Aussie Board Builders Snap Foam In The Name Of Science - Stab Mag

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Rest in pieces to the "unnamed, well known stringerless EPS epoxy."

Aussie Board Builders Snap Foam In The Name Of Science

Hard data to back up the Campbell Designed Exo Flex tech.

cinema // Dec 15, 2023
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Surfboard design & construction has long been driven by anecdotal evidence as opposed to scientific testing and analysis,” reads an email from Ryan Campbell. 

Ain’t that the truth. While sensations count for a lot in surfing, it’s interesting how little we use analytics to back up claims about how surfboards perform. Some people will ride polyurethane until the day they croak, while others are married to epoxy. A select few (namely Kai Lenny) will pack 20-foot pits on vacuum-sealed carbon fiber missiles. 

Former pro surfer and yacht builder Stuart Campbell, who runs Campbell Designed with his son Ryan, wanted to get some data for their innovative Exo Flex construction. Mikey C adored his EF board in head-high New Jersey beach breaks, saying the high-performance Chunky Toe, “slipped in and out of pockets like a magician’s hand and maintained the ideal blend of hold and release.” 

Based out of Noosa, Australia, the Campbell’s Exo Flex boards employ a mechanical spring instead of a traditional wooden stringer. Stuart’s lips are sealed on what exactly that means, but based on anecdotal evidence, their boards provide a little extra zip due to the flex pattern, which can be tailored to each individual surfer. Not only that, the Campbells claim it’s stronger and lighter than other PU or epoxy models. And they have the numbers to back it up. 

Which brings us to the video above. Stuart and Ryan don labcoats, grab a car jack and a laser, and proceed to compress boards in different constructions to their respective snapping points. Granted, this is an in-house test, but according to their results the Exo Flex tech produces boards that are 30 percent lighter and 12 percent stronger compared to standard PU blades, while the models with heavier springs are 27 percent lighter and 42 percent stronger than traditional polyurethane. 

Numbers to chew on when you pull into your obligatory daily closeout.

PS, we’ll be doing a new Joyride on another Exo Flex board soon…

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