'3'' Professional model full balsa composite. Bert Burger sold his tech to firewire. I bought this board because it looked like a wall hanger but it goes really well, great board for Indo, I don't think it'll snap easily. I met a guy who had a 7'2'' sunova and he'd ridden it in G-land for 5 seasons, so maybe 10 weeks+ G-Land, it looked brand new and hadn't snapped. They cost $1000, good value I think but terrible business model for bert selling such tough boards ha.

Diverse Dynocore 5'10'' WD. Multiple layers of different types of fiberglass glassed under vacuum. Light board, feels really alive underfoot, tough as construction. Mine has foot impressions shaped in, these boards don't dent easily. Australian made custom, probably the best tech boards in Australia next to Josh Dowling who builds Burt Burger style. This board is insane!!

Fiberflex, I've owned two. Boards go great because they are super light, that's it I reckon. At $900 these are the worst value surfboards you can buy since they are a stringerless eps blanks glassed lightly like a conventional surfboard. I broke both of mine, they snap easily, a rip off I believe.

If you bought any of these boards except the Fiberflex you're getting a tough long lasting board and you'd be stoked.

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reecen commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 11:57am

indo-dreaming I have had a few cracks on a couple of diverse boards, they went really well.
A mate had his leash snap in front of the rocks at Currumbin and his board was smashed all over the rock.
He got in and retrieved it expecting it to be mangled and there was hardly anything wrong with it.
I went and had a look at some boards at the shop and to demonstrate the durability of the dynacore they repeatedly smashed the corner of a paint scraper into the deck and it hardly made a mark.
Did the same to a standard board and it was stuck a couple of cm's into it first go.

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reecen commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 12:01pm

Oh and firewire, only owned one and creased it first surf. Happy to report I had it replaced.
A mate has also owned two firewires, snapped one doing a bottom turn and the other doing a cutback.

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udo commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 12:25pm

wasn't josh dowling director of of sunova at some stage ?

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mundies commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 2:28pm

Carbon fibre dick van straalen quad with hand shaped keel fins, about 8-10 years old. A bit heavy but so solid, no pressure dings or problems. Just wouldn't want to leave it in the sun cos its black. Great for down the line point-style waves. Not so good for waves where you need to be tight in the pocket and get some controlled tail release

mundies

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top-to-bottom-bells commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 3:24pm

I had a string of Firewire (2 x Dominator, El Fuego) and they lasted exceptionally well. Barely any marks on each one and I only got new boards cause I was getting bored, not because of the condition they were in. I stopped riding them due to price and also feel - I got a bit over the feel of them and wanted a PU ride again. Funny that?

I've ridden Hayden Future Flex but don't like the feel of them. Too light for my liking, hard to engage a rail and any sort of chop bounced the board about. I like the flex but not the weight. So if FF were made heavier I'd consider buying one. As it is I like my PU boards at the moment.

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markxxx commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 5:02pm

top-to-bottom-bells wrote:

I've ridden Hayden Future Flex but don't like the feel of them. Too light for my liking, hard to engage a rail and any sort of chop bounced the board about. I like the flex but not the weight. So if FF were made heavier I'd consider buying one. As it is I like my PU boards at the moment.

Try the heavy glassing option. I felt one up instore and thought they felt too light and flimsy so I ordered one with heavy glassing (6+4 deck). Added a little weight and no extra cost when ordering a custom. Added bonus 9 months later and the deck is holding up great.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 7:53pm

Yeah boards can be too light in chunky kind of waves, I remember reading about how Nev added weight into the nose of one of Tajs boards for a bells comp to get more added weight.

Its kind of a funny thing though because in theory going for a heavier glass job can actually change the compete feel of a board, not only weight wise, but also to the flex pattern of the board.

Ada gula, ada semut!

uplift's picture
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uplift commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 9:30pm

MartyLittlewood in WA does some great epoxies. But Cal Liddle in Yamba has made some genuine breakthroughs with them. No more worrying about vents, and dings sucking water.

http://www.aussieweb.com.au/business/cal+liddle+surfboards/1212040/

His are the most indestructable I reckon.

