it seems to me that fiberglass boards get messed fairly quickly with pressure dings,spider cracks, etc. and an epoxy board will last me longer. I've rode poly boards since i started surfing and am tired of buying another board every year or so cause they get screwed up. so i thought i should go with a epoxy this time around,hopefully it will last me longer, but im not sure how i will like the ride of an epoxy vs a poly. Plus i dont have alot of $ to drop on a new custom board by a local shaper.
Here is your dilemma, Nitsu. I would imagine that since you are going through a board a year, either you are really really clumsy, you have been buying $300 china pop outs, or you surf at least every other day. I am going to assume the later that you surf often. You will be moderately happy with a surftech, but that love wont last more than a few days.
I've had them before, what you make up in durability you lose in flex. Therefore if you actually are a decent surfer, the flex change will really aggravate you. They did better with the T2, but that will cost you more (which seems to be your problem as well).
They are okay. If I was a weekend warrior and only paddled out once a month I might consider buying one. But I surf way too often and need to feel the flex out of the turns, I also could not stand the chatter from the board in good waves with a little surface texture. That was almost as frustrating as the lack of flex.
If you want my opinion (which I am assuming you do by posting the original question), I would contact Moonlight Glassing in SD CA (ALL my boards are glassed there) or ask them if they will be sending any boards out to any shops in your area and check those places out. Their boards are usually a little more $$, but the glassing will allow the board to last much longer than the boards that you are riding now. Also, build your quiver man. That is the whole secret to having boards last longer. I have boards that I have ridden less than a dozen times sitting in my quiver at home just waiting for the right day. Because of this I am able to rotate my boards on a daily basis and keep them much longer than a daily driver that I would beat up in no time. Buy a good board with good glassing, then at your convenience start shopping for steals. Start with a fish, then a step up, then another, etc. Next thing you know, you have a few boards and you can start selling off one or two of those and replacing them with a "really nice custom" fish. And keep going. Build your quiver. That will keep your boards longer than any other means.
I ride surftechs and love them. I have a job and family so I don't surf as much as I used to but still get out weekly if there are waves plus I have twenty years under my belt. If you buy a namebrand surftech then you are buying a board from the actual shaper (who shaped the mold) so they usually work pretty well. They do ride differently than PU so bear that in mind (I really only notice a difference in bigger surf). Some places let you demo them so that could be an option.
now im not sure what type of board i'll get. the surftech board i was lookin at is a stretch ratboy and im not buyin it brand new so its not really that expensive. i have 4 poly boards now so i was lookin to change it up.
Nitsu- When you say 'fiberglass boards' I assume you are talking about standard PU/PE surfboards. Just about all surfboards use fiberglass, epoxy and polyester are just different resins used to strengthen the fiberglass. Also, make sure you dont just lump all 'epoxy' boards together. Epoxy can be used on PU blanks, EPS blanks, XTR blanks, or in a compsand (Surftech/Firewire/Resin8/Coil) style where foams of various types and densities are sandwiched between fiberglass.
Anyway mofo is right on the money about most things (expect moonlight- great product, way over priced IMHO). A surftech is durable, especially in terms of impact strength, but not invincible. Ive split the nose and crunched a rail on mine and can be pretty tricky to repair. The EPS core sucks water up like a sponge and you might need a vac bag laminate new PVC foam if the damage is bad. Like mofo said, with the added durability you lose flex but unless your above average you wont notice it too bad. The biggest problem I have with my surftech is that it bounces off the surface texture on bigger waves and can be difficult to control. I have a PU/PE step up for those days. On small and weak days I love the surftech though. It gives me great projection out of the bottom turns and picks up waves real easy.
Plenty of local shapers will do EPS/epoxy board for you. They have great strength (especially when S-glass is used), light weight, and decent flex. A lot of shapers stay away from XTR because of the out gassing problems.
Overall, i say support a local shaper. Everytime someone buys a pop out a puppy dies.