Tech Talk: epoxy vs polyester resin surfboards


In these Tech-Talk videos we will answer all your board related questions. From polyester vs epoxy resin surfboards to the rocker of a kiteboard. Ask your questions via social media or send us an email. We will answer them in our next videos!

Polyester vs epoxy surfboards, which is better?

What are the main differences between a polyester and an epoxy surfboard? Which board will last you the longest? Let’s go through the pros and cons of both polyester resin and epoxy resin surfboards.

Don’t feel like watching a video or would you rather read anyway? Below the video is a summary of what is told in the video

What’s the difference between PU and Polyester or EPS and Epoxy?

Today I’m going to explain a little bit more about epoxy resin vs polyester resin. A lot of people address polyester boards as PU boards, although PU is really about the foam core. When epoxy, a lot of people talk about EPS boards. EPS and PU talks about the core but it usually goes hand in hand with epoxy resin or polyester resin. 

How to fix an epoxy or polyester surfboard?

If you use an EPS core you cannot use polyester resin because the polyester resin will melt away the core of the surfboard. I’m not going to go much deeper into that for now. But the most important thing you have to realize: if you have an epoxy surfboard, fix it with epoxy resin. If you have a PU surfboard you can actually fix it with epoxy resin or polyester resin, but it’s better to fix it with polyester resin. 


Polyester vs epoxy resin surfboards, which is better?

How about those two types of resin? What are the differences between a polyester and an epoxy surfboard? Let’s go through the pros and cons of both polyester resin and epoxy resin surfboards. 

Pros of a polyester surfboard 

Polyester resin is quite a bit older than epoxy resin and it’s been used in surfboards for a long long time. The main reason for this is that it has got a really nice and lively feel when the board is new. Also polyester resin is abundant and very cheap. You can get it everywhere. This is a reason why a lot of surfboards are still made from PU foam and polyester resin. 

Cons of a polyester surfboard 

Now there’s a lot of downsides to polyester as well. We will discuss the two main cons of polyester resin surfboards:

  1. Polyester degrades

The biggest downside of polyester is that it’s it degrades. When a board is new it’s really nice. When it’s like a year old it’s still okay, but after a year and a half it really starts to degrade. The resin starts to become fragile. It cracks when you hit it with something or when it taps on the floor. Even if the board is not used, the resin will still degrade. So if you grab an older board it’d usually be yellow but if it’s kept in a box or something it might still be white. But still if you squeeze it a little bit, you shouldn’t squeeze a surfboard, but if you do, you will hear it crackle a little bit. It’s really brittle material. 

2. Polyester is bad for the environment and workers health

The other thing about polyester resin is it’s really smelly and it’s pretty bad for the environment. It’s also really bad for the people working with it. That’s one of the biggest reasons why we don’t use any polyester resin in our factory. Because of the worker safety and worker health. We still use respirators and other safety measures, but we really don’t want to use this smelly old polyester in our factory. 

polyester vs epoxy resin surfboards

Cons of an epoxy resin surfboard

Now over to epoxy. The disadvantage is that epoxy resin will yellow out a bit quicker than polyester resin. Although polyester resin also gets really yellow. Epoxy is just like a little off-white or not as clear as polyester resin when the board is new. 

Pros of an epoxy resin surfboard 

Epoxy resin is harder to work with it’s more expensive but the the advantages are so much more important than the disadvantages. 

  1. Older epoxy resin boards will remain strong

Epoxy resin finishes a board way, way stronger. It is a lot tougher and a lot more flexible because it absorbs the impact instead of shattering. And the other great advantage of epoxy resin that it doesn’t degrade over time. Our boards will remain strong even if they get a little bit older. 

2. Epoxy resin is more sustainable than polyester resin

Another key thing for us as Appletree Surfboards is that epoxy resin is available in a bio base version. And that’s the only version that we use. Unfortunately it’s not 100% bio based. Currently at Appletree we use a version that is about 40% bio based or bio content. The rest is still petrol based, but at least it’s a good step in the right direction for making a more sustainable surfboard. The other thing of course, is that epoxy resin makes a stronger board which naturally makes the board more sustainable if it will last you longer. 


What you need to remember

So what you should mainly remember from this is: 

  1. If your board is dinged, fix it with the right resin. The resin that it’s made of. 
  2. An epoxy resin board will outlast the polyester board all the time. 

I hope this was informative and see you next time at our next video!

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