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woohcs commented Monday, 16 Dec 2013 at 10:16pm

Surfed a mates FST mini driver this year in indo for about 2 weeks, after ripping the tail fin out of my fav PU shortboard on day 1 of the trip. It felt great and was similar dims to my shorty...but...felt unpredictable...would hold a line and make it on one wave, then do same on next wave and sorta get bucked? almost chattery, but not? Just never felt like I could trust the board? Made the trip exciting in a random sort of way. Flex felt good...drive was great...but just something odd? feel is a very hard thing to get right, and I've found my local shaper after a few boards and many beers has dialed it in for me on PU boards. that being said, my mates FST is now nearly 1 1/2 years old, and when the wax is off, almost looks new. Can't say the ame for PU.
These different construction boards may be "all that", and very really are the way of the future, but IMO I think there is still a lack of understanding/experience/field testing...something...missing that X-factor. Looking at the sites posted above, looks like it's coming in leaps and bounds...maybe the grom shaping bay sweepers will be the ones to change an industry?

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udo commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 8:11am

uplift, enquired about cal liddles epoxys seems he stopped making those 4 or 5 years ago and now back doing pu boards only.
love the idea of a ding not sucking water in his epoxys.......I wonder why he stopped making them ?

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uplift commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 10:32am

Gidday Udo, no idea, did you talk to him? I know he worked with some of the pros, and used to get dissappointed when they (and others) would insist on the same dimensions as their pu boards, despite that resulting in a totally different board. And they couldn't experiment much, because of their commitments. The cost used to put people off also, despite them not being that much more and lasting a zillion times longer, which he would constantly try to explain. I'm guessing he got frustrated. Be interesting to know why though.

I still have one of his boards, maybe 11 years old, still in deluxe condition, and I surfed it on the west coast virtually everyday for years. I gave one to Mick in Elliston back then, and last time I saw it, it was like new. He used a very different foam, which didn't asorb water, didn't have the expansion problems, so you didn't have to worry about leaving them in the car, sun, etc, or if they did ding, could fix it at your leisure. Plus he glassed them with pigments in the resin, so the finish was much better than the others. He was so knowledgeable in the epoxy area, top shaper as well. A perfectionist.

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zenagain commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 11:30am

Uppity, do you know of any other shapers using this foam or technique?

I'd be very interested to look into something like that.

PS I'm all better now, thanks for your concern;)

Ignorance is Zen

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udo commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 12:13pm

zen, swaylocks has lots of info on foam blanks, in the u.s. home depot supplies a domestic foam insulation sheet- which they glue together...shape then glass with epoxy, not sure of effects of water entry via a ding few vids on utube of surfboard construction using this sheet foam. seems to be very popular.
dow Styrofoam XPS blue modeling foam.

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uplift commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 1:00pm

Thank goodness, zenny, I'll be extra carefull for a while, so as not to set you off again.

No, but he came across a foam that was used for for heavy duty refrigeration purposes, and so couldn't take up water, and had to be stable re the expansion thing. It was so light, and strong too, he could make them ridiculously light if he wanted to, for the tiny days up there. Or he could glass them up, really strong, without going too heavy if you wanted lightness. I loved them, but they are much stiffer, more lively, than the pu, and felt different, so some guys don't like it.

It would be worth contacting him, he had so much info/experience, although he can be hard to get, but he's a top guy.

I've been extra carefull for a while, and your tear ducts should be refilled by now, so I might take this opportunity. Although we just supposedly witnessed the most zomasing, rivetting, action packed, greatest surfing ever final, with the most zomasing pipe surfing ever, ever, ever seen, if you go to 2 mins 54 secs of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z60DP3ywCt0

Just give him the trophy. How's the switchfoot in the pit at around 4 min 20 secs.

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a360 commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 1:02pm

Epoxy is a better surfboard construction material generally until it snaps or has a few major dings.

Keep in mind this;
The typical surfboard owner does not want to pay the appropriate rate to get it repaired and I always say to them no probs mate send it back to china/Thailand (select country) and get them to repair it.
Yes they do not ding or snap as much but in our repair area it is typically 70% epoxy repairs over PU and with more of the epoxies sold this is only going to increase.
If we compare epoxy (Old BMW) to PU (Old Fords) which is more expensive to buy and what is more expensive to repair so we can see in a few years a glut of cheap s/h epoxies sitting in peoples sheds cause they are too expensive to repair.

