New Hotseat: Dane Hantz of Vulcan

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GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Any of you who have attended the Board Room shows in San Diego will be familiar with Dane and his impecible work.  This is from Dane's website and provides a little insight into his background, acomplishments and offerings.

"VULCAN Surfboards is the inspiration of  surfer, shaper, author, 3rd generation artist and California native Dane Hantz.  Drawing upon his history in working with the most highly acclaimed shapers in the industry from Takayama, ...Lost, Al Merrick, Gary Linden, Allen, tomo, Hynson and many other fine craftsman both large scale and exclusive Dane has refined his experience into VULCAN.   

VULCAN is an amalgam of engineering principles, fundamental designs, & obsessive attention to detail.  There's a reason why our boards have won Best High Performance Shortboard Design for both 2013 and 2014 at the Boardroom International and are currently on display at two museums, the California Surf Museum and the Surfing Heritage Foundation. VULCAN has been featured in SURFER Magazine, reviewed by the Inertia and tested by Comparesurf.com to great acclaim."

So remember Dane is our guest on this thread  (you can beat him up later when he drops in on other threads, ha?), and remember the "RULE":  You ask the questions and Dane alone answers them.  I'll also mention that like many others on the vangard of the buisness, Dane has some pretty cool tech going.  No one is obligated to divulge anything they don't want to divulge.    Unlike most of us, Dane and other Pro's make a living at this and keep an edge is crucial.

Ok, let's get this starty parted.  

all the best

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GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Dane, can't help myself.  I get the first question.  I very much like your convex tech.  The last 4 or 5 boards I've built have been stringerless with rail channels but not the convex as you do.  Are yours hand shaped or machine?  I do mine by hand with a wood dowel and some 80 grit wrapped.

I recently had one come back buckled.  I didn't see it happen and can't be sure of the circumstances, but it has put a little doubt in my mind.  I think I need to tweak my approach.  Any thoughts to share?

all the best

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill

VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Hey Greg,

Thanks for your question.  First off as we all know boards break, I once broke a new stringered board in less than fifteeen minutes on a backhand barrel gone awry... that's the breaks!  As my Dad used to always say, if your not breaking something, your not trying hard enough. 

Since we don't know the circumstances of the buckle and assuming that this is an eps blank = < 2# density, epoxy and that the user didn't bail their board here's some things I would consider:
Do you have a healthy lap?  If it's a freelap, is it of uniform margin?
Any burn throughs at the rail? 
Do you have any deck patches, carbon, vectornet or any other weave or composite that has a hard angular line perpindicular to the length of your board?
Did you have unidirectional?  Was it placed on the deck?
Was the board post cured?

I'm sure you know all these trouble spots but I want to be sure of the basics.  As board builders, I believe we should focus on performance above all else with an understanding that no board is indestructible.  With this in mind, I believe that a stringerless boards strength and durability should be on par with a stringered board.  The stringerless balance between strength, weight, recoil and flex is something I grappled with until I developed the Convex construction.

Initially I shaped all of my channels by hand, later on I designed the tooling and the technique to perform what I call the compound cut via CNC.  I worked with the very talented Thomas Vilmin of Shape 3D to perfect this method which ultimately led to a new level of complex millwork previously unknown to the industry.

 

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009

Is Dane already a member with the requisite points for responding? If not he'll need to start a thread, and we can up vote the points he needs. 

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GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Hmmmmm.  good catch.  I'm off to Panama tomorrow early and won't be much help for a few days.

all the best

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill

stoneburner's picture
Joined: 12/30/2007

Is there no point override mechanism for invited guests?

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Swaylocks Surfboard Design Forum: thoughts & theories ... practical & theoretical

RAIL PROFILE http://bgboard.blogspot.com/2014/03/march-82014-afterr-seeing-recent.html

gordof's picture
Joined: 05/21/2012

stoked for this one! here are some pics of his work pulled from his site http://www.surfvulcan.com/

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

hey thanks for sharing!

