EPS vs. PU-Longboard

I’ve been riding a Stewart 9.0 Colin McPhillips Pro model for a while. 9.0 X 22.73 X 2.75. I’ve gone through 6 of them, all PU, so I really like the shape but saw that they make them in EPS now. I love how they work but not how long they last. I ride aggressive and ride it most of the time like a short board. Mainly pushing it for maximum speed and hard cut backs to get back in the pocket and floaters or off the tops to finish it off. I do put a lot of pressure on the board. Specifically, how is the flex pattern on the EPS vs. PU. I like how the PU can take a nice bottom turn or drop and then springs into the wave down the line. Do you lose any of this with the EPS? Can you provide some insight on to how the EPS rides for a longboard and any other opinions, pro and con, would be greatly appreciated.

If handshaped EPS, it should be similar to PU, if they use heavier weights (like 3 lbs) except just a little livelier (this is all @ same dims), it lasts longer, it might have more spring or flex, but it all depends on how well versed Stewart or his ghost shaper and their glasser / sanders are at working with.

If its a surftech, I don’t bother with it if the surftech is the original (not T2). I rode a Robert August surftech and the PU version and the PU version rules the roost.

But if it is a surftech see if you can demo it, you may be one of those surfers that actually like the surftech, since your more into shortboardin.

No, this is not a surftech and I wouldn’t consider it if it was. I don’t like the hollow and stiff feeling of it. I’d rather sacrifice durability for performance anyday but I did have an ultralight version before and I really liked the lightness and how I could move it around but after a couple of months, it was done. No matter how good it is, 2 months for a LB is not good, unless you’re sponsored.

Most of Stewart’s team riders prefer the EPS/epoxy boards. I’ve got a 6’4" EPS S-Railed Fish that Bill gave me. That board works insane. Bill (and his crew) know how to do EPS/Epoxy. They’ve done tons of them.

By the way… Stewart doesn’t do Surftech. They have signed up with Boardworks, and Bill is going to help them with QC.


Check your PM.

Not all EPS boards are pop outs, this is indeed an issue. I have seen some pro boards done in eps and they are thin, real thin. Like 2 1/4 inch thick on 9’+ boards. Also they have really tight thruster fin layouts and are often rather narrow. I’ve seen em… but not here and not lately, I’ve seen em in South Africa, at Dave Stubbs’ shop and under the feet of his riders… impressive.

I have a 9’2" performance longboard that’s handshped EPS and it’s my go-to board for longboard conditions. Rides beautifuly. Light, snappy (for a longboard), and noserides great.

I can say a few things about it’s durabilty…

I buckled it by putting it nose first on my racks. Big mistake. Now the magic is gone, although it’s still ridable! I feel it hinging and bogging when I come off the bottom or when I’m in the barrel… too bad.

No delams, even where I knee paddle, which is pretty amazing.

On a really cold day I broke the fin box out (I’m talking New Jersey in February cold). Not sure how it happened, but I’m assuming that the fin hit the sand sideways by the way it broke out.

In agreement with Hiroprotagonist.

There are so many if’s… stringer flex, density of the PS, the epoxy used. However, you should have a ride pretty close to the PU board, stiff enough to be lively without being too rigid.

I can only compare what I know, and recently my three-stringered PS boards in 30kg, have gotten really close in ride to those I shape in PU. I think a lot of the initial differences were actually slight differences in rocker from drawing my own blanks and in shape due to the different foam. The more comfortable I get with the materials, the closer I can get the ride to what I was used to with the PU/Poly.

If they make up for the lighter blank with a slightly heavier glass schedule, you’ll be really happy with just how much longer your board will last.


Well, ended up getting a EPS CM Pro 9.0 x 22 1/2 x 2 5/8. Definitely a lot thinner than the PU version and not as wide. It is so light, paddles really good and duck dives like a short board. It feels really light and lacks drive that the heavier PU boards have. It seems like you have to work it more vs. the PU where the momentum is built into it as you take off and you can hold your line better. Moved the fins from back to further up and didn’t feel like I was getting into the waves better, lacking drive. Waves were 1-3 ft. and higher tide at Blackies and kind of mushy so maybe that had an affect. So I went back to Stewart an tried to get a PU board in exchange. Talked to one of the team riders there and he raved about the EPS and how all the team guys are on them. He said he could just think of what he wanted to do and do vs. the old where you have to set up the move more. Between him and the manager, they convinced me to give it more than one surf. All I can say is that it is different to surf. New swell coming in this weekend so hopefully I’ll get a better feel for it and I’ll update you on what I find out.