Pu vs EPS

We sat down for an honest chat with head shaper Luke Hart to go over some questions about Pu and Epoxy surfboards pitched by the general surfing public.

Q1 – What would you say are the key differences between the two constructions?

The key differences between the two different foams would be weight and rigidity/flex

The weight to strength ratio is higher in eps boards whilst the weight to flex ratio is higher in Pu boards.

Q2 – I’ve always rode Pu boards, Will I benefit from a switch to epoxy?

Yes, on a performance level you will feel a great improvement. Adding performance where you need it. 

For example, if your on a quest to learn or improve your airs, having an eps board that is lighter with more pop will allow you to gain more speed and get more release when punting those airs!

Q3 – Does epoxy hold its pop longer than Pu?

Yes, eps boards will always hold there flex longer due to the higher strength in the epoxy resin that will be protecting the core. 

Q4 – Who would benefit the most from an Epoxy board?

An intermediate surfer could benefit more from an epoxy board because of the added paddle power and a lighter board will be easier to manipulate onto a rail allowing them to progress!

Q5 – What waves are best suited for Pu/Epoxy boards?

Epoxy boards are generally best for the majority of waves, especially here in the uk and will always outshine in Pu board in weak wave where you need to generate your own speed. Pu boards are best in waves that already have power for example the heaving pits of pipeline or the long open walls of Jbay.

Q6 – Why don’t we see more high performance athletes riding epoxy boards?

I feel this is a common misconception especially if you come back to our previous question. The elite surfers will use epoxy boards but in the conditions they are needed. We don’t normally see much footage of elite surfers on weak, lacklustre waves and when you take into consideration that most of the tour is made up of powerful punchy waves they will be on their best equipment for that wave! 

Q7 – Which construction would be better for the enviroment?

Epoxy boards are definitely the more eco friendly of the 2. Especially when you have the option of using  recycled blanks or bio content rich epoxys! 

Q8 – Will surfing an epoxy board make me a better surfer?

For the most part if you are in that improver to intermediate range then yes an EPS board could contribute towards you becoming a better surfer, this is down to the fact you will have more float allowing for more speed when paddling which in turn will up your wave count. Also in terms of maneuverability the epoxies lightweight construction will allow you to manipulate you board into turns and because it sits higher on the water it would manage those flat sections a lot more naturally.

Q9 – What would one drawback be for a Pu/Epoxy Board?

1 negative for a Pu board would be if you want a poppy flex like the pros then your board will not last long.

And when it comes to EPS boards if you want a heavier board you will be decreasing it’s flex therefore making the board feel much worse underfoot!

Q10 – Is there any other type of foam that you have discovered recently that could rival either construction?

Blends of the 2 (dual foam) in my mind generally work better, because you can dampen the flex of epoxy by adding cores of Pu foam (centrally or sides parabolically) which will soften the flex effectively allowing you to put more weight into a board without losing that important flex pattern.