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Thread: EPS thoughts

  1. #1

    EPS thoughts

    Considering picking up a 6' dumpster diver, it's epoxy. My only experience with anything but PU is Tuf-Lite and I don't like it. Just wondering if anybody could give me their thoughts or opinions on EPS. I realize theres plenty of useful information in the search bar and on google, but I want to hear from someone who has ridden one.

  2. #2
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    Go for it. First of all, it's a d diver...amazing boards, not to mention any Merrick is going to be quality, EPS or PU-- can't say that with a lot of other companies.

    As for EPS in general they ride a tad stiffer. Not as noticeable in rail transitions or digging into a face but seem a bit too floaty in chop. As long as you're heavy enough to weigh it down during choppy sessions you'll be fine. I have a couple EPS. I'm super light so on choppy days I feel like I miss a few more waves because of it...they seem to just push me up and slide right under me.

  3. #3
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    i've had a couple of eps boards & am not a fan; they always seemed to lack a certain something...that "pop" & projection through turns. in fact, last fall i had an eps dumpster diver & ended up selling it for exactly that reason (though i didn't know that's why i was selling it...just knew that it lacked drive) & spent the better part of the last year looking for something to replace it. i went through a TON of boards. i'm back on a dumpster diver again, but in poly this time & i love it.
    it took another eps experiment to fully realize it was eps i don't like, not the dd, which is why i decided to take the chance & go back to one. eps is definitely more like poly than a tuf-light, but it still feels different; more of a floaty, "chattery" feeling when there's any kind of texture on the water. the 2 eps boards i had seemed to hold up well...i didn't have either of them long enough to really be able to tell if they hold up better than poly would under the same/similar conditions.
    personally, i'll prob. never get another eps board. but that's just me. it was an interesting experiment & i'm glad i got to mess around w/ a mildly alternative construction. i know some guys who like eps better than poly & will never go back & some guys who prefer eps for small wave boards & poly for bigger stuff. it's really personal preference, so you gotta take a chance & try it to find out. i say go for it!

    just out of curiosity, how big are you? my dd is 6'0" as well & i'm like 6'1" & 190. 6'0" dd is a lot of board...

  4. #4
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    Just to be clear, I'm assuming you're talking about EPS/epoxy vs. PU/PE. When most people talk about epoxy vs. poly, it's really the core/skin combination they're comparing, not just the resin. (Because you can... and I have... glassed PU with epoxy, but that's not what you're talking about...Correct?)

    I've built and ridden a lot of both, and after about 5 years of experimentation with all three combinations my personal preference is EPS/epoxy for small wave boards, hp shortboards and hp longboards, and PU/PE for big wave boards and classic logs.

    If you compare the physical properties of fresh, high quality, standard density EPS and PU, they're nearly identical... flex properties in particular. However, after time, internal shear inside the core begins to fatigue PU a lot faster than EPS. Because PU is a rigid foam, once the cells are crushed or broken, they start to crumble into basically dust. Beads of EPS, on the other hand, have some give. Take a bead of styrofoam and squeeze it... it flattens out but does not crumble, and may even spring back slightly. This is why after a lot of use, many people say their PU/PE boards start to feel "dead." Some people notice this, some don't.

    So... the difference you feel mostly has to do with the lamination, at least initially, before either board begins to fatigue. The flex properties of epoxy and polyester resins are far more different than the flex properties of EPS and PU. Plus, because EPS is so much lighter than PU, you can glass them heavier (6oz or combinations of 6oz and 4oz, compared to straight 4oz all around over PU) and end up with a comparable weight board. The end result is a EPS/Epoxy board that weighs the same or slightly less than it's PU/PE counterpart (which results in what a lot of guys believe is more buoyancy ("float") and/or that chattery sensation in chop), but will be more durable but stiffer.

    What I've done to compensate for this is to go heavier on the glass, but reduce the thickness with EPS/Epoxy. This builds a stronger board, and gets some of the flex back, and reduces volume for similar float and feel. So... my advice is if you have the choice, go with a slightly thinner board when choosing an EPS/Epoxy board. If you're worried about loosing paddling ability, go slightly longer to compensate. You could go wider, but then you'll change the ride considerably.
    Last edited by LBCrew; Oct 4, 2011 at 11:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Excellent post LB, great info and insight. Mahalo.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koki Barrels View Post
    Considering picking up a 6' dumpster diver, it's epoxy. My only experience with anything but PU is Tuf-Lite and I don't like it. Just wondering if anybody could give me their thoughts or opinions on EPS. I realize theres plenty of useful information in the search bar and on google, but I want to hear from someone who has ridden one.
    My suggestion is dont let your impression of Tuf-lite boards influence your decision at all on this EPS/epoxy dumpster diver at all. Tuf-lite is a totally different feel.

    I used to ride nothing but poly boards, and the first few EPS/epoxy boards i rode felt "off" (stiff and corky...too much float). The last few years, I've had four small wave EPS fishy shaped boards that i have ridden the crap out of and love them all. I kind of think thinned out rails helps because thinner rails reduces buoyancy during turns, and reduces stiffness. Three i made myself and the fourth is a 5'8" Xanadu Gipos. The DD is exactly the kind of board that i would get in EPS/epoxy construction.

  7. #7
    NJSurfer - I'm 5'11" 190lbs...I currently ride a 6'4" which is the shortest board I have ridden...so trying to ease my way onto shorter boards...
    LB, thank you...very insightful information...the board I'm looking at is a Hague, shaped locally in southern delaware, and I briefly had a chance to look at it, it's pretty thick.
    Thank you jchafard and mitchell...definitely helps my decision

    Here's the deal, and tell me if you think I'm crazy, please...I bought a 6'4" Merrick Flyer about 2 years ago in Tuf-Lite. I've caught some good rides with it, but the conditions have to be perfect, otherwise the thing goes apesh!t all down the face and starts popping up on me. I tried selling it on here a while back and wanted to get like 450 for it, but a lot of people laughed at me and said that was too high a price. I paid 7 bills for it, and it is in mint condition, only rode it a handful of times, so the guy wants 450 for this board. Am i crazy? I just hate Tuf-Lite, if I had have gotten it in poly I'm sure I would love the board....Thanks again, appreciate all the feedback.