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Poly vs Epoxy Boards: The Difference

Poly vs Epoxy Boards: What’s The Difference?

When you buy or rent a surfboard, you probably don’t give much thought to the process that goes into making it. Who was the shaper? Where was it made? What type of foam blank was used? What type of resin was used to coat the board? While these are all valid questions the one we get asked the most often is what is the difference between poly vs epoxy boards?

Epoxy vs Poly

Epoxy(right) vs Poly(left)

Poly Technology

Polyurethane blanks (PU) date back to the 50’s, when Hobie Alter first popularized the design as an alternative to balsa wood. When compared to traditional wood boards, PU foam is lighter, easier to shape, and enhances performance. According to the American Chemistry Council, “polyurethanes are formed by reacting a polyol (an alcohol with more than two reactive hydroxyl groups per molecule) with a diisocyanate or a polymeric isocyanate in the presence of suitable catalysts and additives.” PU/PE are built using a polyurethane foam blank and then glassing it with a polyester resin. A particular draw of using PU foam is that it is closed cell—meaning it won’t easily soak up resin or water (should you ding your board), which helps keep the board light.

Poly Surfboard

Poly Surboard

Epoxy Technology

Epoxy surfboards came into the picture a bit later and it wasn’t until the 90’s that they really caught on. Typically, epoxy boards are made from EPS foam and are coated in epoxy resin. EPS foam is produced by feeding tiny polystyrene spears into a machine and then adding steam (with small amounts of pentane gas) to expand the beads and then mold them together. EPS is an open cell foam, meaning it’s extremely water absorbent. In order to keep the board water tight, shapers add extra layers of fiberglass and epoxy resin. Traditionally, most hand shapers don’t make boards from EPS foam but it is a great resource for pop-out boards.

Epoxy Surfboard

Epoxy Surfboard

Pros and Cons: Poly vs Epoxy

Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to each design. Surfers tend to like different boards for different conditions and some surfers surf better on different types of boards because of body structure. In general, PU/PE boards are cheaper than EPS/Epoxy boards. Poly boards tend to be heavier, which means they sit lower in the water, making them the ideal design for riding barrels. They are also a lot more flexible, something that has yet to fully be matched with EPS foam. Most poly boards will be more fragile then epoxy because epoxy material is harder than poly. If you want to try out certain equipment before buying it and dont know where the best wave is to do that at, go to Bolsa Chica State Beach #1 Rated Beach to Learn To Surf  to get an understanding how we at Corky Carroll’s Surf School Private Lessons  do it!

Epoxy boards, on the other hand, are much lighter, making them the perfect board for airs or quick turns. Epoxy boards also tend to be a better option for beginners as they are lighter, float better, and are more difficult to ding. EPS foam is also more environmentally friendly than polyurethane because it can be recycled and re-purposed.

There is no wrong or right choice when selecting a surfboard—do your research and decide what is the best fit for you. Before investing in a board of your own, consider renting or demoing to find your best fit.

Corky Carroll’s Surf School

If you are a beginner surfer or just need some more progressive tips but are scared to use a hard surfboard go check out why Foam Surfboards are our number one board to use! Do not buy just any foam surfboard, go check out Why You Shouldnt Buy A Costco Surfboard!

Here, at Corky Carroll’s, we offer a Surf School in Huntington Beach, California or Our Costa Rican Surf Resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. We have a wide fleet of boards to choose from and are happy to answer any questions you might have. Poly or epoxy, the choice is yours. We’re just glad you’re out in the water and riding waves.

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Surf Lesson Tips: 3 Tips to Reinvent Your Surfing

3 Tips to Reinvent Your Surfing

Want to Reinvent your surfing? Experience the endless summer at two unique locations: Huntington Beach, California and Nosara, Costa Rica. Whether you are a seasoned surfer or new to surfing, you may have questions or doubts about equipment and/or surf coaching. Here are a few tips we’ve rounded up from years of experience on the water. Go to Private Surf Lessons if you want a detailed surf lesson teaching you how to do all the things that are mentioned below.

  1. Select the proper board: Surf Lesson

A common mistake among beginners is opting for too small of a board too quickly. When learning, you’ll likely experience the most luck on a longer, wider board. The reason it is easier to learn on a bigger board is that it has more buoyancy. The more buoyancy you have the more stable it is to be able to get up on your feet. As you become more confident in your surfing, you can try transitioning to a shorter board that still has some width and thickness to it (ex. a fish). With modern surfboard technology, you should be able to find a nice, stable board with no need to sacrifice performance. They make surfboards that are short but have as much volume (buoyancy)  as a long board has which will be your transition board. Foam is your friend, the more foam the more fun for learning! You can learn all these things while taking a surf lesson with us! Our Surfing Frequently Asked Questions page will help you determine your equipment you will need to ride waves with ease. Go check it out Frequently Asked Questions: Surfing

Variety of Surfboards

Variety of Surfboards

  1.   Find your sweet spot

Every surfboard has a sweet spot, or the point on the board where there is an equal amount of weight and volume on all sides of the board. We also call this the balance point on our board. The first things Corky Carroll’s Surf School does in their surf lessons is help the student find the sweet spot. In order to find this spot you need to go in the ocean and float on your board. If the nose of the board is in the water you are to far up on the board. If your nose of your board is to high above the water then you are to far back on your board. You look at your board as it is like boat, if to many people are on the left side of the boat, the boat will sink going left. So if you are to far on one side of your board then you will sink and you are not in the sweet spot. The sweet spot is important to note because it should be situated between your feet when riding a wave. Every board, surfer, and wave is unique so you may to play around to find your specific sweet spot, but this is a good rule of thumb for finding it. If you want to learn more about finding your sweet spot and need more help with learning how to surf go check out our blog Why You Need Surf Lessons

Go check out our Private Lesson Live Availability Private surf lessons

Huntington Beach Private Surf Lessons

  1.   Know the differences between paddling techniques

When trying to reinvent your surfing you will need to learn paddling techniques. When paddling out into the lineup there are a couple things to keep in mind. Before heading out, look for channels to paddle through (finding one can save you lots of energy). You’ll also want to time your paddle—it’s much easier to paddle out between sets than in the middle of one. If there is shorebreak, you should not start paddling until you are past it. It will be easier to walk to the opposite side of the shorebreak before you start paddling. Lastly, paddle hard. When a wave breaks in front of you, you want to have some momentum going forward so its easier to get over. You are going to either have to go over the wave doing a half push up or you are going to have to turtle roll.

paddling out

paddle out

When paddling to catch a wave you’ll want to find a good position on your board—if you’re too far forward you’ll nose dive but if you’re too far back you may not catch the wave. It may take some time to master but you’ll eventually get a feel for it. When you take off, keep your head down, your legs together, tighten your core, cup your hands, and build up speed. Once you think you have the wave, execute two more quick strokes before popping up. This will all be taught by our professional instructors during the surf lessons we put on. 

Choose your location between the surf school in Huntington Beach, California or our surf resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. Each has something to offer for surfers of all skills and ability levels—whether you’re looking to ride a wave for the first time or expand your skill set, we’re here to help. If you are a beginner and or just want to get better at surfing our Private Surf Lessons can give you the confident to get out there by yourself in no time. Go Check out Private Surf Lessons . If you need a place to practice that is safe and has perfect learning waves go check out our other blogs at Corky Carroll’s Surf School Blogs

Click the link if you want more information about our Huntington Beach Surf School/Camp – Corky Carroll’s Surf School

Click the link if you want to check out our Costa Rican Surf Resort Costa Rica Resort and Surf Camp