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Morning guys, thanks for having me.  It's Monday so I'm currently re-animating, but no less interested to see where this goes and what we discover, thanks.  Dane

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nexttozen's picture
Joined: 08/11/2015
yo dane vulcan, what board was that boardporn dude shredding in new york mush on his instagram? that thing was flying.
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hackeysaky's picture
Joined: 03/22/2004

nexttozen wrote:
yo dane vulcan, what board was that boardporn dude shredding in new york mush on his instagram? that thing was flying.

Link?  Always like seeing guys flare on alt equipment in marginal conditions.

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

That was a 5'0" Slugbug I built for Ron Schein of Boardporn.  Shown here with a carbon twill wrapped rail.  Ron owns about every board under the sun, from every shaper.  He said the Slugbug is the fastest board in his quiver.  I'm stoked on that.  

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

can you discuss what rocker numbers you are using? 

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Sure, assuming natural level for the design all the hulls are in the mid two's and most of my shortboard outlines are in the mid threes.  From the nose back however my rockers are fairly unique in terms of curve and placement of the apex in relation to the length of the board.  So much so I have a hard time with most poly blanks.  

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everysurfer's picture
Joined: 09/20/2008

I'm not quite following.  Nose mid two to three or tail?  where do you place the greatest curve, and where do you place the least?

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drzoidberg's picture
Joined: 06/22/2012

What are the other dims on that slugbug? I'm a fan of stubby, short and wide boards in most conditions and yours look awesome.

That being said, what's your take on what makes these sorts of boards work? What's that one thing, aside from the fact that everything adds up to the whole so you need a combo of good design elements. 

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Boards shaped: 8

VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Rons dims were 5' x 20.5 x 2.43 right around 30 Liters.

Theres 3 main contributing factors that make the board function. low rocker, wide planing area and deep concave beginning at the nose.  Of course theres more to the story, but these are the important major elements. 

like yourself, I'm also a fan of these designs in average local conditions, where I'll typically surf a 5'4 or a 5'5 in knee high to head high waves.  They're easy and fun to surf.  I can rip or I can flow depending on my mood.  However In hollow surf or chunky seas I won't use them because personally I feel theres better designs.

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johnmellor's picture
Joined: 03/17/2004

Hi Dane - 

I checked some of the designs shown in online videos.  Was wondering if you might share approx. tail width ranges (@ 12" up from the end) - seems like several guys have busted the envelope wide open on that one dimension.  I asked The Firewire guy (as in 17"-19"?) but got no answer on that question.

All other stuff aside, I have a feeling that tail width is a big factor in small wave performance designs.  What you say?

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Youre right, it's a huge factor.    The firewire guy didn't want to share huh?  Honestly I cant say I fault him.  Much of what we know is hard got, so it's tough to turn around and give it away...especially when it's your livelihood.  
Say the Axiom I'm on at the moment, thats a 5'5 by 19 7/8, the tail width at 12 off the tail is slightly over 17" 

 

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johnmellor's picture
Joined: 03/17/2004

Hi Dane - 

In all honesty, I personally measured some boards at a shop (with owner's permission) and came up with some tail widths on various models between 17" and 19".  My question of the FW guy was were these designs specifically for east coast or consistent to the design wherever they are sold.  

I've been building boards for a friend for awhile and we've been playing with the 17" tail width with good results.  They work really good in mushy conditions but when it starts getting bigger and hollower... control obviously can become an issue at some point.

Anyway, thanks for the reply.  I have enjoyed checking the designs you're doing and really like the glass work!  The exotic reinforcements are very cool and I'm liking the rail slots as well.  Forming the carbon fabric in the slots must be a bit tricky?  Is that vacuum bagged or hand lammed?

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

With regard to firewire, while I don't want to answer for them I will say that yes the 17"-19" widths absolutely lend themselves to slower, smaller, burgery, high tide waves.  And I agree with you absolutely when the wave is hollower the ultra wide backends can get a bit tricky and I personally feel their are better designs for juicy waves.  I just had an exchange with Kelly Slater that made me consider this again.  While it looks like Kelly has been having a kick with some of the tomo shapes I'm very doubtfull we'll see him stroke into any dredgers on one at Chopes.  There is an important distinction however between  a bigger wave and hollow wave.  I've had GREAT success with a 5'5 Bullshark on a smooth (no offshore, no chop), lined up point break with a fuller almond shape face.
Thanks for the compliment.  While I do hand laminate carbon on occasion, I prefer the results vacuum bagging where our Convex boards are concerned.  Yes it is a little more tricky and the boards take at least twice as long as a normal lamination to complete.  