Always another way to look at things and I do ride both resin systems.

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barstardos1 commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 5:00pm

I totally rate the futureflex/fiberflex boards from Hayden Shapes. Super light, extremely tough and an awesomely responsive flex.
I have had 3 of them now. The oldest I had for two years and surfed it almost daily. Very hard to ding, probably because of the toughness of the EPS foam. I did think it was almost impossible to snap, however a recent experience in Samoa showed me that in some situations no board can survive. A slabbing double overhead + wave on a long period swell and you are in exactly the wrong place as wave of the day draws almost dry on the reef - it was enough to crack the carbon fiber rails and create a massive double crease across the middle of the board. I had hoped it was repairable but the double crease was too hard to get the bottom rocker right.
I saving my pennies for another futureflex because I think they last much better than anything else I have surfed.

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zenagain commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 6:58pm

Gnarly clip uppity, shame JOB didn't get to surf this year in the pipe masters. You've got me all misty again.

I really like the sound of that foam as I'm pretty much on epoxys exclusively and like the idea of being able to get a small ding and not have to attend to it then and there.

Indo mentioned firewires, I've got a couple of those and after 3 years, despite a litttle yellowing they're good as new. They probably wouldn't yeallow as much if I didn't leave them in the car 24/7.

Ignorance is Zen

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wesley commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 8:51pm

Am I allowed to mention The Inertia, Stu? There is an interesting thing on there about board construction.

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 8:59pm

Do the Pro's surf these boards....?
TB used too. (Firewire)
Anyone got some answers to that theory please.
Wesley mention Inertia , Stu's in bed asleep mate.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 9:03pm

Wikipedia "Inertia"
Quote "Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its motion (including a change in direction). In other words, it is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant linear velocity."

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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zenagain commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 9:08pm

I think Michel Bourez is on Firewires Welly and Filepe Toledo too.

Ignorance is Zen

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 9:26pm

Just wondering champ.
Cheers
:)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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uplift commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 10:05pm

Gidday zenster, if you wanted to, you could get hold of Cal through Dahlberg I reckon, as they used to work together. Years ago I ordered a board for maxing blacks, a heavily rockered 8' 2", and Rod Dahlberg was frothing on making it. It turned out a deluxe blacks specialty board, a full on one wave board, not much use anywhere else. Then years later I met Cal through a mate from Angourie, and wanted an epoxy version from him, and it was a classic scenario. They spilled their guts that Rod Dahlberg ended up piking shaping it at the last minute, and as Cal had just got back from doing boards in Hawaii, got him to do the thing. I gave the epoxy copy to Mick, who's back was totally caving in then, to try and keep him psyched and surfing. He loved the thing so much it convinced him to visit that guy I always mention, and his unfixable back was fixed. He's still surfing today. Cal made me a 6' 8" that became an all time favourite. His are/were so deluxe, because you can have them for years, and when you know the things backwards, they are still in perfect condition. Whereas the pu's just disintegrate under your feet, right when you would love them to last forever.

That JOB clip, insane charging, every bottomless, wind swept, ugly, chunky, warping bomb, total commitment, total forward driving, weighting, full bore driving down them. And all In the midst of the foaming, frothing, the best, super competent, agro pack. Supreme skill and confidence. His version of attack is the best defense 101. Even more amasing than zomasing... if thats at all possible. Cry me a river, and I'll cry a river for you, zo to speak.

unwellingness, one thing Cal talked about heaps was as I mentioned, that the pros, I'm pretty sure he said Egan was one he was working with, maybe Fanning, but can't really remember, just couldn't afford to experiment, and couldn't get their head around different materials needing pretty different design/dimensions. Plus he hated going up to the goldy.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 10:34pm

wellymon wrote: Do the Pro's surf these boards....?
TB used too. (Firewire)
Anyone got some answers to that theory please.
Wesley mention Inertia , Stu's in bed asleep mate.

