For a surfer, the only thing worse than a wipe out is lifting your head back out of the surf afterward to find your board broken. Most surfboards, historically, have been made of glass-reinforced polymers, primarily polyester, over shaped foam. Glass/polyester boards are strong and hold their all-important shapes, but can be brittle when riders can’t outrun big waves.
“Many advanced composite materials have been used to build custom surfboards,” says Greg Loehr, of Resin Research Epoxy Systems (Indian Harbour Beach, Fla.), a material supplier and distributor to the surfboard industry, “but most haven’t really made their way into the mainstream consumer market.”
The fabrics are compatible with standard surfboard manufacturing methods and, board makers report, are most effectively used next to the foam core with a cover layer of glass over the graphics.
Innegra fabrics are currently available from a number of material suppliers as well as from distributors, including Graphite Master (Los Angeles, Calif.). Surfboards made with Innegra fiber are currently available from Oceansports World (Cocoa Beach, Fla.), Plus One Surfboards (San Diego, Calif.), and Abezat Surfboards (The Hague, The Netherlands), with more shops coming on line before the end of the year, says Innegrity. The material will be on display at the Surf Expo event, Aug. 20-22, in Orlando, Fla.