clark foam

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by super fish, May 26, 2011.

  1. super fish

    super fish Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    Do you think a board with clark foam would make it worth more or more of a selling point?
  2. zach619

    zach619 Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Worth more for sure. But clark shut down over 3 years ago. So a board better be in pretty good condition at this point. No one had time to stock up on extra blanks. They just plain shut down production without notice. So unless you know a guy who had a garage full of blanks, its probably an old board... But to this day, i have NEVER purchased a board, rack or custom with other foam that I can say is anywhere near the quality of Clark... It is just plain better... It took years for imported foam to even become close to sub-clark-standards.... Im sure its better now, but i take extra special care of all my plus ones with Clark Foam. They cannot be replaced....

    So yes, its worth more if in good conditions for sure.... My shaper just stopped bi**ing about sh**y foam recently... years after the fact... on the west coast, imported foam shipments were treated like giant underground drug shipments... You had to know a guy who knows a guy, willing to drive up to the bay with a truck and purchase it in a back alley. And the foam SUCKED!!!! It killed american board production for years.

  3. super fish

    super fish Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    good info. I bought a board off craigslist for $99 that has clark foam. It was made by JW Krahn , and it's 6'6x19.5x 2.5. It's kind of yellow with a sanded finish. The original owner fixed some of the dings himself which are a bit more colored but it's never been water logged and overall the shape is good. He said it was around 5 years old, but he was a summer surfer and didn't really seem dedicated. I was going to resell it at $175 hoping to get $135 or so out of it. I thought it would be worth a bit more than what I got it for.
  4. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    I don't know if it's worth more to the end user in terms of paying more to get a board with a Clark core over some other foam maker's core. Maybe Zach's right... I don't know. But shapers loved the stuff. It was, at the time, the best product available, and the industry standard. In fact... it was hard to get much of anything else because Clark had a death grip on the market. After Clark shut down in 2005, there was a lot of BAD foam being produced to fill the void. Seriously garbage stuff that couldn't make it through a season. They shaped like crap, looked like crap, rode like crap, and literally disintegrated before your eyes. The rockers were whacked, the glue-ups were sloppy, the foam was very inconsistent.

    However... competition between foam makers quickly improved the overall quality of plugs in the market. Some of the older foam makers who competed with Clark did well. Some of Clark's top guys went on to join forces and keep producing decent foam. Some new foam makers surfaced and started putting out really high quality products too. But it took years, and it's still debatable (and personal preference) whether they've matched Clark's quality, reliability, and consistency. US Blanks' PU foam, for example, is excellent. Surfblanks America/Australia is also said to be some of the best PU foam in the world right now.

    But the upside of all of this is the mass production and excellent quality of EPS now in the market.... some really high quality stuff. The variety of plugs is nowhere near Clarks, but a good shaper can turn out excellent boards from not-so-ideal blanks, and not be concerned with overshaping... the biggest problem with Clark's blanks and all PU foam in general. He compensated with a great VARIETY of plugs to choose from, so you could get a close tolerance blank and never have to get into the "meringue" of the inner foam. But today's EPS hold's great advantages over ALL polyurethane cores, including Clark's, IMO. But it's not the industry standard, and never will be... because of production considerations. Not because it builds an inferior board.
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  5. mgarbutt

    mgarbutt Well-Known Member

    May 12, 2009
    Having Clark foam doesn't add value, unless the person buying the board is willing to pay more. When they first closed down people were willing to pay a little extra to have a board shaped out of Clark, but now US Blanks is about the same in quality and surfers today wont be able to tell the difference.
  6. dirtythirty34

    dirtythirty34 Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    us blanks is essentially the same thing as clark now. purchased all the old equipment and formula.

    Side Note: Grubby clark is the largest land owner in the state of oregon. some crazy amount of acreage.
  7. Surfskater

    Surfskater Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    its not worth anymore nobody cares what type of PU it is
  8. live4truth

    live4truth Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    +1 LBCrew.

    SF--yea I think it would somewhat affect the price. At this point, in my opinion, Clark foam is only a nostalgic thing...realistically, today's quality is just better overall. Further, the type of foam dates the board--Clark closed in December of 2005--it is likely that the board you have is anywhere between 4-6 yrs. old. However, who knows...

    I have seen Clark blanks being sold on Swaylocks for double of a current blank (similar size, type, etc.) in the last year or so, but the end, it all depends upon what a buyer is willing to pay. Hope your board isn't that beat...also when selling, use it...I would even take a pic of the clark logo if it is on there...
  9. Recycled Surfer

    Recycled Surfer Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    A Clark Foam used board (in good cond) will definitely sell faster and maybe for a few bucks more. I've been to swap meets where so so boards were bought because they were Clark blanks and they were picked over other similar boards that were in better cond. I don't think Clark blanks are better than what is available today but there is a hugh following for them. Clark played a big part in surfing history.
  10. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    for a PU board that is five years old, it wont make any difference whether it was Clark or not. 75% of the old PU boards on craigs list were probably shaped from Clark blanks.

    I've sold a bunch of boards over the past few years on e-bay, craigs list, surf forums etc... and have never once even been asked what type of blank was used.
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  11. Zippy

    Zippy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    I've shaped a bunch of boards now, the first ones being on clark and the last few on no name or whatever Mitchell pawned off on me :D. I swear I can't tell the difference between any of them. I guess I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate clark foam.
  12. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Yes... but what they don't have are the molds. And that's what made Clark's blanks the best. Hundreds of different rockers... all of them developed over years (perhaps generations) of professional surfers and shapers. Tweaked, refined and perfected to within millimeters. If you knew what you were after, in terms of a specific shape from a specific plug, you could get there quickly and not have to make many adjustments. You never had to look at the numbers and say, "yea... I can get that out of that blank." You just went to the blank you knew worked well and followed the natural rocker of the blank, except for the last foot or so at either end, where you put your mark on the shape.
  13. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    speaking of blanks...

    Anyone on here shaped Eskimo Foam?

    Their blank catalog is sick, and i love some of their fishy blanks because they have some that are wide like the Clark/US 6'2" C but Eskimo's is only 2 3/4" thick instead of 3 1/4"

    Considering all the small performance fishes being made that nobody (myself included) really wants to be more than 2 1/2" thick, it always drove me nuts having to make like 10-2 complete passes on the bottom using the Clark and US fish blanks.

    I talked to their rep about getting some, and basically was told that all the eskimo blank are scooped up by shaper that are local to their San Diego and Florida distribution hubs.
  14. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Have not tried Eskimo foam. Sounds perfect for those summer groveler boards and mod fish so popular these days. But I'm right there with you on the magic 2 1/2" thickness number. Unless your a really big guy, a really old guy, or a novice, 99% of the time 2 1/2 is plenty.

    On a side note... all my personal boards are 2 1/2... retro fish, PSB, and big wave board. It's the magic number for me on everything except a log. All the other differences are in rocker, foil, template, etc... but thickness stays the same. Sounds so wrong but it feels so right!