From the top 22 Michel Bourez and Filipe Toledo both ride for Firewire, Taj is said to still ride them at times, Sally fitzgibbons also rides them and a few other rippers like Timmy reyes, Stu kennedy.

Kellys ridden epoxys in comps before.

Dont know if there is anymore guys on tour ridding epoxys?

I think theres lots of reasons why they often don't .

Basically epoxy boards advantage is durability, pros aren't concerned with durability as much as a guy who's paying full price for boards and has a wife looking over his shoulder on how many boards his buying.

Pros number one priority is performance, hence why there boards are often glassed so light, thats not to say epoxy boards cant or don't go as good as PU boards, but most guys have grown up surfing PU boards and know them and know what they like, its a safe bet, going to epoxy puts in another unknown factor, if the board doesn't go as expected, instantly it is because its epoxy, seen and heard it many times guys ride an epoxy board once and don't like the board so instantly think the reason they don't like it is because its epoxy and will then say, i don't like epoxy boards they go crap, when in reality it could have been plenty of other reasons.

Also I think there is a degree of relearning almost when you make the change, for example if you got two boards shaped exactly the same one PU one epoxy they won't go the same and may have a totally different feel, so sometimes its like a step back before going forward again, its almost like the rules have been changed.

Also i guess most shapers don't do epoxy boards, so its often not an option.

Ada gula, ada semut!

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wellymon commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 at 1:17pm

Cheers Indo, an interesting thread you have posted. Sounds like you've got some first-rate knowledge in this area, you obviously have had many a surf board. I don't know too much about them as I've never had one, always had PU brds.
Its funny cause I've been talking to a few mates the last few days about the epoxy brds. Both of them have surfed for years and have good skills in the water. One mate swears by his Firewire had it for 3 years not a single ding etc. The other mate can't stand them as he reckons they don't feel right from not being hand shaped, a weird vibe or superstition..?

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 at 7:08pm

wellymon wrote: Cheers Indo, an interesting thread you have posted. Sounds like you've got some first-rate knowledge in this area, you obviously have had many a surf board. I don't know too much about them as I've never had one, always had PU brds.
Its funny cause I've been talking to a few mates the last few days about the epoxy brds. Both of them have surfed for years and have good skills in the water. One mate swears by his Firewire had it for 3 years not a single ding etc. The other mate can't stand them as he reckons they don't feel right from not being hand shaped, a weird vibe or superstition..?

Ha ha..i dont know about that, i don't know that much about it really, but ive talked to my local shaper a fair bit on the subject they also stock, Firewires and Haydens, i actually use to work there fixing dings as a grom, so he tells me exactly how it is, my best mate also managed the same shop for about ten years so got to ride/test heaps of boards all the time, but im far from an expert on boards.

Ive gone through the transition of going from PU to Epoxy boards, at first i just wrote them off especially firewires, thinking like lots of guys there just pop outs, but then a mate working in a surf shop convinced me to have a go on them (test board) i did and hated the board, then i just went through a stage about 2 years where my boards were just falling apart and constantly turning over boards, which was frustrating especially when its a board you love, I then saw a brand new unused FW for sale in the second hand board rack for $500,(some guy won it in a comp) i really liked the shape and dimensions, and just thought screw it i will give it a go if i dont like it i can sell it as wont loose much if anything as the board retail is $920, anyway i bought it and loved it one of the best boards ive ever had, two years latter its still water tight, no dings on bottom and deck is only a little dimply from duck diving knee etc, but it is going yellow, now i would never buy a PU i have three other firewires, but im totally open to other brands/shapers, its just I'm totally happy with the feel and durability of FW in FST construction.

BTW. obviously everyone is different but for me there is another factor in regards to durability, when my boards are new or new looking, i feel real good about my boards and amped to surf them, but when they start getting dings on the bottom or cracks in tail or rail or that old look or feel, it kinda bums me out and i lose a positive outlook to surfing which affects how much i surf or even how i surf.

Ada gula, ada semut!

udo's picture
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udo commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 at 7:21pm

stealth epoxies on ebay ......firewire copies obviously made offshore anyone bought one, selling like hotcakes online.....board +boardbag+tailpad +fins ...but wait theres more + a legrope $ 350. WTF whos bought/ridden one ?????

