Epoxy Surfboards are Better For wave Pools?

Epoxy Surfboards are Better For wave Pools?

Whats Better For Wave Pools (EPS Or PU) 

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last 2 years then you have probably seen the explosion of wave pool video hit the internet from Kelly’s Surf Ranch with endless peeling perfection to BSR Park, N Land in Austin or even the massive plunger wave from surf lake in Australia. Hear in the UK we have our very on and the world’s first commercial wave pool Surf Snowdonia that has been sending waves since 2016. These wave pool videos sent goosebumps down your spine the first time you watch them, the dream we never thought possible came true, its like seeing Disney land for the first time with the endless possibilities for perfect waves you could say its every surfer dream to ride perfect unbroken waves with no one on it but you, what’s not to like. 

With this explosion of new wave pool technologies and more and more wave pool popping up we wanted to ask the ultimate question on everyone’s lips, What’s the best surfboard for wave pools?

 

Now you might be thinking there is no difference from the wave made in the ocean and the waves made in a pool, but there are some subtle differences that will make a big difference to your surfing. If you take the wrong board you might not surf as well and potential for missed waves but if you get it right and take the right board with you, you’ll have the time of your life.

Firstly we have to define what’s the difference between a sea ocean wave or a wave pool wave? 

Saltwater vs. Freshwater

It really comes down to these 2 things how salt water reacts is different to fresh water and they have slightly different characteristics most wave pools are made with fresh water and if you didn’t already know, freshwater and saltwater have different buoyancy characteristics. Saltwater has 1.6 lb’s (725 Grams) more buoyancy than freshwater. This affects surfing in a huge way as the surfboard that has the correct amount of buoyancy for you in the ocean won’t have the right amount in a freshwater pool. There lies the problem

So to fix this problem you will need a board with a little extra float in buoyancy or Litres volume meaning that you will need more foam and buoyancy in your board in a freshwater wave pool. If you don’t want to change your dimensions the best way to get the same performance is to decrease your surfboards foam density. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use an EPS foam and Epoxy Construction board.

The EPS foam is a lot of lighter foam and has a lower density that PU foams 

Most surfers are turning to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) construction for their wave pool quivers. For many years the majority of surfboards have been made from Polyurethane (PU) but because the EPS foam is lighter in weight the surfboard weight is less and will have higher volume and more buoyancy. This is so so imported when considering what surfboard to use for a freshwater wave pool.

Ideal Wave pool Surfboard Characteristics

When thinking about the best wave pool board you have to look at the wave pool like you would any other ocean wave. What characteristics does the wave have and what would be the preferred characteristics you would need from board to surf it well. Just like you probably wouldn’t use the same board for a 1-2 foot beach break as you would a 6-10 foot barrelling reef break.

 

Most wave pools at this current time produce a wave that is in the region of 2-4 feet the wave shape is usually sloppy and unless its Kelly’s surf ranch it’s not going to be more than a 10-15 second ride. Because of the freshwater and saltwater differences in buoyancy, you are going to need more Litres volume or Different foams like EPS and Epoxy Instead of PU And polyester.

 

Small wave board

Shorter in length, 2-3 inches and thicker than your traditional saltwater board will help heaps. Hight volume and flatter rocker also give it plenty of speed in your turns on weaker waves 

 

Higher volume

More volume should help counteract the salt water fresh water buoyancy issues or surfing in a wave pool, it will also help you stay in the pocket a little better.

Epoxy Eps Construction

Epoxy boards are more durable and have a springier responsive flex characteristic than PU boards sit lower in the water and are more sensitive and have a more dampened flex characteristic when surfing.

Light Weight – Heavier boards will bog down in most surf pools and with a mall area to play with you need all the speed you can get.

Groveler based shape

These are going to be the best as they will allow the best of both works for most average surfers, speed power and flow with the extra width and thickness will help keep the board moving even if the wave doesn’t have to much power

Flatter rockers

This is highly recommended especially in the UK wave pools as the waves predominantly don’t have so much power so keeping the flatter rocker will help with plaining speed

High Volume than usual adding on 2-3 more litres that your normal saltwater board should help keep you floating about right

The Perfect board for a wave pool is?

