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ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surftech

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Bob Marley
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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby Bob Marley » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:59 pm

Al_Kiter wrote:I've trashed a Firewire FST while kiting strapless and I've also trashed a Surftech in a very similar way. To me they seem equally resistant in terms of construction and in my opinion none of them is suitable to kiting without at least a 4oz lamination in the deck (better if you make it 2x4oz).


:nono:

A tuflite surftech is fine for kiting as is. The only time they need repairs is if you are landing hard airs and the deck cracks. There is no way you just "broke" a tuflite board through normal riding. What really happened? You lost it into some rocks in big waves? :nono:

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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby Al_Kiter » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:32 pm

It may have been my fault, but I landed the board one time really flat after getting a bit of air from going over a wave and the deck buckled under my back foot right in front of the fins. The board was a 5'11'' Glenn Minami shape and it was really thin (2 1/8'' or something). I had ridden it 5 or 6 times before always strapless and with wax only. I guess it was just bad luck and kookiness from my part as I landed without any support from the kite and in the worst position possible.

I repaired the board then (only the deck because the rails and bottom seemed fine), but I ended up breaking it the next summer escaping from a low tide closeout and the board broke exactly in front of the fins. The foam core was probably damaged from the first hard landing and the board didn't have the same resistance anymore.

I must add that I have had other Surftech boards that were better, namely a 6' Byrne TC Plus that was an incredible board, not corky at all and very strong. I never Kited with it but it took a lot of abuse surfing and the guy who bought it from me in 2007 still surfs with it, so I guess some models could be better than others in terms of construction.

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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby NorCalNomad » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:36 pm

Al_Kiter wrote:
NorCalNomad wrote:You do not sound like you know what you are talking about on a good number of things.
1. A standard surfboard glassing on modern day short boards is 2 4oz layers on the deck.
2. Timbertek is definitely stronger than fst and the people at Entropy resins (an American company) really know what they are doing.
3. EPS doesn't absorb water either. Even seen a trash piece of styrofoam not floating on water. XPS is just EPS that has less air in it. It can have lamination problems, but that's suppose to be worked out by glassers now.


Hey NorCalNomad, I'm sure you are a great kid and all, but try to show a little more respect towards other fellow forum members. I'm 46 years old and a Chemical Engineer and I have been working in the chemical industry for 21 years. In the last 8 years I have been selling epoxy resins among other products. I also have been repairing boards as a hobbyist since I was 13 years old, so I should know somEiething about board construction.

Now, to reply to your points:

1. where in my post did i write anything about standard surfboard glassing?

2. you think that Timbertek boards are stronger than FST and that the good folks at Entropy Resins are doing a good job. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it, but it's not a fact and it sure doesn't turn whoever disagrees with you into an ignorant.

3. EPS is definitly not XPS. EPS is Expanded Polystyrene, an open cell polymer that does indeed absorb water. XPS is Extruded Polystyrene, a closed cell polymer that does not absorb water. These are facts not opinions.

:thumb:


Sorry for my ultra directness I go on a lot of forums that are less civil than here.
1. Your first or second sentence talks about fiberglass
2. I've compared the spec sheets and used the entropy resins the numbers don't lie. The sandwich construction that happens on the timbertek boards makes them stronger than fst. I've seen plenty of boards from people who normally have pressure dents all over their regular boards and the timbertek is still perfect.
3. Yes your right the forming operations are different but polystyrene doesn't rot like PU does in boards that get water in them.

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Al_Kiter
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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby Al_Kiter » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:55 pm

All good, man. I sure hope you are right about Timbertek because I love how those boards look. I just bought a new Spifire 5'8'' recently and was really tempted to go for the Timbertek as the price was only marginally higher than the FST. In the end I chickened out and went for the FST because the Timberteks are so light they make me afraid they won't hold up as well as FST's.

Back on topic:

@mike dubs: Does your hydroflex have an XPS core or EPS?

@Clydesdale: I wouldn't get too hung up on volume if you are just looking for a Kiteboard (width and planing area is more important). If you are looking for a board to kite and surf with then the volume is important. Perhaps you can still find a Firewire KDM508 (Dominator) in some online retailer. That's one of my favorite boards.

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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby SSK » Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:32 am

Sorry to say but both of you are wrong
EPS doesn't absorb water either. Ever seen a trash piece of styrofoam not floating on water?


You must ride some pristine beaches in Nor Cal, because unfortunately almost any beach in the world you can find that 50 lb piece of water logged Styrofoam laying around. Go grab that 7-11 cooler with the bag of melted ice from last month and see how water logged it is. Ask any hot tub owner how heavy their eps foam cover is.

EPS is definitly not XPS. EPS is Expanded Polystyrene, an open cell polymer


I am no chemist but I know for absolute certainty that EPS is not an open cell polymer. Polystyrene is polystyrene. EPS absorbs water not because it is open cell, but because of the gaps between the beads. XPS is manufactured in a continuous extrusion process that produces a homogeneous "closed cell" matrix with each cell fully enclosed by polystyrene walls. Because of the homogenous cross section of XPS, very little water is absorbed into the cell structure. EPS is manufactured by expanding spherical beads in a mold, using heat and pressure to fuse the beads together. While each individual bead is a closed cell environment, there are significant open spaces between each bead where water enters.

