Posts Tagged ‘eps’

Kitesurfing is becoming vastly popular in the world of kiteboarding.  Using your kite to ride waves is no new idea but there are a growing number of riders who are focusing on this style of riding.  Many riders are choosing to ride strapless boards not unlike a normal surfboard.  There are a few distinct differences between kitesurfboards, hand made surfboards, and production surfboards that make them unique.

The typical hand-made surfboard is either PU or EPS foam core often stringered with a hardwood. PU or Polyurethane foam is a crispy, easy to shape foam that can be glassed with either Polyester resin or Epoxy.  PU/Polyester construction has been frowned upon recently because of its carcinogens and environmental impact.It provides a light, responsive, and affordable board.  EPS or Expanded Polystyrene is made of air filled foam beads. This type of foam can consist of up to 92% air.  EPS Foam board must be glassed and repaired with either Epoxy resin or Vinyl Ester resin.  Polyester resin will eat EPS foam like acid due to its Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide (MEKP) catalyst.  Eps is more difficult and expensive to work with, but is fast becoming the prefered method of board building.  Surfboarder/Kiteboarder favorite shaper William “Stretch” Riedel has been using eps epoxy construction for over 30 years.
The glassing schedule on this style of board is designed for a lightweight, reflexive response, and are easily repairable.  While they are the standard for performance riding while surfing, they are easily heel dented or broken under heavy stress.
Many kitesurfers prefer the feel of this type of board, especially those who ride the wave without much kite power.  Brands Such as Cabrinha Kites are now catering to this kind of board by offering PU models in their most popular boards such as the Cabrinha Skillet PU.

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