Since Clark Foam’s closure in 2005, EPS surfboards have gained popularity. They’re still a foam surfboard just like its predecessor, polyurethane foam (PU), but boasts some unique characteristics of its own.
EPS foam performs, shapes, and looks different from PU.
What is an EPS surfboard?
An EPS surfboard describes a board made out of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and finished with an epoxy resin.
An EPS foam blank looks like the styrofoam you might see in product packaging and disposable coolers. Compared to PU foam, EPS is less dense – you can see the individual foam balls that bind together to form the final shape.
EPS is a little more difficult to shape by hand than PU. It doesn’t shave very well – sureforms and files tend to catch chunks.
However – it can be done. And some blank manufacturers produce EPS designed for hand shaping. EPS is not too difficult to mow with a good planer and will sand pretty well with medium to fine grits.
EPS surfboards tend to be lighter and more buoyant than PU surfboards, with a different flex feel underfoot. They also tend to last longer than PU boards.
EPS foam can also be recycled, and blanks can be made out of recycled foam. It’s far less toxic to produce than its PU counterparts as well.
Some reasons to surf an EPS/Epoxy surfboard include:
- Float – EPS/Epoxy boards tend to be more buoyant than their PU counterparts. This is a good thing for beginner surfers as well as anyone looking for a little extra buoyancy in a smaller shape.
- Weight – EPS mores are a bit lighter than their PU counterparts.
- Durability – The epoxy finish makes for a much more durable surfboard that’s going to stand up better to dings, scratches, and impacts. They’ll tend to last longer than a PU/polyester resin board.
- More environmentally friendly options – Epoxy is available in bio-resin formulas which greatly reduce the toxicity of the product. EPS foam can be recycled, and you can get blanks made from recycled EPS.