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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby clydesdale » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:57 pm

@Clydesdale: I wouldn't get too hung up on volume if you are just looking for a Kiteboard (width and planing area is more important). If you are looking for a board to kite and surf with then the volume is important. Perhaps you can still find a Firewire KDM508 (Dominator) in some online retailer. That's one of my favorite boards


thanks Al but I already have a roughly 30liter board- just looking for a big one like 40ltrs plus for lighter wind. 30ltr is good when the wind is on but get alot of light wind(mid teen mph) where i live. just a spring time itch for a new toy

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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby Al_Kiter » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:03 am

then go for a Sweet Potato 5'4'' or 5'6''.

I have a Sweet Potato 5'4'' FST and I occasionally kite with it and it planes incredibly well (feels almost like a skimboard). I can get going in 10-12knots on my 9m kite and I weigh 78kg.

It's also the only FST board that I still use for kiting because I only take it out in light winds and don't jump with it so I'm doing less damage to the deck.

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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby kitenake » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:37 pm

http://loydsurfboards.com/

haven't buckled one yet and i ride pretty hard light and flexy :jump: :jump: :jump: :jump: :jump:
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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby windrupted » Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:30 pm

SSK wrote:Sorry to say but both of you are wrong
EPS doesn't absorb water either. Ever seen a trash piece of styrofoam not floating on water?


You must ride some pristine beaches in Nor Cal, because unfortunately almost any beach in the world you can find that 50 lb piece of water logged Styrofoam laying around. Go grab that 7-11 cooler with the bag of melted ice from last month and see how water logged it is. Ask any hot tub owner how heavy their eps foam cover is.

EPS is definitly not XPS. EPS is Expanded Polystyrene, an open cell polymer


I am no chemist but I know for absolute certainty that EPS is not an open cell polymer. Polystyrene is polystyrene. EPS absorbs water not because it is open cell, but because of the gaps between the beads. XPS is manufactured in a continuous extrusion process that produces a homogeneous "closed cell" matrix with each cell fully enclosed by polystyrene walls. Because of the homogenous cross section of XPS, very little water is absorbed into the cell structure. EPS is manufactured by expanding spherical beads in a mold, using heat and pressure to fuse the beads together. While each individual bead is a closed cell environment, there are significant open spaces between each bead where water enters.


Love the heavy EPS hot tub cover full of moisture. Now here is someone who understands: all my eps cores soak up water like a sponge if any cracks are left open. But unlike PU foam, you can easily remove that moisture. The OP's topic of conversation was: Surftech vs. Firewire vs. Hydroflex:

Apparently Hydroflex has developed some way of vacuum infusing (resin/glass?) down into those open spaces between the cells to make the bond from core to epoxy/glass a lot more resistant to delam. This makes the layup much more durable per the weight. I have examined one of Rebstock's Hydro boards and it was ultra, ultra light. I saw the same board a good while later and it was still going strong, no buckles or fractures in the rail. He raves about them, but pro's do tend to "embellish" up the gear they ride. I believe Hydroflex must be the best if you can afford it, and over time it is actually going to be cheaper if it holds up. Buying a new board the difference in cost isn't all that much more.

Firewire…don't leave it in the sun, or in a hot car. Nice smooth damp ride until they delam or buckle.

Old Surftechs are cheap and abundant secondhand and light and super strong. The shapes aren't as current but a proven older C.I. design (or Byrne etc.) is still bound to ride pretty good. Some say they ride too buoyant and chattery, but others prefer them. I've had 2 that I really liked, and really had to almost try to break them. But when they do snap, its ugly!

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Re: ranking surfboard construction Firewire/hydroflex/surfte

Postby windyway » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:59 pm

windrupted wrote:
SSK wrote:Firewire…don't leave it in the sun, or in a hot car. Nice smooth damp ride until they delam or buckle.

Old Surftechs are cheap and abundant secondhand and light and super strong......
Some say they ride too buoyant and chattery, but others prefer them.


I have five Firewires. I bought two of them new and three used.
The FST is more durable than the bamboo top Rapidfire.
I suspect the Timbertek is destined to replace the weaker Rapidfire construction.

For kiting, I suggest you buy the Firewire kite construction,
or do it yourself and add an extra layer of 6oz S-glass on the deck.
The magic of Firewire is the flex which gives it a true surfboard ride.

Surftechs are very durable and are hard and stiff.
Because they do not flex, they have been mostly rejected by real surfers.

Slingshot and other kite companies build very strong directional kiteboards.
To make them durable, it is necessary that they are heavier and stiff.
You won't mistake them for a true surfboard ride on the wave.

For me, the quality of the bottom turn and the smooth drop off the lip
is why I ride Firewire in the ordinary FST surf construction.
Its my magic carpet ride.


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