 

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

~~Just a note, this site doesnt present well on mobile, the 'point' button obscures the 'reply' button.  if your getting points added or deducted from me it's accidental.

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eriesurfer's picture
Joined: 04/04/2004

Dane do you do the glassing as well?  Great work!  Are you partial to one brand of epoxy?

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Hey thanks for that.  Yes we do all the glassing in house, actually ALL facets of production are done in house and on occasion we even fabricate blanks.  I'm personally involved in shaping, laminating, setting fins, vacuum bagging, sanding and whatever else needs doing at the moment.  I hand foil all glass ons also.

Most glass shops are not capable of doing our glasswork and if they are, it isn't economically feasible. 

As far as epoxy is concerned I use ProLink and Resin Resin Research exclusively.  ProLink has been very helpful in accomodating my special requests.

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Special note, for any kind of vacuum bagging or complex layup I prefer Pro Link.  We have excellent results with their resin and a 'friendlier' working time. Moreover, in hot summer months I prefer the viscosity of Pro Link especially on our Convex models and anything with a channel bottom.  Pro Link tends to stay put which is great for pasting as well as keeping hot coat from pooling into channels and gutters.

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Zourite's picture
Joined: 09/07/2014

Hi Dane,

On the last photo Gordof provided:

There's at least 3 different cloths:

- carbon on rails

- carbon/aramid on middle

- and a last one with hexagons... What is this last cloth ?

I there a tech' reason to this patchwork of very technical materials or is it partly a design matter (wich is a good reason) ?

Thank you for taking some of your time to participate to the hot seat !

Z.

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Hey thanks,
That carbon is called Wasp 3k, it's a carbon twill.  The aramid hybrid cloth I'll layer over the Convex feature on stepup boards because is it allows the feature to absorb greater heel impacts, it gives the Convex feature some added tension and it also adds extra drive weight to the board.  Plus it looks cool which of course we all know is the most important thing.

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oneula's picture
Joined: 06/10/2004

dane

jeff alexander/gemni and ryan burch's new thang

comments/observations?

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"ain't no big ting brudda"

VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

I think Jeff is a maverick, I think the Gemini was/is incredibly innovative and I think there's been alot of infringement on Jeff's innovation without permission, proper acknowledgement or even thanks.
I like Ryan's boards, although I've never ridden one, we've all seen footage and it's hard to argue with the results.  I've met Ryan once and he seemed like a very decent person so I'm certain he's good with Jeff.  I appreciate Ryan's use of alternative build methods.  Personally I feel great boards are an amalgam of good shape AND material construction.  Bob Simmons exemplified this relationship with his work, I think we should also for many reasons.  

In general I'm a big fan of alternative craft, but there's got to be evidence that the design not only works but WORKS WELL.  I've seen and ridden quite a few esoteric designs where your just so stoked the damn thing didn't crack in half and sink to the bottom you're momentarily fooled into believing
"It Works!!"  when the reality of the situation is more like 'it doesn't NOT work'. 
Pride, ego and cost all seek to cloud the truth.
Board builders have got to be very honest with themselves and entirely pragmatic. 

 

 

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parthenonsurfer's picture
Joined: 02/19/2010

Dane- My question relates to design theory & with your alternative designs, I'm hoping you've got the answers I was looking for. Due to various physical limitations (back, knees, shoulders), my surfing is limited to the wind driven variety (kitesurfing & windsurfing) & the trend seems to be skewing towards wider, shorter boards. I'm 5'10 & 210#s and ride a 6'1" x 19-1/4" x 2-1/4" board in the mushy closeouts of the central coast of california. This board performs well in the spring when the winds are strong, but lacks drive in the summer/fall when winds lighten up. I think additional width would help keep the board "up & light" until I drop in & use the power of the wave, but I don't want it to drive like a barge if too wide.