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udo commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 at 7:52pm

stealth raptor epoxies on ebay ......firewire spitfire copies obviously made offshore anyone bought one, selling like hotcakes online.....board +boardbag+tailpad +fins ...but wait theres more + a legrope $ 350. whos bought/ridden one ?????

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stunet commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 at 8:01pm

I'm curious too. Been watching them come up with increasing frequency and I've been tempted. 

Anyone bought one? Anyone know someone who's bought one..?

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wellymon commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 at 8:36pm

indo-dreaming wrote:
wellymon wrote: Cheers Indo, an interesting thread you have posted. Sounds like you've got some first-rate knowledge in this area, you obviously have had many a surf board. I don't know too much about them as I've never had one, always had PU brds.
Its funny cause I've been talking to a few mates the last few days about the epoxy brds. Both of them have surfed for years and have good skills in the water. One mate swears by his Firewire had it for 3 years not a single ding etc. The other mate can't stand them as he reckons they don't feel right from not being hand shaped, a weird vibe or superstition..?

Ha ha..i dont know about that, i don't know that much about it really, but ive talked to my local shaper a fair bit on the subject they also stock, Firewires and Haydens, i actually use to work there fixing dings as a grom, so he tells me exactly how it is, my best mate also managed the same shop for about ten years so got to ride/test heaps of boards all the time, but im far from an expert on boards.

Ive gone through the transition of going from PU to Epoxy boards, at first i just wrote them off especially firewires, thinking like lots of guys there just pop outs, but then a mate working in a surf shop convinced me to have a go on them (test board) i did and hated the board, then i just went through a stage about 2 years where my boards were just falling apart and constantly turning over boards, which was frustrating especially when its a board you love, I then saw a brand new unused FW for sale in the second hand board rack for $500,(some guy won it in a comp) i really liked the shape and dimensions, and just thought screw it i will give it a go if i dont like it i can sell it as wont loose much if anything as the board retail is $920, anyway i bought it and loved it one of the best boards ive ever had, two years latter its still water tight, no dings on bottom and deck is only a little dimply from duck diving knee etc, but it is going yellow, now i would never buy a PU i have three other firewires, but im totally open to other brands/shapers, its just I'm totally happy with the feel and durability of FW in FST construction.

BTW. obviously everyone is different but for me there is another factor in regards to durability, when my boards are new or new looking, i feel real good about my boards and amped to surf them, but when they start getting dings on the bottom or cracks in tail or rail or that old look or feel, it kinda bums me out and i lose a positive outlook to surfing which affects how much i surf or even how i surf.

I hear ya there Indo, It took me years to learn how to look after my surf boards, I think I learn't from keeping my snowboards in primo condition, ie razor sharp edges, the base in perfect condition and always waxed.
I got a shaper from Northern beaches Neil Wheeler (Hot Wheels) to shape me a board 3 years ago, his refined "Pig" style 6'3" chunky square tail with a little round in it, flat bottom with vee in the tail. Great brd, love it, goes like a rocket in all sorts of waves from 2-6ft.
It still looks brand new to my amazement!, saying that pride had gone into shaping and the glassing.
I'm down that line as well about having a nice clean looking board no dings etc, positivE Mind, positive surf :)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

wesley's picture
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wesley commented Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 at 9:13pm
stunet's picture
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stunet commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 at 3:14pm

Hey, no need to apologise Wes. They've got their faults but they've also got good qualities too: Ted Endo's writing for one, and also articles like this that occassionally get run.

Thanks for the heads up, it was well worth a read.

udo's picture
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udo commented Saturday, 21 Dec 2013 at 8:12pm

that inertia article was a very good read.
back to the ebay stealth epoxies...a 6'4 sold for $350 with all extras any one like to guess how much these might cost to make offshore ? duty to pay entering the country......cant get my head around the profit margin .......volume of sales maybe?
and where they might be made....Thailand or china ?

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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 at 9:43pm

udo wrote: that inertia article was a very good read.
back to the ebay stealth epoxies...a 6'4 sold for $350 with all extras any one like to guess how much these might cost to make offshore ? duty to pay entering the country......cant get my head around the profit margin .......volume of sales maybe?
and where they might be made....Thailand or china ?

