PU Vs Epoxy – Pro’s Vs Con’s
The PU Doofer by Fourth Surfboards
PU (Polyurethane) is and has been the dominant force in surfboards since Hobie and Gordon Clarke (Clarke foam) started mass production of surfboards in the 50/60’s. Since that point most surfboards have been made from PU materials. After the demise of Clarke foam and the increase of technology in epoxy materials more and more people are turning to EPS for many reasons.
Although there is science behind this it can be flawed as, each wave is different, each surfer is different and everyone has a different view point on Pu V’s Epoxy. But there are characteristics that are proven that we can talk about first, then we will talk ‘opinions’
Epoxy foam is lighter, epoxy foam is more buoyant than PU. Here’s the first point of the preference debate. A PU board will sit lower in the water engaging more of the board to the wave which is a good thing, a epoxy board will sit higher which is good for speed and response. This is where what you like as a surfer starts to take affect. Some people like the light responsive feel of exoxy some feel disengaged from the wave. Due to its light weight properties epoxy does struggle on those lumpy bumpy days as it sits higher on the wave meaning you can get that chatter bouncy feel when surfing.
The epoxy Doofer with Fourth Surfboards ESE Tech
However Pu also has draw backs. Compression is an issue and well as loss of flex. After time PU foam loses its flex recoil which means in surfing terms you get that dead feeling from your surfboard after a period of time. Epoxy foam doesn’t do this which in surfing terms means you keep that new board feel longer.
It’s easy to find positive and negatives for both construction methods and we haven’t covered all off them in fact we’ve brushed over a lot of points and not even spoke about some and thats for a reason.
You can look at all the science and all the facts and read all the websites about PU and epoxy foam and constrcution but how does that relate you me and you and what you spend your money on? It’s down to what you like!
Not really a scientific based answer we know but its true. You surf different to me and to your mates and to your girlfriend and to Kelly, Joel and Mick. You may love the light whippy feel of epoxy, you may not. You may love the engaged ‘kinifey’ feel of PU. Your mate might tell you until he is blue in the face that epoxy is the best material in the world. This may not be true for you.
Confusing I know. Has this helped you decide between epoxy and PU, probably not, Sorry. But hopefully you are a little more informed. We genuinely feel its up to each surfer. Both constructions have great benefits both have negatives its down to you as a surfer to see which suit your surfing, your waves and your budget. No construction is perfect, PU seems to be the choice of most of the pro tour and top level surfers but more a using epoxy boards in certain conditions. Not all of us have the luxury of having a board for every condition that presents itself. If you can try out both constructions, see if you like the feel of epoxy. Again not always an option but ask you local surf shop.
To sum it all up here’s a mini pro/con table to help (kind of)
Here’s some more info here a video by Fourth Shaper Luke Hart explaining the Fourth ESE tech.