D.O.D. Composite Materials Handbook link...

Holy crap… if you thought that Lindsay Lord’s “Naval Architecture of Planing Hulls” was some dry reading, you ain’t seen nothing.  Here is the Department of Defense’s handbook (529 pages worth) on all things composite related - as only the Department of Defense can do it.  None of it surfboard specific but at least some of it may apply.    


Coming soon… Milspec surfboards, starting price - $10,000.

thank you, i find what i’ll read those last evenings, cool ! 

i read many technical documents like this to wright my mechanics thesis. i still have to for my day job but I like that much than all other kind of books or TV programs, that’s scared my wife LOL…

Just finished building my first compsand, paulownia skins over Eps foam.

My plan for my next build is to try balsa composite construction.

When I was researching I came across the ‘tech ingredients guy’ on youtube where he demonstrates end grain balsa composite construction (grain runs perpendicular to the glass layers) and it got me thinking has anyone tried putting this type of tech on the deck of a surfboard.

It  looks to be even stronger than running the balsa grain in the other direction (nose to tail).


Also came across this doco on youtube about the type of light weight aluminium composite construction they use on large aeroplanes.

Airbus A380 Richard Hammonds engineering connections.



End grain balsa has been used on boards but it might be more difficult than it appears in that video.  A small panel is one thing.  A complex curved structure like a surfboard might be far more tricky.

Here is an example of a board with EGB incorporated in the tail area.


Fair point.

But what about just putting  end grain balsa composite under the high impact areas on the deck and run the grain nose to tail in other areas.

I recently removed the deck grip off a 23 year old  board, a strong board with 2 layers of 6 oz on the deck  and I noticed the deck was much more caved in on the left side of the stringer from front and back foot heel impact.

I was also checking out one of the Sunova surfboards videos where Burt shows how to repair a deck delamination caused by his knee.

In the video he shows that the outside layer of glass has come away from the balsa, but the underside layer of glass is still adhered to the balsa and the blank.

If end grain balsa composite was used in this area you could adjust the thickness of the epoxy mix to allow a degree of wicking and therefore bond the outside layer of glass to the inside layer of glass and reduce the possibility of delamination.

Here is the Sunova vid.




end grain balsa is more and more use in composits, baltek sell end grain panels. you can find it on bottom sandwich of some starboards tech. sunova make resin connection, groves, on is deck balsa panels to increase balsa deck strength. edit: ok just look sunova vid, this one have grooves but delam, you can see it also dents. Bert is really heavy because his wood sandwich deck are firm.

The date shows it’s already 17-20 years old. I wonder what the most recent handbook covers.

A balsa specialist in my area produces very thin endgrain balsa sheets for composite construction, and from what I saw they are very easy to lay over curves. It’s more like leather than veneer. But that stuff is very expensive… 80 per m ² for the 1mm sheets, if I remember it right…