No idea..but cant imagine them selling that many.

Ada gula, ada semut!

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indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 at 9:45pm

Heres another Aussie shaper messing around with epoxy tech http://nickblairshapes.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/karboload-epoxy-technolog...

Ada gula, ada semut!

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rihale commented Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 at 10:13pm
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tonka commented Friday, 20 Dec 2013 at 11:41am

indo-dreaming wrote: Anyone had any boards from any of these board makers below or others who make epoxy or timber surfboards?

Diverse- dyno core (Love to get one of these, they look nice, and sound durable)
http://diversesurf.com.au/board-finder/dynocore/

Josh dowling shape (look like complete works of art)
http://www.joshdowlingshape.com

Sonova (one of the developers/founders of firewire)
http://www.sunovasurfboards.com

Coil (usa) (enquired to get some sent over from US work out about same price as a new board here after frieight)
http://www.coilsurf.com

Hayden shapes, (seem popular, but talking to by local shaper/shop owner who sells these and seeing the ones in the second hand rack, don't seem as durable as FW,s so haven't been tempted to give one a go.)http://www.haydenshapes.com/page_var11

Any others? (particularly doing epoxy sandwich composite construction)

I've had a Josh Dowling board. Wasn't really happy with the shape but the construction of his boards are truly something to behold. Though I only had it for a short time, I reckon they'd be extremely durable and are still pretty light.

Running with two xtr/epoxy boards from a local shaper these days. Even with a 6/4/6 glass job, it's still a fair bit lighter than a PU board of the same dimensions and feels better, IMO, compared to EPS. blanks.

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stunet commented Friday, 20 Dec 2013 at 11:57am

As above, any info on Diverse Dynocores would be appreciated. What do they do differently? Upsides? Downsides? Been curious for a while.

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udo commented Friday, 20 Dec 2013 at 12:06pm

Tonka was your josh dowling a custom order ? first negative I have heard re joshs shapes.

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scotty123456 commented Friday, 20 Dec 2013 at 10:28pm

Interesting topic this.

Quite a bit more interest about of late in the different construction technologies, which is great.

Apologies if somebody else has already covered this point (I didn't have time to read all the posts just now), I'd say issue the biggest issues are; does the board design work / does the design suit the user and/or conditions, before the tech even comes into it.

I have seen more than a few buy boards, in a construction other than PU, unsuited to the local conditions and/or their skill level. Then blaming the board tech when it doesn't work, when really that's the last thing to point a finger at.

On a few occasions I have been fortunate enough to test different model boards in PU and then in an alternate construction. I found, where the design was sound and suited to conditions, you could really pick up on the strengths of PU v Epoxy etc. and a preference for one tech over the other.

My boards are now mostly Futureflex construction. I found the Haydenshapes designs suit me. No issues with the tech. I find the boards more durable than PU boards I have owned and, as a nice benefit, they still feel as 'alive' years later as when they were new. I find after the first 6 months or so, PU boards start to feel less lively than when new.

I have tried older versions of the Firewire tech and it didn't suit me. Tried the older Surftech models. They really didn't suit me. They felt really stiff and unresponsive. Both the Firewire and Surftech boards seemed pretty durable, but of course none of the techs are unbreakable.

My first venture away from the still standard PU constructed boards was via the purchase of a board made with a 'Salomon S-Core' blank. Anyone remember them? The blank was custom shaped by Sel Van Wyk. Loved that board. Really light and responsive with an added bonus of being more durable than the PU boards I had been riding. Being a little ahead of the market pricing at the time may have been one of the factors in their demise. At nearly $1000 a board when they hit the market, where not much else was, couldn't have been great for their longevity. I surfed a few different models / designs of boards in the S-Core tech. Thing is - as much as I loved the board shaped by Sel, none of the other designs from different shapers suited me at all. If I had of surfed them first I would probably never have continued to try different tech boards once the S-Core blanks left the market trying to find something that felt similar or better.

Anyway, enough blah from me. Stoked on the Futureflex boards, couldn't be happier.