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Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 07-31-2005, 01:57 PM   #1
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Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

Ronin & other fellow surfers, I have a newbie's question.

Our 8' fiberglass board has seen better days and the patches are starting to overlap each other. (I bought it used after extensive repairs.) In the spirit of "what are you saving it for?!?" I'm gonna treat myself to a new board.

Do you have any preference for epoxy or fiberglass? I'm going to try to ignore the $200 premium and go with the "better" board, whichever that is. I've heard that epoxy survives dings much better but I'm not sure whether the board is as buoyant or as flexible.

Side issue-- have you seen what CostCo is trying to do to the retail surfboard market with their "Realm" brand? They're flogging 9' longboards for $350 and shorter boards for even less. I haven't noticed one on the waves yet but I'm keeping my eyes open. If there's a quality difference, as long as my surfing technique is in the "pearls before swine" category I may not be able to tell the difference.
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 07-31-2005, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

Epoxy- Stiffer, lighter, less susceptable to dings depending on construction but more susceptable to damage if built very light, harder to repair. Not a surfer but 25 years of windsurfing

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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 07-31-2005, 03:36 PM   #3
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

The local shapers think the Costco boards are fine a threat. I'm thinking of picking one up one for a guest board (or maybe even my next one). Although the Realm is thinker and wider than what I typically use, and they don't have a mini-tanker.

We have a 9', 8' and 6'10. I'm usually on the 9', sometimes use the 8' and more rarely the 6'10 (much harder for me to catch waves on the small board, and I just love catching lots of waves!) All our boards are traditional glass. The 9' is still in fair shape after almost 4 years of heavy use. It's been repaired about 5 times. For windsurfing my boards are epoxy -- stiffness and weight are critical. I've never ridden an epoxy surfboard. I've heard that the ride is more 'harsh' which makes sense given it's stiffer. I'd like to try one. One disadvantage is that epoxy boards typically use open-cell foam (at least this is true for windsurf boards). If the board gets dinged, it sucks in water like a sponge. My surfboards use closed cell foam which doesn't take on much water. Once a board has taken on water it's ready for the dumpster.

If you demo an epoxy board let us know how it rides.
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 08-01-2005, 11:03 AM   #4
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

Nords, I've never ridden an epoxy surfboard.* So my opinion is based on the second hand comments of others.* Seems that they work ok.* People seem to like them.* Although I've never seen anyone become a convert.* They usually have a quiver of traditional glass boards and the epoxy is just kind of an oddity.* Never known anyone to get a second one.* Nothing like a new stick. They seem so lively.* *
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 08-01-2005, 11:32 AM   #5
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin
Nords, I've never ridden an epoxy surfboard.*
A guy from the dojang is selling his three-month-old epoxy 9', which I don't need, and for which he paid $800. I'm debating whether my two-year-old fiberglass 9' by Keola Rapoza is worth selling in exchange for the epoxy, but I know every inch of that board and I'm not convinced that I'd be trading up.

I think I'll be haunting CostCo for their 8' Realms.
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 08-01-2005, 02:49 PM   #6
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

Maybe your buddy would let you try out the epoxy so you could see how it performs?
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 08-01-2005, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin
Maybe your buddy would let you try out the epoxy so you could see how it performs?
Absolutely-- what else are friends for!?!
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?
Old 08-04-2005, 03:11 AM   #8
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Re: Fiberglass or epoxy surfboard?

Nords,

my answer comes from 25 years of funboarding (not surfing). Funboarding requires a lot from the board while jumping (and landing). I've broken all my boards but one. Most were epoxy made (polystyrene refinforced with plywood) and the only one which resisted is clarkfoam made (from Barland's basque coast) with standard resin but the stratif is made with carbon / kevlar.

So, the question is a triple issue: the foam, the resin (epoxy, etc.), the cloth (?) fiberglass or carbon / kevlar, other..

But, there's the look as well. Carbon / kevlar is very resistant but of an ugly green/yellow aspect. If you like nice patterns on the boards polystyrene/epoxy/plywood (to strengthen the middle) is the best.

Looking forward funboarding with you.

Patrice.
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