A board that’s light in weight and very lively under your feed you want quick response time and lighting reaction to maximise your time on the wave flatter rocker and more volume in the centre which can help generate speed will give you the edge over other boards. EPS boards will be a better option as they are lighter, more buoyant, more forgiving, and geared toward generating speed. When the worlds best surfer competed at the surf ranch a lot of the worlds best opted for EPS Epoxy construction as it fitted their best needs of the wave for high-level performance

our recommendations

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INFLATABLE SUP VS HARD SUP WHAT’S RIGHT FOR ME

As technology and development in inflatable and hard boards change this is something to review every few years as it used to be very clear that hard boards rule the waterways and inflatables had no place and no rivalry to the hardboard but today things are very different. let’s dive into the reasons for and against you may want a inflatable or hard stand-up paddle board

What’s the difference in volume with a hardboard and inflatable

if you’re just starting out in stand-up paddle boarding you’re likely to rent or get a lesson on an inflatable, for beginners this is a great place to start is usually and inflatable is more stable very flat a wide surface with high volume.

Amount of storage needed

Your first paddle board may also be a inflatable sup,  they can be deflated and rolled up and put into a backpack size carrier the paddles also can be unassembled to  take up less space so when it comes to storage the inflatable wins this round.

Storage good practices

Always store a  hard paddle board in its bag  this will reduce UV damage or anything knocking the board will be protected the same goes for inflatables but there may be  deterioration if rolled up for too long you may find if your board has been rolled up for a long period of time when you pump it up it has warped or stretch slightly.

A soft vs hard deck

If you’re a beginner and still getting your balance on a stand-up paddle board and then likely enough you’ll be falling in the water or on the board frequently one benefit the inflatable has is if you fall off the board or onto the board it’s softer and less impact on your body then a hard sup

What is more durable

Inflatable boards more durable in a sense that if you were to collide or hit obstacles then more likely to bounce off with less damage.  Banks rocks other boards or even falling on the board can all be things that damage a sup inflatable absorbs all of these with little effect on the board.

can I travel with Stand-up paddle board

Although you can take hard boards on a plane because of the size no matter how are you packet there is always a risk of it getting damaged where as an inflatable you can just put in as luggage and not worry about damage,  there is also the additional cost of sports equipment for a hardboard, ideal travel board

There are different length limits for sports equipment so it’s best to check with your airline before you go and book and check in advance

 

when it comes to performance

Performance Although inflatable technology materials have come a long way the improvements the hard boards are still unmatched proof of this would be if you were to watch any sup competition.  and see how many people are using inflatables over hard boards

The design of a hardboard can be far more technical more performance shapes can be mate when your shaping a board of foam and fiberglass/ carbon fibre think of it like the chiseled physique and the tubby brother.

There is limitations to inflatable stand-up paddle boards accurate rail profiles  channels on the bottom of the board more pressure through the fin True performance sup

What’s more Efficient

Hardboard if designed correctly will be far more efficient than inflatable everytime you paddleboard a certain amount of the energy will be absorbed into the board and the rest will propel you forward with a hardboard nearly all of your thoughts on your paddle is pushing straight through to moving the board forward.  With inflatables far more energy is being absorbed into the board so over time you will tire far quicker on an inflatable sup over distance. Best board for distance and Efficiency

What is stronger? hard boards or inflatables

For inflatable sup to get its strength it needs to be thick more material more air more fibres this is why you don’t see thin profile inflatables without them bending in the middle with the hardboard naturally it has far more rigidity and can use far better materials like carbon fibre, wooden stringers and layering technology of glass. For this reason you can stand much lower on the board and this provides once again a more efficient paddle stroke and paddle position your centre of balance is much lower so more Force can push you forward .

What is faster to get in the water

Hardboard has no setup time as soon as you get to the beach is ready to go no 10-20 minutes of pumping up, unravelling assembling it’s always ready to go I’ve heard inflatable sup enthusiasts say “well I can just leave mine inflated” if that’s the case then you have room for  a hard board

what about repairs

Repairing a laminated hardboard is a lot easier than most people think as long as you know the material your board is made from a safe bet is two part epoxy epoxy won’t effect polyester polyurethane boards but polyester resin will affect and an epoxy board.  inflatables similar to if you’ve ever had a bike puncture just needs a patch and some strong glue always test for air leaks before you set out

Foil fins and sup foil

This is specifically something that can be used on hard boards I have not ever seen a full on an inflatable simply because a large amount of pressure goes through the thin box and that kind of strength you will only get with the hardboard although it may seem kind of niche it’s a fun option

Beginner boards

Like many of the points above a beginner board will very much be dependent on how comfortable you are on each board I would always recommend 8 hardboard as it gives you a upgrade path to improving and you’re already one step ahead when it comes to upgrades if you are likely to use a bored only a summer or holidays and trips and inflatable may best suit you

