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HOME arrow GEAR INSIGHTS arrow Uncovering the Mystery of Stand Up Paddleboard Delamination
Uncovering the Mystery of Stand Up Paddleboard Delamination PDF Print E-mail
By: Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine   
Tuesday, 06 January 2009
    The sun is shining, the surf is up, and you’re stoked because you don’t have work today! You run out to the garage to grab your favorite board, and to your horror, the deck is bubbled up and spongy feeling. You have become a victim of surfboard delamination. Now, what in the world happened?

    When the fiberglass separates from the foam of your surfboard creating a big bubble below the surface of your board, you’re board has delaminated. Sometimes a board will delaminate in a small spot of just a few inches and other times most of the deck will come up in a big oblong bubble. When you push down on the bubble, it just springs right back. Let's review why this happens and how you can avoid it.

 

delam_bubbles_img.jpg    Let’s talk about some of the reasons this might happen, but first let’s go to the anatomy of your board. The core of your surfboard is dense foam shaped to perfection and sanded smooth. This foam core is then wrapped with a fiberglass cloth and sealed with resin to laminate the board. This resin seals the foam and makes the fiberglass stick to the foam for an air tight seal. After several layers of fiberglass and resin are applied, the board is left to cure before being sanded and polished for a perfect finish. When your board delaminates, somehow air gets between the foam core and the first layer of fiberglass.

    The most common cause of delamination is leaving a board out in the sun for too long. Although the foam core of the board is dense, there are still little pockets of air in the foam. Hey there’s got to be air in the foam to make it lightweight. If you leave your board out in the sun for too long, the air within the board expands pushing against the fiberglass from the inside out. The result is, you got it . . . delamination. The glass bubbles up and you’ve got a void beneath the surface.

    How long can you leave your board out until it delaminates from the sun? Nobody knows. Some boards sit out in the sun all day and never delaminate while others might bubble up after 10 minutes under some scorching rays. In fact, you may leave your board out for hours and nothing happens, then the next day you leave it out for 15 minutes and it delaminates. The immense internal volume of stand up paddleboards make them more susceptible to delamination. Hey, there’s more air in there to expand. You can’t predict when or if it will happen but there are some things you can do to help prevent it.

    1. The obvious would be to keep you board in the shade. When you’re at the beach, put it under a tree, tent or umbrella when you aren’t out in the surf. If you don’t have any possibility of shade at the beach, plan on ordering a light colored tint for your board. Yellow, white, and light blue stay pretty cool even when they’re in the sun.

    2. Never leave your board baking in a hot car. Your car can turn into a delaminating oven quick on a hot day. Store your board in a reflective or light colored board bag if it has to be out in the sin. With a good bag, you should be able to leave your board out in the sun all day and never melt the wax.

    3. If you get a ding, keep your board out of the water until it is completely dry and the ding is fixed. Water in the board is the number one culprit. Not only can the water itself delaminate the board, it can travel beneath the surface to other areas of your stick. Then, for the slammer, when the sun heats up your board, the water evaporates, expands and bubbles up your board.

   Nevertheless, even when you think you’ve done it all, sometimes you wake up in the morning and without warning, the board has delaminated sometimes overnight. Don’t get too wiped out about it, it happens to everyone eventually. The good news is delamination can be fixed but that’s a whole other topic.

feed3 Comments
Marge
February 21, 2013
69.180.129.237

I just bought a used board that is delaminated on the top deck. Can I still use it without repairing it?

scottmcx
January 12, 2009
66.83.77.10

ALL ORIGINAL LIQUID SHREDDER SUPS CAN'T DELAMINATE. DUE TO THE PATENTED CONSTRUCTION DELAMINATION IS ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. THIS IS TRUE OF ALL ORIGINAL LIQUID SHREDDER SOFT SURFBOARDS. I JUST CAN'T HAPPEN. THR PRICE IS RIGHT AND ALL ORIGINAL LS BOARDS HAVE A ONE YEAR WARRANTY TOO.

STEVE BOEHNE
January 07, 2009
70.95.73.90

WHEN WE FIRST STARTED MAKING EPS/EPOXY SUP'S AT INFINITY, WE HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS A DELAMINATION PROBLEM. THIS IS PARTLY BECAUSE AT THIS TIME, MOSTLY ONLY SHORT BOARDS WERE BEING MADE IN EPS/EPOXY AND THERE IS SO LITTLE AIR INSIDE THEM THAT THEY DON'T HAVE A DELAM. PROBLEM. VERY QUICKLY WE HAD A DOZEN SUP BOARDS DELAMINATE AND WE REPLACED ALL OF THEM. I WAS TELLING MY FRIEND, PETE CASICA ABOUT THE PROBLEM AND HE MENTIONED THAT HE KNEW OF A GORTEX AIR VENT USED BY THE MILITARY FOR THE COMPUTERS IN THEIR TANKS. WE GOT ONE OF THESE AIR VENTS, THEN I DESIGNED THE CARRIER THAT ALLOWS US TO USE THE VENT IN A SURFBOARD. PETE IS AN ENGINEER SO HE WAS ABLE TO DRAW UP THE SPECS AND ARRANGED TO HAVE THEM MACHINED. NOW ALL THE INFINITY EPS/EPOXY SURFBOARDS AND SUPS HAVE THESE AIRVENTS GLASSED IN. YOU CAN BUY AN AIRVENT TO INSTALL IN YOUR BOARD FROM THE INFINITY SHOP.

WE HAVEN'T HAD ANY MORE DELAMINATIONS IN CA., BUT I RECENTLY SENT TWO BOARDS TO MY TEAM RIDER, PATRICE CHANZE IN TAHITI AND THEY DELAMINATED IN ONE WEEK. THESE BOARDS WERE BOTH SHAPED FROM THE LIGHTER 1.5 POUND FOAM. TWO YEARS AGO I MADE PATRICE A BOARD WITH DENSER 2.5 POUND FOAM AND EVEN NOW IT STILL HAS NOT DELAMINATED. SO IT APPEARS THAT THE LIGHTER FOAM IS MORE PRONE TO DELAMINATION IN TROPICAL CLIMATES. PATRICE PREFERS A BOARD MADE FROM THE LIGHTER FOAM SO I WILL BE MAKING HIM A NEW BOARD WITH TWO AIR VENTS, ONE IN THE NOSE AND ONE IN THE TAIL. WE WILL HAVE TO SEE IF THIS WILL WORK.

TO AVOID CONFUSION, I WANT TO MENTION THAT THE MOLDED EPS/EPOXY BOARDS SUCH AS SURFTECH AND BOARD WORKS MAKE DON'T NEED AN AIRVENT. THEIR VACUUM BAG PROCESS PRODUCES A DEEPER BONDING TO THEIR SKIN.

FOR A TROPICAL CLIMATE, I RECOMMEND THAT YOUR CUSTOM HAND SHAPED BOARD HAS AN AIRVENT AND IS SHAPED FROM 2.5 POUND FOAM. THESE CONSTRUCTION PRECAUTIONS, WILL PRODUCE A STRONG, LONG LASTING BOARD. A HAND SHAPED BOARD OFFERS THE VERY LATEST IN SHAPE DEVELOPMENTS AND A VARIABLE CHOICE IN SIZE FOR YOUR WEIGHT AND ABILITY.

STEVE BOEHNE

INFINITY SURFBOARDS


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