Board Construction & Materials
Over the past few years Natures Shapes has offered alternatives to the traditional polyurethane board production. As a board builder I am always researching new and better materials to build a better custom board. Many other builders will say they use only the best materials; however the knowledgeable surfer will always be able to tell the difference.
Our EPS Epoxy boards are a stronger and lighter alternative to traditional polyurethane / polyester construction. Each board is shaped from Marko Foam Blank or a double fused billet. What this means is each epoxy board we produce has a lot smaller chance of taking in water. The average piece of eps foam will absorb a certain amount of water depending on how well the beads are fused together.
EPS foam is recyclable foam which makes it a great environmentally friendly material. All scrap can be ground down and reused. Epoxy resin emits very little vapors and can be cleaned up with soap and water, not acetone.
WHY DON'T MORE SHAPERS BUILD EPOXY BOARDS? Epoxy surfboards are more difficult and time consuming to produce. There is a larger learning curve and a lot more margin for error. I come from a technical background and saw the epoxy system as a challenge and now I see it as the better product.
These boards do not ride like a mass produced epoxy board. They have a similar ride and feel as any other hand built board. Most customers say that they like the feel even better than there polyurethane board. Hand shaped epoxies have a lively springy feel. Most molded boards feel stiff and rigid and don't allow much flex. Flex is extremely important in a board. The natural rocker of a surfboard will change during rail to rail transitions. That change gives your board more rocker on turns and a recoil snap and spring out of every turn.
Resin X is the newest and strongest resin on the market. Natures shapes was one of the first board companies chosen to experiment with this new resin. It was first introduced to Moonlight Glassing last spring. The owner wants to give the U.S. surfboard builders the advantage and not sell Resin X overseas. Natures Shapes introduced resin x to many other board builders at the Orlando Surf Expo with an amazing response. Since that particular show, Rusty and Diamond Glassing are now running tests with Resin X.
Most shortboards are custom ordered with specific dimensions and design in mind. Over the past few years our shortboards have gotton a bit wider and thicker with less overall rocker, similar to the channel Island flier shape. This has helped a lot of surfers who got discouraged on their traditional potato chip shortboards. With a width of 18 3/4 and thickness of 2 3/8 this shape can be ridden a few inches shorter than your normal shortboard. These shapes make a great alternative to the fish.
A hybrid shape is not a fun shape. It is more of an advanced performance board for the larger surfer or the beginner that wants to move on from the longboard or funboard to a tighter turning more responsive shape. These are available in all shapes and sizes but generally are from 6'8 - 8'4.
Fishes are a better alternative for small waves with extra float but a shorter more pivotal board. These have wider noses usually 12 to 15 inches wide with wider tails 14 1/2 to 15 1/2 and a more overall width 18 3/8 to even 22 inches wide with a thickness of 2 1/4 to 2 3/4. The wider fish is more of an older style board and the modern fish is narrower and more shortboard oriented.
Retros / Single fins:
The 70's style boards are definitely making a comeback. From twin fin fishes to eggs and even semi gun single fins we have done them all. If you have a particular shape in mind you can get it replicated. With foam tints, opaques and pinlines, these boards are exact replicas from the 70's surfing era.
We offer 3 general funshapes that have been tested and modified over the last decade. The 7'0, 7'6 and 8'0 are some of our general models. All of these shapes have similar full outlines with a small flip in the nose and triple concave bottoms. The increased nose rocker helps keep the beginner surfer from nose diving while the concaves help increase the performance once the surfer advances.
Longboards Length 8'0-11'0 Width 21 1/2 - 23 1/2 Nose 16 1/2 - 19 1/2 Tail 13 1/2 - 15 1/2 Thickness 2 1/2 - 3 1/2
The classic longboard shape is designed primarily to add a smooth style to your surfing with trimming, drop knee turns and nose riding. A bit wider and thicker than the modern longboard. The Modern longboard is narrower, thinner, lighter and designed to have some of the classic boards characteristics but with a tighter turning radius, and 2 + 1 fin set up. These boards turn on a dime while still maintaining the ability to ride the nose. The Toby HP 1 model is this exact shape. For something even more hi performance the Toby HP 2 might be the shape for you. With an increased rocker in the nose and tail along with narrower dimensions, this shape will ride similar to a shortboard. The HP2 is mainly designed for better waves. This is for the longboard surfer that wants increased performance and manueverabilty. This board will allow you to push the limits of traditional longboarding with 360's, airs, tail slides and anything else you can imagine.
In 2000 I built a 12'0 tandem board for myself and realized how much fun these boards could be. There are very few around, especially on the island. If you ever wanted to teach someone how to surf you could easily teach just about anyone on one of these boards, with or without you on the board. They can catch tiny waves and give you and a partner something to do on those small summer days.
Most paddleboards are designed with low rocker and rolled bottoms for the long distance paddle enthusiast.