> When I was on Maui a few years ago, I talked with a store employee about getting
> a custom board made. He mentioned that a lot of the custom boards - the really
> light weight ones - used styrofoam cores in the boards. This allows them to get
> the boards weight down, however, he went on to express that while the boards are
> still really strong, that if the board does get damaged to the point where the
> foam core is exposed that styrofoam sucks up water much more readily than
> the traditional foam types, and can be difficult to get that water out of the
> board when repairing it.
First: There are definitely foam cores used which suck water. And they
are used in
most light weight board constructions.
If the "Styrofoam" really is that, the brand Styrofoam, an extruded
Foam, then it does suck water, but not much since the structure is
celled, like Polyurethane foams (Clark et. al). However, most light
(and also ALL production board, except Hiflies and the older Tigas) do
use expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) as blank material. The most popular
for that is "Styropor", often shortly called styro. and "por" comes from
in german, cavity (Styropor is owned by BASF / Gruenzweig & Hartmann),
which means it's an Open celled foam which takes on water (up to 15 %
of the volume, depending on density and quality).
So, in essence: Most customs and all production board do take in water
are dinged to the core. Water intake may be a bit lower at production
with modl-expanded foam cores (goam can be made a bit denser at the
but with boards lile AHD's or so thi is mood, there the blank is milled
by a roboter arm.
The question now remains how easiily the boards ding and this is, for a
mainly related to weight (the lighter the more you ought to take care)
to a lesser degree, the price: Better materials or more thoughtfull,
manufacturing process CAN give superior ding resistance at no weight
Also, there recently are some trends in custom board building to use
foam cores with little or no water intake to produce light (partial)
boards, mainly for wave use (a 250 / 70 l board can still be reasonably
with a heavy core, a 290 / 140 l hardly).
> So, my windsurfing skills are now at the point where I'm contemplating purchasing
> a faster lighter board, and I'm wondering if the statements above are true,
> and are something to consider when purchasing a board. Do custom board
> manufacturers use styrofoam cores still? And, does anyone know what kind of foam
> cores are in Mike Lab's boards, as that is what I am thinking about buying
> (probably used).
Don't know these boards personally but from what i get here they are
light high performance machines -- certainly not very forgiving with
dents and dings.
Wolfgang Soergel !!!!! CHANGED PHONE and FAX !!!
Lehrstuhl fuer Nachrichtentechnik I / phone: ++49-9131-85 2 7781
Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg / fax: ++49-9131-85 2 8849
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D-91058 Erlangen, GERMANY /