Different Materials For Surfboards…

Different Materials For Surfboards…

I’d like to hear about all the different materials you have used, or plan on using for surfboard construction. Please include kite boards, body boards, skim boards, etc.

Here’s my pathetic list:.

Have used:

  1. Standard Clark Foam Blanks, Poly Resin (just the old norm; some were great, some barked.)
  2. 1# EPS Block Foam, 1/16" Balsa Skin, ½" Balsa Rails (basic Compsand; I liked each and every one, one is my best board ever. )
  3. 1# EPS Block Foam, 1/8" Luaun Door Skin, 8# Pour Foam Rails (on the cheap; 2 boards like this, completely flat bottom left me wanting more.)
  4. Hollow Wooden, 1/8" Luaun Door Skin, 8# Pour Foam Rails (Kayak Stitch and Glue style, dead in the water, now a coffee table.)

Want to use:
  1. Blue Dow Foam, Bamboo Weave Skin
  2. Blue Dow Foam, 1/8" Luaun Door Skin
  3. Standard PU Blank, 1/16" Balsa Skin, ½" Balsa Rails
  4. Bamboo veneer skin
  5. Yoga Mat vac’d to the deck
  6. EVA Foam Skin
  7. Devinalcel
  8. Bamboo Cloth

What’s the good, the bad, and the ugly for these different materials?

As far as I know,

Standard Blanks are fast and easy

Balsa Compsands take forever to make, but ride unreal

Door Skin can’t get into the compound curves for subtle bottom contours

Hollow Woodens are more of a curio deal, unless you’re Danny Hess.

Blue Dow Foam is reportedly waterproof

Bamboo Weave is stiff

Bamboo Veneer is a myth, no body has it in stock

Yoga Mats make me do the Upward Facing Dog, and that makes me feel silly

EVA Foam is easily available in too small of sheets

Devinalcel is expensive

Bamboo Cloth seems like it sucks up resin to no end

Ends up all these materials get finished in much the same way…That is with some type of Fiberglass Cloth and Resin on the outside for a waterproof shell. That’s usually 1/3 of the cost for me to build a board.

Any ideas on these or other new materials for Surfboards?



Blue dow,

Lack of *memory and heat weakness are the two problem areas for myself with blue dow. Water resistence may be it’s best feature.

*edit: after compression: ding.

Who ever tried dried bread as foam core?

It should need some quality spackle,

But it is stiff as dried bread!


I know a guy made a board out of >4000 wine corks…

Which leaves do have the strongest fibers?

I have some dried corn cob leaves waiting for a fin.

Anybody tried palm leaves?


wine corks,

That would take me a while and I doubt if I could surf well after.

LMAO! I’ll help you with the bottles, but I won’t be too good either.

Didn’t someone make a paper based core once?

nice avatar,

i like it!

ive worked with mainly traditional materials but enjoy the challenge of working with new ones,

the fundamentals transfer across the Spectrum of materials.

at least in theory.

I did find some raw bamboo here in Japan, they are imported from China?? Doou! Seems crazy with all the bamboo around. It is 6’ long slats, about 2.75 wide, most have the curve. Looks very sandable is fibrous and tough. Making some for rails after I make the jigs. Bamboo is not very light. Lots of labor in the prep.

Rohacell as a skin on a compsand.

whos the supllier what sizes

the colour

keep us posted looks good


My understanding is that Rohacell comes in a bunch of flavors and densities. I only considered the IG - Industrial Grade, P - compressed for skis and the like and RIST / RIMA which are intended for resin infusion and is purported to limit resin uptake - the best way that I can describe it is they are presealed. There are other “flavors” for high frequeny and fire retardant, etc. I opted for the IG - Industrial Grade.

I wanted to compare it’s properties to Corecell A500, so I got 5 pound density which is Rohacell’s 71 (it’s in cubic Kg / M) in 3mm. My understanding is that Rohacell’s natural color is this bright white. I didn’t ask about any color options. The Rohacell in the picture is IG 71.

My source is TMI composites out of Salt Lake City, UT.


The stuff comes in 2 x 4 sheets, if you want a different dimension it’s a special order, with “special” fees. :slight_smile: I also had to sign a waiver before they would ship it. :slight_smile: The lead time on my small order was almost 8 weeks. The IG flavor doesn’t seem to like too much handling. It flakes or crumbles and leaves almost a dust like trail.

Just “seat-of-the-pants” comparison to Divinycell and Corecell, the Rohacell seems stiffer than Divinycell but less stiff than Corecell.

yea the white is the one i want

how does it feel to corecell

keep me posted how you go whith it

i shall try to get some


I know a guy made a board out of >4000 wine corks....

Really? I have a huge stash of corks (new, in bags, misprinted at the bottler) that are on the list as board materials… what was the story on your friend’s?

That foam looks pretty interesting. Do you know what thicknesses they offer (just thinking compsand skin thickness)? What thickness did you decide to go with?

the person who asked about leaves, agave and Yucca both have very strong fibers. The cool thing about agave is that it can be used as the core so a whole agave board(with the exception of resin) would be possible.

I honestly don’t know what thicknesses it comes in. I’ve seen it in 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 6.35 and 12.7 mm. I’m not sure if that is the extent of their product mix. I used 3mm, which is comparable to the 1/8" Divinycell H-80 and Corecell A500 in 3mm that I was comparing to. That thickness seems to offer good comformability without heat and adequate dent resistance…but my testing is very limited.

Yup, really. I’ve never seen the actual board (just pix), but someone bet he couldn’t do it, which was a mistake. He apparently took a stringer, then stacked on rows of corks gluing them down with gorilla glue which he mixed with glass microballoons (not sure how well this works, sounds messy…). He offset the stringer and put the fin box adjacent to the stringer. Can’t remember what he glassed it with, but he did sort of a hull shape. Said it came out OK, and he surfed it a little. Next time I see him, I’ll see if I can get more info/some pix.


Pix would be good…

My (feeble) plan is a hybrid style: Like Danny Hess, I was planning on making the rails first (!). Put a spreader between them at the point of max. width. And then start filling in with corks. Your basic press-fit, inside the formed rails, double-stacking if necessary. Hit them with the planer until the cork “blank” is down to the thickness of the first rail piece…

And, just as the cardboard-blank guys do it, pre-wet the glass on a sheet of plastic and (with a helper) transfer it over to the corks.

Really! I think its the next big thing!