Ultimate / pinnacle boards

For ultimate surf race downwind touring or all-rounder it’s going to be a point for the hard boards here laminated hardboard with a fiberglass carbon or other will always have a clear lead an advantage over an inflatable

Ultimate racer  / Ultimate racer 14  foot / Ultimate Surfs Up

maintenance or upkeep on stand-up paddle boards

With hard boards it’s simply taking out of the bag and checking over for any damage before you jump in the water and after a paddle it’s good practice to rinse off the sort of any board

For inflatables similar un-rolling your board checking for punctures making sure it’s correctly inflated And rinsing off before it goes in a bag

Buying advice

Before purchasing your first stand-up paddle board consider what you’re going to use the board for and try out both inflatable and hard boards most places will hire boards or even lessons you will have the choice sometimes of a hardboard or inflatable have a go on both and make up your own mind. our recommended first time sup

final thoughts

Each person reading this will have their own winner as it depends completely on your circumstances if you have an apartment or a small amount of  space to store a board or you just recreationally use a board for a summer holiday then a inflatable might make more sense to you

where as anyone who has been on a hardboard after using a inflatable will realise almost instantly how much better faster and more efficient 8 hardboard feels under your feet more responsive in all conditions, all-round improver board

Me and my brother when creating our boards have toyed with the idea of making inflatable paddle boards and With all the same reasons above and deciding to go with performance Hard boards for this reason it was very obvious the better choice to us and our customers. for more information why we only make epoxy boards see this article

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Long Bow Race SUP Review (Narcy)

NARCY LONGBOW SUP REVIEW

our SUP Team rider Narcy has been riding with us since our very inception he was one of the first people to try every one of our sups and helped create and refine many of o our designs today. Narcy has been stand up paddle boarding for many years with his entire life devoted to the water and open ocean being a kitesurf and windsurf instructor for many years. paddle-boarding was always a passion for him and since 2012 has been training every day improving his skill enough to compete in the European tour. Narcy has been using our longbow since 2015 and has spent more time on this sup than any other person. he has helped us refine it for the open ocean as well as downwinding and catching waves. it really is the perfect open ocean racer

 

Narcy made this video above talking about the features he likes on the longbow Race SUP and how that transfers in to performance and particular conditions especially of the island of Fuerteventura   

What Narcy Said About The Longbow

 

“The rocker of the board allows the board to not stick when riding big or small waves”

 

“The really thin nose allows you keep a lot of speed when you paddling upwind and doesn’t catch a lot of wind when we have side wind”

 

“when you rising this wave up to the line up its cutting this wave like a knife”

“Don’t be shy about 24 1/2  and 25” wide with the bottom concaves and the small “V” on the tail You will find all the balance you need.

“The 2 different handles one in the centre and one on the bow allow you to bring this strong and light board were ever you like whether it is walking down to the beach or in a beach race”

 

RACE SUP

The Longbow race sup has been our star performer in the racing world as its one of the only fully carbon race sups that are under half the price of what other companies are putting out. our longbow has been redesigned and improved to give you the most updated version of our ultimate open ocean race we can, don’t believe us feel free to book in for a demo and try for yourself.

1 + 10 =

THE LONG BOW

We designed the Long Bow for advanced to elite level paddlers, as a stand-up paddle race competitor. We know having the right equipment is crucial for your success and having a board that can deal with anything from massive chop to side wind conditions is hugely important.

This board has some incredible features to help it glide through the water, firstly its modified rolled nose and hull help provide lift and get you up to planning speed, its bottom contours feature a concave in the centre opening up into a slight V shape in the tail to help better release and maximize stability when paddling even in the harshest conditions. This will give you all the comfort & stability of paddling a much wider board but without the extra width. The tail width and outline help to provide float and a stable surface to control in turns as well as make rail transfers in downwind sessions or on waves a piece of cake.

If you’re looking for the ideal board for speed in the open ocean, whether it’s flat water speed racing, downwind cruising or riding waves in the surf this board does it all. It’s our pro race board with outstanding features for elite level performance.