What I was wondering is - have you discovered any kind of  ideal length to width ratio that is constant for any given  conditions and can be applied to different length boards. What I mean is- can you adjust the dimensions from one board to another that would allow two different boards to perform roughly the same. As an example, If you start with the 6'1" x 19-1/4" and wanted to make another board that is, lets say 5'8" x ? and have it perform roughly equal. How would I figure that out?  I understand that rocker & bottom profile will greatly affect how a board performs, but I would want to keep those two constant to minimize the variables.

Thanks for volunteering your valuable time to participate in the Hot Seat.

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Age and injuries are great huh?  In April 2000 I had my left leg amputated and surgically reattached so I know all about this phenomenon.

Truthfully speaking I know very little of kite and windsurfing.  While planing is involved in both disciplines, you're being pulled along, while a surfer is being pushed. 
However, in the surfing world, I will tell you on standard shortboard outlines in average local conditions these are the culprits which I have found to be drive killers.

  1. Too much tail rocker, or exaggerated tail flip.
  2. Too little concave especially through the chest area (Tom Morey illustrated this to me)
  3. Too light of a board.  (see Gallileo, inertia and law of inertial mass)

With regard to ideal sizing between different board models while I haven't discovered an ideal ratio between length and width, I have found being mindful of volume to be very helpful.

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Huck's picture
Joined: 12/07/2009
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Zourite's picture
Joined: 09/07/2014

Considering your last post, what range of concave-depth would you suggest for reef hollow waves ?

The chase for super-light board and over kicked tail is linked with the air-tricks oriented modern surf... I don't remeber on who wrote this exemple but he got a young customer who came to his place asking for a board to doing air, whatever the design, it MUST allow him to do airs... or else it's not a good board.

Well... Fashion is what it is...

Z.
 

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

On hollow waves with constant push, my concaves are very shallow and in this circumstance the only time I'll incorporate mild V.  I have success with this design for intermediate level travel surfers and those occassional good days we get in San Diego.

Interesting story, last year I was invited into the attic at the Surfing Heritage Foundation to dig through the gems and see what I could see.  I spent a LONG time sifting through some of the most signifigant boards in surfing history with a special focus on North Shore designs.  Pipe Masters, Triple Crowners and above them all a World Champion, straight from it's last and final victory at Pipeline....over a decade later it waits in silent rediness for a Champion who will never return.  This was a very moving experience.  I would like to share with you what I saw and learned that day but it isn't mine to give.  

I will say after working with shapers around the world, I was very surprised at what the most elite, critical wave, performance boards in history had to share.

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GregTate's picture
Joined: 03/18/2004

Dane you dog. You can't share just a little?  Hahahaha

Maybe some of us sneak in there one night with flashlights and see for ourselves. Or Mr Thrailkill gets us in the front door. 

All the best

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Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill

greggriffin's picture
Joined: 05/09/2005

They all had ------ Secret Sause    ;-)

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sk8ment's picture
Joined: 08/22/2013

vac bagging

ive done a fair but of vac bagging with making, laminating and pressing downhill longboard decks.

When im doing a top coat on them i used a peel ply and a bleeder cloth over that. (that being said it with 250-450 gsm dual bias weaves that are so far from 4 and 6 oz twill it aint funny) i know when i do that it takes some serious effort to remove the peel ply and bleeder cloth combo as they are well and truely impregnated with the excess resin that leaches through.

With surf board vac bagging, i have seen pics where peel ply is being pulled of with no bleeder cloth.

with out giving too much away, let me know if im on the right track.

My theory would be that the bleeder cloth may not be needed and it could be that just a layer of plasitic beween the peel ply and the bag could suffice as there wouldnt be as much excess resin to leech out of the much lighter twill.

Thanks for your time......

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@reclaim_surf formerly Skatement

(Adam) Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia

greggriffin's picture
Joined: 05/09/2005

I have the feeling Dane is the force behind some other labels success with his programing and machining skills .

Lots of talent here .

