Fiber alternative using less epoxy

Epoxy is very expensive here. Plywood is the cheapest alternative if using with marine varnish. Bamboo is probably nicer. 

But wood is extra effort to bend and then glue. 

I was wondering if there’s anything else that I might try that uses less epoxy? 

What about acrylic with epoxy only at the joints?

What if I route small lines in bamboo to assist bending? 

What if I use a material that’s normally a bit weak… and then layer it up?

Anything else you’ve seen done? 



alternative fibres that I think all need a lot of glassing: E glass, s glass, innegra, bamboo fibre, hemp, carbon fibre, kevlar, basalt, nylon 66, cerex, hex deck, nylextra mesh…

but perhaps some need less than others

“less epoxy” is apparently doable if you use wood and varnish.  This guy is (or was) doing wood veneers over EPS blanks and was only using a single layer of 4oz glass between the core and the outer veneer - to seal it.  Then he glued his veneers on, built out the rails and tail blocks with hardwood strips and sealed the exterior with several coats of varnish.  









Or, you could do the rails like this guy did, “molding” layers of veneer around the rails.  This board was build in 2 halves as a hollow shell that were joined at a heavy spine stringer.  

If I recall correctly he was using some sort of glue for his veneers then glassing the outside.  But you could do the rails using this technique then come back and put the 1-piece veneers over the flats and finish everything with varnish using the other guy’s technique.



You can see in the lower pic that he used narrow veneer strips perpendicular to the rail to wrap it.  If you were using a regular PU blank you wouldn’t need to vent because the foam is closed cell and any leaking would be localized.

In both cases they were apparently using epoxy, but the Glass-Tiger boards were apparently using it to seal the blank and to provide the surface for the wood to adhere to rather than for the strength, so you might be able to accomplish that using some other type of glue or seal.  

Both approaches or any combination of the two would be real time consuming and labor intensive (and require a vacuum bag rig) , so it’s hard to imagine the difference in your costs for epoxy vs these other glues and veneers as being high enough to justify the extra work.  You might be better off using a heavier blank and fewer layers of fiberglass, and change up your approach to mixing and glassing so as to cut down on your waste.  A cheap digital scale and measuring by the gram is a good step towards that.    

Man, I pulled my hair out years ago trying figure things like this out.

You can do a thin or thinnish wood veneer over prepared XPS, which takes very little epoxy for adhesion, and then simply oil your sanded wood surface. As long as you keep it oiled, there are no worries as a ding won’t let any water into the blank. Eventually, it will delaminate in places but can be reglued with or without a vac set up. Choose your wood with a bit of care in terms of properties and you’re good to go.

I was looking into it as an extension of an environmental project - greener boards and all that. Built one with PierreB who used to post here.

As a cost saving method, it probably isn’t worth it. From an eco standpoint? Would have taken a long time to dial in the flex patterns and get it surf the way I wanted, so what happens to all of the prototype materials…?

Unless someone chimes in with a great suggestion, just save up your money and build a good quality board and then take care of it. Years and years (and in most cases, more years) of service. Both your wallet and the environment will thank you.


If you avoid tint or pigment, and work carefully (no waterfalling on the rail wraps sorry) a little epoxy can go a long way.