FEATURES

  • Carbon fibre construction 

  • Sleek design to accelerate through the water with ease

  • Dropped deck for better stability and cadence

  • High volume to help propel you forward and minimise drag 

  • Race handles positioned perfectly for water entry and exit

  • Open ocean rocker to help catch waves downwind

  • Concaves to help funnel water towards the tail

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Widowmaker Surf SUP At The Witterings

The swell chart war looking good and the conditions were perfect to take the Widowmaker surf sup out for a few small waves at our local break in east wittering a local surf sup hub for paddlers who like to get their weekly wintery fix of waves and paddling.

The wittering has long been our local break and especially as 2 local brothers that enjoy the surf its the closest surf spot to us that breaks semi consistently through the winter months. now its no bells beach or pipeline but for us is fun enough to catch a few waves through the year between bigger trips.

 

 

Our Thoughts About The Widow Maker Surf Sup

 

The Widowmaker was designed for just these types of conditions as locals to the Witterings we wanted surf sup that we could use in the south coast waves that don’t have so much power but still have a surf shape and design and can perform in the waves very well.

The widowmaker was our perfect sup for those conditions because of its high volume all in the centre-right over where you would stand, and really thinned out towards the nose and tail making it very responsive in turns but also paddles and catches waves well compared to most other all-rounders.

We have used the Widowmaker all over the UK from all of the local spots from Bracklesham Bay, East Wittering & West Witterings to Hayling island and even our more secret Bognor Regis breaks not to mention all over the west country and Fuerteventura. Its a performance-based sup built for average surf.

Fin versatility allows for either quad or thruster FCS setups, we Built it this way to make it adaptable to the surf conditions your in. The quad set up really lose and fun in smaller surf and gives it a lot more drive down the line in surf spots like east Wittering In West Sussex and help it really bit in the turns in the smaller surf. For the bigger surf, we would switch it to a classic 2+1 set up which helps hold your line in bottom turns in bigger waves  

The Widow Maker’s stability is its main talking point as for a surf sup designed for manoeuvrability and performance this sup is so stable. paddling on flat water or through the waves is a real breeze compared to other surf oriented sups. its 32″ width and high volume in the centre also really help you catch waves and make it past flatter sections. that’s why its one of your favourites to use at the Witterings throughout the winter.

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The Surf was pumping and the sun was out what more could you want on a February weekend. This weekend was one of the best swells we have seen on the south coast all winter and was an absolute score for waves with 17 second swell period ad 2-3 foot it was perfect conditions to take out the Navigator 11’6 and catch some waves .

Loving on the south coast in west Sussex and being a paddle boarder means having a lot of patience for swells and also getting fully gimped out to go Stand up paddling in the winter. we are pretty lucky as we have the wittering right n our door step with a variety of breaks to chose from the car park at Bracklesham to the dotted peaks at east wittering all the way down to the sandy beaches of west wittering with its outer sand bars for catching long mellow rides perfect for bigger boards. Stand up paddle boarding has taken of around the Chichester area with more  and more local people using local water ways and canals to get out and sup, No where is this more evident when we get a decent swell and the whole world descend to a 2 mile stretch of coast and the wittering becomes a sup mecca for the day.

 

On this February Sunday afternoon it was no different solid swell perfect for paddle boarding all along the wittering mean it was the perfect time to get a few clip of Ben on the 11’6 Navigator. Ben chose this shape because of the wave size as well and the swell period of the day, the 11’6 navigator mean Ben could paddle the board out through the waves easily catch waves earlier and quicker than most other paddlers and with its width and outline shape  makes it super stable and relay easy to turn on the wave meaning more waves and more fun on the Navigator SUP

 

Navigator 

The Navigator is a great SUP for paddler looking for a first time sup or for some one looking to catch some waves on a sup. living on the south coast we designed the navigator with the south coast wittering waves in mind. a board you can use of flatter days to paddle long distances and cruise around but when the waves are pumping you can use it to surf for hours of fun 

 

The Navigator has most of its volume in the centre and with its allaround outline helping to keep you stable this board is so easy to paddle. catching waves at the wittering was a doddle as you can see in the video a few paddles and it was planning and cruising along and because of its length and volume  the 11’6 navigator s a great option for the larger paddler who still looking to catch a lot of waves  the Navigator can still catch even smaller waves 

Navigator Points

  • All round design – (Flat water – Waves)
  • Very stable & easy to paddle
  • 2+1 Fin set up for waves or flat water
  • Medium rocker for surfing waves
  • Can take up to 105 kg rider
  • Extra strong Bamboo reinforced Deck
  • Thinner tail and rails to help with turns
  • Ideal Beginner SUP -intermediate paddle board for flat water  or Surfing

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