The most difficult part while purchasing a new surfboard is to find the most appropriate size, volume, and material density for yourself. You should consider how heavy and long the item should be and what its density is to provide its ability to surf.
Some people are looking for a surfboard in order to increase the number of movements on the surface, others — to improve surfing skills. Those may be achieved by appropriate volume and density of the material used for a surfboard.
You should also remember that due to the low power for rowing, many waves can be missed. Sam Brown, a Newport Beach surfer, says that when sellers answer his questions about surfboard density and volume, their answers generate even more misunderstanding.
“Should I use more floating materials with a lower density like EPS or epoxy to ride on a small surfboard? Should I ride on a wider or thicker board with a larger volume so that I can reduce it a bit?” Specific types of surfboards, their size, volume, and material density make the ride shorter compared to an ordinary short item.
It would be nice if someone could help in choosing the right volume for a guy like me, weighing 165 pounds, who has been surfing for six years to reach high waves? I say, would it be so difficult for surfboard makers and shapers to stick a cubic volume mark on the surfboard?
Then I can look at the chart and never think twice about it. Of course, I can pick carefully and get the big one on which I feel safe and easy but there must always be a trial. It has to be a thing that I can switch with minimal effort.”
Although surfboard manufacturers continue to use the standard measurement system, the question arises whether it would be more convenient to choose a surfboard with a cubic volume system for customers. It would be more correct to ask physicists about this, and not sellers of boards.
To create an ideal product, manufacturers are sure to consider appropriate volume and density. Lisa Dang, a former NASA engineer and graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology, believes that volume has nothing in common with buoyancy.
“The stones have very different volumes, but they still sink anyway. The volume does not improve flotation, but the density does,” said she. The density of the item can be different and depends on the number and quality of the basic materials and additives used in production.
Expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) has a less density compared to conventional polyurethane foam (PU) products. At the same time, EPS is well combined with additional substances such as fiberglass and epoxy, thus making the surfboard stronger and increasing its density and volume.
Additional substances can give strength to the EPS, but they usually provide less volume than its competitor PU/ Fiberglass. Recently, hollow-board manufacturers have pleased surfers with an even lighter board with low density and volume thanks to the addition of carbon fiber material.
According to her, density is not the only measure of the best board. Surface area — this is what surfers take into account while choosing the perfect thing with the appropriate volume as well. You can get the correct idea of the surface area by knowing the length and width of the surfboard.
“The stability of the surfer depends on the size of the surface area — the larger the surfboard, the greater the stability. A large total surface area will help to ride lighter and more evenly, protecting the surfer from water and adding buoyancy to him,” said Dang.
“The choice of the base of the surfboard depends on the parameters of the surfer — the bigger he/she is, the larger the area should be. In this way, the volume is added and maximum stability can be achieved. But this does not mean that one can achieve maneuverability since these concepts are not identical.
Finding the right surfboard with proper density and volume opens up opportunities for the surfer to find the perfect balance and show his abilities.” If you want to ride shorter than a classic PU board, here is the list of tips for increasing efficiency depending on the volume and material density:
- Fight the decrease in buoyancy from a shorter surfboard made of loose composition providing smaller volume. In polyurethane foam items, you can find voids in the center with a lower density. Polyurethane surfboards are stronger and more reliable.
- If you increase the surface area in width in any part of the surfboard, prepare to lose the total length of the thing and its volume.
- The surfboard should not be thin. In the same circumstances, a wide surfboard will have an advantage over a thin one in terms of buoyancy because of the material density.
Sometimes it is impossible to compare the density of surfboards, especially when you don’t know how compressed the foam is. The density of the board will never be accurate, as it is the average density of the compressed foam and the materials that make up the composition.
At the same time, it is difficult to get an idea of the foam density. For an independent comparison, you only need to understand the buoyancy ability of certain foams and other components of the surfboard providing the additional volume in order to choose the right one.