Carbon Surfboards...

Here’s a link to a guy who appears to be something different. Using full fledged aircraft technology (not just the materials) he’s using carbon/epoxy to glass his boards. Apparently using heat (autoclave) and pressure to cure. Looks like a Becker Surfboard in a picture on the website so he must have tried it. Murdo is also willing to perform quantitative load testing free if your board evens tests half as strong. I can already hear the sceptics (“too stiff”, etc.) but before you guys kick in with a “Fat Penguin” dismissal of anything different, check it out! I’'ve invited Murdo to S.A. 2004 and hope to check out his boards in person.

This guy came by my shop awhile back, wanted me to shape boards for him. He wanted to market them under his logo/name. Not a shaper, designs aero parts and gadgets. I think the costs became too prohibitive. He has access to/uses a large autoclave for other aero parts, wanted to throw in some extra parts into the autoclave since his aero parts were so small.

John, In regards to load strength, Murdos process makes perfect sense... optimum use of the best materials to achieve maximum rigidity. He makes the valid point that fiberglass loses its flexibility and memory every time it is ridden. I noted his reference to the non-degradation of carbon graphite in extended performance, as being one of the main reasons its used in jet fighter wings, golf shafts and fly rod fishing poles. Ironically, all things which are NOT rigid, and rely on tuned flex for their performance. It would be fascinating to see what he could do with surfcraft designed to exploit longitudinal and torsional flex, instead of just load strength.

they are actually cheaper than I would have guessed.

Before anyone suggests that carbon is too stiff, Dick Brewer once told me that the stiffer a board is, the better it rides. I’m not sure I agree completely but there are things which have not been reasonably (scientifically) studied and flex is one of them. I do believe that carbon has a place in surfboards… soon.

Karl Pope - Carbon and Kevlar

well, I just e-mailed the guy to see about the process of having a board made, ie, having an old favorite duped with his technology.will keep those who are interested posted.

I think the stiff days the catch word was “positive” the flex guys were another camp down the beach…no not bunker…I think the flex guys were decendants of the paipo nui plywood … geneology…mmmmmmmmmmmflex I need a shaft fir a 7’daddle any input? the ones im requesting from the windsurfing surplus bank arent materializing…somebody must make good better best ones?..ambrose

There’s a guy in the uk using polypropylene foam stiffened with a carbon fibre stringer glassed with spectra (i think a kind of carbon fibre). I rode one for about a year and a half - the best thing ive ever stood on. It was stronger than normal boards and stiffer too - I think that the stiffness helped paddling and the board - it was super responsive wrt turning too. I make my own now so durability ain’t really an issue. I will get another when i can afford one! Checkout

for a carbon paddle shaft - see if there’s rowing club or something nearby. The oar shafts these days are carbon fiber.

My thoughts on using carbon fiber for a surfboard are not that it’s too stiff, as you can use less to allow flex, but the speed of springback. It springs back from the flex too fast. It doesn’t feel right, like it’s springing back before I want it too. Fiberglass feels perfect. I think carbon fiber works for golf clubs because the action is much faster and is more compatible with the speed of the springback of the carbon fiber.

Kenz, I think your right on the money. Faster spring = more power. But then didn’t Greenough say that … mmmmmmmmm … 30 years ago?

I am sure GG has flex down without question! I checked out his windsurfers about 10 yrs ago and he was raving about that paddle fin-how in 15 ft face waves he was projecting off the bottom with ease and speed to burn.he had a step deck to keep his weight off the flex area —really cool stuff.Too bad more peaple havn’t really taken his stuff where it could be now!

George’s carbon spoons had plenty of flex/life in them-sure alittle different than the flex of volan, but “alive” nonetheless…

I was talking to an aircraft fire/rescue guy a couple years ago. He told me that when a composite aircraft burns, the fibers released (and I guess the fume too) are extraordinarily toxic. The ARFF crew will erect a water spray curtain to “bring down” and contain the smoke/fume/fibers. This has me thinking that sanding carbon, such as fins, lams, laps, etc. will produce a very toxic dust, with fibers possibly in the range of asbestos. I wear a dual cartridge respirator with two HEPA filters. The last carbon board that came to me (broken in two pieces) I refused to patch, citing health hazard. Besides, the owner was a major whining asshole. Further, if it was so strong, why’d it break? Well only the bottom was lammed with it, maybe that’s all; I dunno what resin, either. Let’s see about the health aspects before we jump onto the carbon bandwagon (as if the cost wasn’t enough to keep most of us away).

Yeah ,I have heard when carbon saiboat masts break -THEY EXPLODE!! and keep exploding for a while afterwards.???

Hey Good posts all the way thru. Greenough’s boards flexed without carbon. I have broken about 20 carbon fiber masts, and they shatter, not explode or implode. Carbon need hi tech to stay glued. By itself, very little dent resistance, very little ding resistance.

I wonder if the carbon shatters 'cos, like glass ( plate glass, that is ) and unlike steel or some other materials the stuff doesn’t elongate very much before failing. Thus, when one fiber breaks, there’s lots of others nearby that are immediately tensioned to their max, so it fails ‘catastrophicly’…and I am sure I misspelled that.

Thats why carbon graphite is often wrapped with Kevlar. It helps retain the carbons splintering from sudden failure.

Ah, right, probably helps with abrasion too. Thanks.