What’s Sup with FOAM boards, anyway?
Congrats! You took a lesson, tried a rental and/or borrowed a board to play with and are FINALLY thinking of joining the tribe of happy paddlers on the water by purchasing a board of your very own.
And then, you realize … there are SO MANY choices.
Here’s the quick & easy download from Mark Kelly, President and Co-Founder of Keeper Sports, manufacturer and supplier for California Board Co. and Scott Burke Surf to make YOUR first purchase a no-brainer!
In a nutshell, there are four different types of stand up paddleboards. Ready?
Inflatable sups (aka i-Sup’s)
WE like FOAM boards.
That’s what we make. We like them, we use them, we trust them with our kids, dogs and loved ones. If you’re considering a quality foam stand up paddle board (and we hope you are!) here are a few things you should know:
1.) Foam boards are made entirely of -you guessed it! – FOAM or foam based material, excepting for the wood stringers and a few plastic parts.
2.) Foam boards are able to dent without taking on water (a.k.a. they are sup-er durable)!
3.) Foam boards can also be scratched. We WANT you to take your pup on a sup! The scratching will have no effect whatsoever on your board’s performance.
4.) Foam boards are slower than an epoxy paddle boards, but faster than most inflatables. They are also much faster, lighter and more durable than plastic.
5.) Foam boards are inexpensive compared to epoxy and are a great way to get your family started on the water through paddle boarding, fishing and having FUN together!
FOAM boards are a better VALUE:
Foam stand up paddle boards cost LESS than epoxy boards and most inflatable sups. Plastic paddle boards, although they may appear cheaper, are actually much heavier in weight (40 lbs on average vs. 25 lbs for foam). In addition, if you aesthetically compare, foam boards are INFINITELY more good looking than plastic and they perform on a much higher level.
FOAM boards have a cool CONSTRUCTION:
Our construction process includes, inserting three wooden stringers inside the molded EPS foam core. Next, a high density XPE or IXPE (polyethylene foams) is heat laminated – never glued! – to the top and bottom of the foam core, in effect, completely sealing it.
FOAM boards have a sealed, watertight CORE:
Both PE and EPS foams are a styrene foam which is fully waterproof. That means, if you put a dent in it, it will NOT absorb water. Due to both types of foam being closed cell, water cannot penetrate.*
Disclaimer: * There are times when there can be a faulty lamination on top or bottom foam to the core inside. In that case, if you do get a hole in the board within that same area, water can get trapped between the layers, but it WILL NOT BE ABSORBED. Cuts and dents to the foam can be easily fixed with a hot glue gun.
FOAM boards are sup-er STRONG:
Our wood stringers are important to the overall construction too as they add to a board’s durability. Think about it: Most 10’6 or 11′ foam stand up paddle boards can support up to and over 300lbs. That’s a lot of pressure!
FOAM boards are easy to STAND ON:
A lot of foam boards come with deck traction. This allows your feet to stand solid on the board and not slide around. If your new board doesn’t carry traction, you can add some surf wax in the area that you stand.
FOAM boards have COOL ACCESSORIES:
Foam boards come with a handle in the middle of the board to help you carry it, a leash attachment and a built-in plug. Some brands offer other accessories like an adjustable aluminum paddle or a bungee storage mount on the deck (usually at the nose). There are some brands that even offer a simple yet effective roof rack for your car.
FOAM boards come with a FIN:
Every paddle board also comes with, at least, one bottom tracking fin. Another fin configuration may be 3 or 4 fins on the bottom (depending on if it’s a surf or flatwater board) to help you track better.
OVERALL, FOAM boards ROCK!
A word to the wise: foam stand up paddle boards are better on flat water, like lakes and bays. They tend to have rails that are fairly square. That’s where the edge or wide part of the board meets the bottom of the board. This rail shape is why they can be slower (a LOT depends on the driver) than fiberglass boards. The foamies are faster than most inflatable stand up boards because most i-Sups sit higher in the water and have a 6 inch thickness versus a 5 inch width for a foam board construction.
FOAM boards WIN!
Lastly, foam paddle boards are super durable and dependable! Any company that sells to a major retailer must have their boards tested by labs for many, many attributes. If the board, or any PART of the board fails, the problem has to be fixed before it can receive a passing grade for retail distribution.
California Board Co. and Scott Burke Surf want YOU to have FUN this SUMMER.
We, at California Board Co. and Scott Burke Surf, know that if you decide to purchase your first board, you will be very satisfied with a foam stand up paddle board. They are lightweight, strong and dependable. They look good on the roof of your car and out on the water! Buying a foam board will ALSO allow you to SAVE enough money to purchase another one for your kids or significant other. Paddling is MUCH more fun with a friend or partner!
Give us a shout with any questions! We’d love to help you stand up paddle this summer!
President and Co-Founder of Keeper Sports Products