EPOXY (EPS) VS PU (PolyUrethane)
To decide which construction is best for you, lets breakdown each one simply.
WHAT IS AN EPOXY BOARD?
Epoxy boards consist of an epoxy blank sealed with an epoxy resin. The foam in the blank has bigger cells and air spaces in between, making the blank itself extremely lightweight. It almost feels like Styrofoam. There is no wooden stringer in the making of the blank, hence why a lot of surfboard companies compensate that by having carbon construction on the board to enhance strength.
WHAT IS A PU BOARD?
PU boards consist of a Polyurethane blank sealed with a PU resin. The foam has closed cells, making the blank itself denser and feels heavier than an EPS one. All PU boards have a stringer to keep the foam together and this is the core strength of the board.
3. More buoyant
4. Less tendency to get pressure dents
5. More environmentally friendly (can be recycled)
6. Feels loose on bigger, powerful surf
3. Less buoyant
4. More tendency to get pressure dents
5. Not environmentally friendly
6. Feels solid and steady on bigger powerful surf
Surfing an Epoxy board in small and clean conditions allows the surfer to turn with ease.
Due to these characteristics, a lot of surfers now tend to go towards EPS boards as they are easier to travel with, easier to catch waves, last a lot longer than PU boards and still look fairly new after a couple of years from beatings.
Performance wise, epoxy boards are generally surfed when the waves are weaker and smaller due to the natural ‘liveliness’ and buoyancy that it has. The epoxy resin has a stronger and flexible nature to it, allowing the boards to snap back into shape better than PU boards. In general, if you ride the same board model with the different constructions, you will find that the EPS boards amplifies the performance of board.
The only couple of downsides about the EPS boards are that due to their lightweight and buoyant nature, they chatter when there’s a lot of wind chop on the surface of the water meaning they can feel very bumpy on your rides. They can also tend to lose control in heavier, bigger surf. This is when the PU boards come in.
As we all know; pro surfers mostly surf PU boards. That’s because due to the denser nature of the foam, the board allows the surfers to really dig in their rail to do big gouging turns and can be surfed in a variety of conditions, even when it's big and bumpy. As a result, PU boards have been the go-to board for the athletes until today. It goes really well not only in glassy conditions, but also in less than average conditions. This is why one of the reasons surfers who are used to the PU boards also tend to find the epoxy board less connected to the wave due to how buoyant the board is and how bumpy it feels on windy days.
With Native, we have chosen a denser epoxy foam, meaning all the foam has a closer cell with tighter air spaces in them, resulting in our boards being lighter than the PU board yet it's heavy enough to keep your board from chattering too much from the wind chop.
Team rider Corox opting for PU construction for a bigger heavier day.
Team rider Bleronk showing how much performance he can get out of an Epoxy board on a small weak day.
SO, WHAT BOARD IS FOR YOU?
If you are anywhere from a beginner-intermediate to intermediate-advance surfer, then the epoxy board would be our recommend construction. Due to the strength of the Epoxy boards, you will be less likely to ding your board, which is especially an advantage for beginners who often fall off and ding their boards. You will also be able to catch more waves due to the buoyancy and have a lot more fun during your sessions.
If you are an advance-expert group, then you’d probably wouldn’t even be reading this! :D
Native Epoxy and Pu board. We have both available to suit your needs.
Quadaxial Fibreglass Cloth used in our Epoxy boards.