> WHAT IS EPOXY? AND WHY ARE
XTR EPOXY BOARDS THE CHOICE
Epoxy is a type of resin (liquid chemical) it is not foam or fiberglass. It requires two chemicals Part A (resin)
and Part (B) hardener, mixed together in exact ratios to become hard and gain a particular strength.
This resin is used in many industrial applications, from building for aerospace parts, electronics, sail boats,
to surfboards. Most of the epoxy resins are less polluting and more environmentally friendly than others like Polyester
resins, they have very low VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds), so less material will evaporate and pollute the
Epoxy is the material of chioce where strength, water impermeability and specific flex patterns are required. There
are hundreds or thousands of epoxy resin styles and applications, each with its own unique properties.
Epoxy Pro has devloped it's own custom epoxy resin formulation called XTR-16. This resin is ideal for extreme surfing
conditions. It has perfectly balanced optimal characteristics of clarity (lack of discoloration), light weight,
strength, and flexibility.
See XTR comparison with similar surfboards.
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> WHY ARE SOME SURFBOARDS CALLED EPOXY?
Even though epoxy is just a resin some surfboards today called epoxy use a polystyrene foam (lightweight foam)
that is commonly covered (glassed) with epoxy resin and fiberglass.
If polystyrene foam is glassed with standard polyester resins, the resin will melt the foam and destroy it. This
is the reason they are called epoxy surfboards, but remember Epoxy is just the resin.
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> HOW MANY TYPES OF EPOXY SURFBOARD CONSTRUCTION
Basically there are two common types
1. Custom (hand shaped or computer shaped)Hand shaping an XTR
A piece of polystyrene foam is hand shaped to specific dimensions to meet a particular surfing specifications
It can be hand shaped or machine shaped (computer / cnc) and then hand laminated with epoxy resin and standard
fiberglass. The rest of the process is the same as the standard surfboard, sanded and polished if needed. The main
difference is the foam and the resin, the fiberglass is the same as the standard polyester surfboard.
2. Molded (Pop Out)
A piece of expanded polystyrene foam (beaded foam) is poured into a mold and is covered with several layers of
fiberglass, epoxy resin, high density foam, to cover the expanded foam, some have stringers to reinforce the structure.
A variation is with PVC plastic applied with heat.
Then they are painted like a car and applied coats of resin and lacquers for polishing finish.
These surfboards are strong, but also very stiff, with little or no flex.
They don't ding easily, but when they are dinged, the surfer must get out of the water to avoid a substantial gain
in board weight because the foam used is the open cell (expanded) Polystyrene, which takes on water. These boards
are mass produced and offer limited choice of shape, size or color.. This systems are labor intensive and are manufactured
mainly in Thailand, and China due to regulations and inexpensive labor.
Molded or "Pop out" boards use expanded Polystyrene
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> WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXPANDED AND EXTRUDED
EXPANDED (beaded foam) commonly known as Styrofoam:Expanded Polystyrene open cell foam - used in molded
Used for molded surfboards and a few hand shaped surfboards. Expanded polysterene is inexpensive and light weight
(1 to 2 lb.per cubic foot).
It is made mainly for insulation applications in the construction industry, because the cost is low compared to
The characteristics of this foam are like the ones you see in beer coolers and Christmas tree ornaments. It has
many small spheres of foam bonded together (the reason it is also called beaded foam). The structure is based on
an open cell that allows water to penetrate and travel inside the foam.
This foam comes in different cell sizes with different water absorption properties.
The disadvantages are the water aspiration, poor flex patterns, and low resistance to compression. Because it breaks
easily, it requires excessive fiberglass reinforcement. The appearance of spheres in some (beaded) foam is noticeable.
The small visible sheres also make the board difficult to fine shape and airbrush.
*Styrofoam is a trademark of DOW
EXTRUDED FOAM (XTR)
XTR closed cell extruded Polystyrene foam
XTR foam is a closed cell foam extruded at high speeds
using expensive machinery.
The main advantages are strength and imperviousness to water absorbtion. It is very
resistant to impact and compression.
One of the most significant and most misunderstood qualities of the close cell construction is that almost no water
absorption occurs in open dings (less than 1%). This means that a surfboard with a ding will not gain weight or
change color resulting in longer memory (resilience) of the materials.
Also, the flex patterns of extruded foam when glassed properly can result in enormous advantage for a positive
responsive surfboard. It generates more speed that any other construction.
The reason closed cell foam has not been popular with surfboard builders is the delaminations or bubbles that occurred
mainly right under the front foot before ThermoVent was introduced by Epoxy Pro in 2001..
Epoxy Pro has a patent pending system called THERMOVENTING that solves the delamination problem 100%.
XTR foam can be hand shaped or CNC machine shaped for
XTR extruded foam has a nice presentation. The foam has
high whiteness and can be airbrushed for a custom surfboard.
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Note: Epoxy Pro only uses only
EXTRUDED closed cell foam.
XTR is a trademark of Epoxy Pro.