A stringer is a thin strip of wood or other materials in the surfboard design.
It is traditionally located along the longitudinal axis of the surf. It strengthens the design, providing it with additional rigidity, but, at the same time, makes the board heavier.
The detail is traditionally made from balsa wood.
Nowadays, shapers pay their keen attention to a stringer design trying to find new ways to provide more flexibility, hardness and bend resistance to the surfboard.
On December 5th, 2005, when Grubby Clark stopped the activity of his company “Clark Foam”, a coup in surfboard design and technology started.
A lot of pioneers dared to use different designs and new materials. This revolution has created a new stage of a recognized innovation.
That was the only period in the modern history of surfing characterized by consistent efforts to improve the performance and strengthen the board body with a better design and new materials.
Table of Contents
Below are the main types of board designs
Without a Stringer
Some surfboards have no stringers at all. Because they are made from epoxy and carbon fiber, their sandwich construction gives additional rigidity to the surfboard, so an additional beam is not required.
A Central Stringer
This is the classical type of design when the stringer is on the middle side of the surfboard.
It enhances the strength and durability of the board. Some surfboards have several such beams for more hardness.
Pretty often, longboards have multiple stringers for additional strength.
This is sometimes required by the design because the larger surface of a longboard can bend and swing too much.
Additional flippers minimize this effect.
There is not only a central stringer in the design variations. For example, when two beams pass along the edges of the surfboard (rails), such a parabolic design gives the board rigidity without the sufficient reduction of its flexibility.
Rails are the edges of the surfboard which are located on the board sides from its nose to its tail. The function of rails is to ensure buoyancy, cornering, and speed preservation.
Stingers are traditionally made from balsa but shapers have recently offered the new material of carbon fiber for parabolic items.
The main objective of the flex of this parabolic construction is to remember how fast the surfboard can bend and go back to its original shape. It is very important to find a proper balance in the design between strength and flex as flexibility is useless without hardness.
Traditional central stringers have torsion resistance which means the perimeters flex and twist. This makes the surfboard slow and tiresome.
When the perimeter is reinforced, the surfer can gain more controlled flotation by applying a more controlled weight to the board rail. This increases drive, improves glide on the wave and adds speed.
Adding more flexibility in the design to rails inside the surfboard allows you the possibility to press strongly.
This bends the stringer and throws you out of a turn as it seeks to return to its original position. That means more speed, acceleration, and torque through each turn.