Surfboards - epoxy or fibreglass?

Find out which is best with CHOICE’s round up of the latest surfboard options.
 
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  • Updated:10 Dec 2007
 

03.Results

Overall, the epoxy board seems to be able to handle the general day to day bumps dings and day to day impacts better than the fibreglass board, with no major advantage when it comes to a more forceful impact out in the surf.

There is no doubt that our panel found the epoxy boards easier to paddle, catch a wave and turn. However the more proficient surfers found a slight loss of control when carrying out more radical moves.

Duck diving, where a board is pushed under an oncoming wave, was found to be slightly more difficult when using a epoxy board.

When it came to picking a favourite, there was no strong preference for one material over another from our trialists; some even liked a mix of epoxy and fibreglass boards depending on the size.

Although there were clear differences between the epoxy boards and the fibreglass boards according to our trialists, the differences were harder to quantify in our test labs. Regardless, there is no doubt that they provide another option for surfers of varying experience and fitness and that can only be a good thing.

Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

 

Ease of use Features
Material Length Ease of use Score (%) Move through water (%) Paddle to catch wave (%) Getting up (%) Turn the board (%) Duck dive (%) Weight (kg) Length (m)
Epoxy/Tuflilte 6' 1" 84 90 92 90 80 70 2.76

1.83

Polyester/Fibreglass 6' 1" 84 90 80 90 90 80 3.11 1.83
Epoxy/Tuflite 7' 0" 76 80 84 80 70 60 3.65 2.11
Polyester/Fibreglass 7' 0" 78 80 80 80 80 70 4.26 2.11
Epoxy/Tuflite 7' 11" 77 90 88 90 80 40 4.74 2.40
Polyester/Fibreglass 7' 11" 78 90 88 80 80 40 5.99 2.42
Epoxy/Tuflite 9' 6" 74 90 92 90 80 20 7.95 2.87
Polyester/Fibreglass 9' 6" 62 80 84 80 50 20 8.21 2.87
 

How we tested

  • All the boards in the test were weighed and then measured, including length width and depth.
  • Ease of use was assessed via a field trial conducted at a well known surf spot called 'the Farm' just south of Wollongong.
  • Each board was trialed by 5 surfers of varying degrees of proficiency who then answered a questionnaire.
  • Following ease of use testing, one polyester/fibreglass board and one epoxy resin board was subjected to a series of durability tests including impact resistance by dropping weighted wooden blocks from various heights onto the rail (the side of the surfboard) and the top of the surfboard.
  • Imprint resistance was also assessed to replicate general use out in the water.
  • At the completion of the test the depth at each pressure point was compared with the pre-test depth.
 

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