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Hey thanks Greg.  Yes I have worked for many, many different people behind the scenes.  Scanning, design and millwork are part of my service to shapers both large scale and exclusive.  I'm very proud of this and can say without hesitation that everyone I've worked with has built a better board by evaluating parameters previously undefined by conventional method.  I'm also proud that shapers around the world have trusted me to scan and safeguard their intellectual property.  Some of these guys are no longer with us and a digital record of their work ensures the maximum fidelity of their designs.  For those, their legacy continues stronger than ever.  Important work needs to be recorded....and protected. 
 


 

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

What bleeder/breather are you using? 

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sk8ment's picture
Joined: 08/22/2013

im not sure, its the one the local fibreglass shop had in stock, its a loose weave, like a thin blanket.

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@reclaim_surf formerly Skatement

(Adam) Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia

VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

I've seen multiple peel ply's out there and some are worthless.  I've used some where youll nearly ruin your workpiece trying to remove it.  There are some good ones which will peel off with minimal effort, even on complex shapes.  I would stick with a transmissible peel ply like you've been using as you'll get a better resin to cloth saturation without over saturating the carbon.

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parthenonsurfer's picture
Joined: 02/19/2010

Dane - I've got another Vac. Bagging question for you. With some of the high-tech carbons & aramids that you use & the deep concave's, do you have any problems getting the cloth tight down into the channels. I read somewhere (maybe here on Swaylocks) about somebody "dusting" the blank with contact adhesive (like 3m Super 77) & sticking the cloth down dry first before laminating & bagging. I would be concerned with the solvents in the 77 melting the blank. do you have any tips that you would care to share?

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Yes guys do this all the time.  I don't like it.  It introduces a contaminate into your lamination.  Epoxy is so tempermental I just don't like introducing unknown variables into the equation.  

Personally I prefer pasting the workpiece with epoxy and letting it tack up before I form the cloth on there.  Yes it takes much longer but it's a better way.  Under vacuum, youll be drawing pasted epoxy up through the cloth from the board without anything that shouldn't be there.  

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jrandy's picture
Joined: 09/04/2012

Hello Dane-

Thanks for being in the Hot Seat.

When you use 'exotic' fabrics (carbon fiber, carbon/aramid, nets, etc) are you bagging them directly against the peel ply or using a scrim or thin glass as an outer layer to hold extra resin and facilitate the 'wet' look?

Thanks, J

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http://pushheretosavealife.com/ Be safe, have fun. -J

VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

I go directly against the peel ply.  I've done multiple cloths at once but I wasn't happy with the result.  

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jrandy's picture
Joined: 09/04/2012

Thanks Dane! -J

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http://pushheretosavealife.com/ Be safe, have fun. -J

VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

I go directly against the peel ply.  I've done multiple cloths at once but I wasn't happy with the result.  

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magentawave's picture
Joined: 08/12/2009

Hi Dane, I was at OEX in Point Loma recently and saw the sup you made for Eric. I haven't ridden one of your boards yet but they sure get the prize for cool looking.

Here are my questions, please...

1) Do you think adding your carbon channels to the DECK rails of a pointy ended stringerless 8'-6" x 29" x 4" surf sup made with 1 pound EPS foam would decrease the chances of breakage? Or would it be better to run a 3" wide carbon tape "stringer" from nose to tail on each side? (The rest of the board will probably be glassed with 6+6+4 E cloth on the deck and 6+6 E on the bottom.)

2) If you don't recommend your style of carbon channels, or a 3" carbon tape "stringer," then what glass schedule would you recommend to achieve maximum strength and minimum weight for the same hand laid up 8-6 surf sup?

Thanks

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VULCAN's picture
Joined: 08/08/2015

Hey thanks for that.  

Sorry bud, I'm not licensing anyone to use this construction method at the moment, but not to worry there's plenty of other excellent ways to achieve what your after.  Yes I believe unidirectional is a good start.  Or perhaps just a good old stringer.  Check out Marko for a custom blank with a 1/16" bamboo stringer.  Plenty strong and real light.  At first blush I felt like the glassing schedule might be a little overboard.  maybe instead of double six on the bottom try a single layer of six with a good lap margin and a single strip of six ounce running down the middle or unidirectional carbon instead. 

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