foam collapse on old boards - a data point

Been driving down the hill past a abandoned windsurfer for a week or two, finally stopped and picked it up. About 9 feet long, plenty thick and one heavy mutha. Single stringer with two carbon tow “strings” down the bottom. Interestingly, the foam had collapsed on either side of the stringer and the carbon strings. Bottom foam wasn’t wet (although some of the top is).

I haven’t lately seen foam collapse inward like it used to, though from this list there are still some blanks out there that will do this. I never had any idea as to “why” other than “crappy foam”. Clark blanks would do it too, so no one was exempt.

I guess that it’s a reaction with sunlight that causes, or at least contributes, to foam collapse.

Anyway, I stripped the glass using my skilsaw to zipper cut around the rails. Unfortunately the tail broke off while I was stripping, cutting the length to something like 7’, then a big section of the tail broke too, and now I’m at 5’6". I mowed some foam and it’s pretty dry now, though the stringer is wet at the tail. Apparently the windsurfer had been taking on a goodly bit of water…

Anyone remember the “Shoe” model kneeboards, with the kneewell in them? I used to use my home-made version in various spots in the Country (Pipe, Gas Chambers, Velzyland, back in the 70s), also Sandy Beach and Makapuu before the lifeguards intervened. Coming soon… if my 55-year old knees can hack it. Free foam! The devil makes work for idle hands!

Honolulu- I too came across an old windsurfboard, it was a prop used by Disney Studios and in very bad condition. I stripped the glass and found collapsed foam in some areas on the deck as well. When I whittled it down to the “good stuff” all I had left was 5’6" as well. Because of the plugs of foam I grafted into the holes left by the mast box and foot strap plugs I opted for a pigment glass job (it was a shame because it would have been nice to show off the tandem stringers). Long story short it was a lot more work than buying a new blank but at least it’s one less board for the landfill.

I took it out for the first time on Saturday and got my reward.

great way to recycle, you have inspired me. Now if I can only find an abandoned board…

Interesting project. I was just wondering about the density of the foam. Having windsurfed and knowing the type of boards made with those blanks, thems were mighty thick indeed, so when you whittle away, is the foam still strong enough or have you really got softfoam all over the shop? If the latter is the case I would be afraid that you just end up delaying the landfill question by a few weeks and threw in some polyester on top!!!

I have seen fish boards chopped out of regular longboard blanks that suffered this issue…

Dave- I removed most of those sections prior to shaping which is why I ended up with a 5’6" board (the blank was originally around 9’ and like 5 1/2" thick). I still had to plane around 3/8" off the deck and was surprised to find how dense the foam was. Just in case I went with a 6x6x6 glass job. I’m 220lbs and did not dent the deck on it’s first run.


I’m 220lbs and did not dent the deck on it’s first run.

Aloha, Mahana

Respect! I weigh the same and couldn’t surf a board that small to save my butt…