Take Your Skimboarding Experience To The Next Level
If you`re ready to start skimboarding, then you`ve come to the right place. If you`re new to the sport, and wondering how much you should invest in your skimboard, the well-known phrase “you get what you pay for” most certainly applies. Like with any popular product, there will usually be cheap, low-quality alternatives. Yes, this is positive when it lets more people enjoy the benefits such a product offers, but not so positive when you have to buy a new one, a few months down the line. When you invest in a US-manufactured Wave Zone skimboard, you get all the benefits a light, strong and long-lasting skimboard provides. Read on to learn why a cheaply-made, “cut corners” import board may end up disappointing you.
When carbon fiber is added to a skimboard, it provides more stiffness, allowing the rider to go faster with less flex; this is especially helpful for getting more action while reaching farther out on your skimboard. Some people say that a skimboard is only truly a carbon board when both the bottom and deck of the board are made from carbon. Through experience, Wave Zone Skimboards has determined that double carbon boards are often too stiff and unforgiving; they will make you feel every ripple. A board that is too stiff, such as a double carbon one, will cause you to lose the shock absorption benefits that come from a foam core. Therefore, you will also lose some control, especially in bad weather conditions.
Carbon is only used on the deck, with only a rail wrap of three inches carbon surrounding the bottom of the board. The deck still maintains the stiffness of carbon, while the wrap will give toughness to key points of contact on the bottom of the skimboard. The bottoms of their boards are glassed using Warp Glass with reinforced S-Glass; the combination will offer a hint of flexibility with optimal levels of shock absorption. The force from impact is reduced and conducted through the core that is made of foam.
Why is carbon not used on both sides? Because if your skimboard is too stiff and non-forgiving, the greater the chances of it breaking in half on impact will be. Wave Zone Skimboards made the decision to provide the best characteristics from both worlds; carbon stiffness and less board fatigue. They did not even consider the alternative of building a product that had a shorter life span. Your money isn`t disposable, and Wave Zone doesn`t consider your satisfaction in their skimboards as disposable, either.
The Foam Core
The core of all Wave Zone`s skimboards is made from Divinycell, which is, by far, the best choice. Sure, they could keep more profit by cutting costs to save money, but they are dedicated to customer satisfaction and want to make quality products. EPS or polyurethane foams could have been used, like some competitors do, but that`s not the best choice when you want to stand next to the riders with your products in their hands. Divinycell is the superior choice, because of the weight and density qualities that other foam types cannot compare to. Divinycell also offers excellent toughness to fractures, higher energy absorption, superior dimensional stability, and finally, high strength to weight ratio, which is really important in a skimboard.
In surfboard manufacturing, the polyurethane foam is a great material, but surfboards are very different from skimboards. When you`re surfing, the board doesn`t hit with the same frequency or as hard as a skimboard. In addition, a surfboard will allow you to evenly distribute your weight before standing up, and when your feet hit the surfboard, it`s not through a running jump as with a skimboard.
Because of the repeating impacts a skimboard made from poly would have to withstand, you will be risking dings and other damage that will take on water and begin to rot. Many skimboard manufacturers are starting to put poly foam back into their boards, to be able to compete with cheaply-made import boards. Wave Zone Skimboards, on the other hand, puts quality into their boards, because that`s what they plan on getting out of them.
Another type of foam called EPS (Extruded Poly Styrene), is essentially Styrofoam without the beads. EPS is also a good and common choice for surfboards, but not an effective alternative for skimboards. Even though EPS foam must be coated with epoxy resin for additional strength, it will still not stop a skimboard from gassing out, especially around the points of impact. The EPS is created by expanding gasses within the foam. Since the gasses will continue to expand, some sailboards that are made with EPS have a vent to release the gas, when not being ridden. A skimboard doesn`t have a vent, so the gas cannot escape, besides from into air pockets as the board starts to delaminate.
The Divinycell foam is a structural PVC type. It`s light, durable and waterproof. Wave Zone Skimboards uses this foam for their entire line of skimboards; even the smallest boards have Divinycell at the core. Also, at key points in their product line, the density of the Divinycell increases. This is just one of the reasons Wave Zone skimboards have the best weight limits for cost, on the market. They are some of the best in the industry, because their products have more density, which means more strength and floating capabilities. Because Divinycell is such as high-quality product, planning ahead is necessary. It takes commitment to order supplies for at least four months of production, but it`s well worth the extra effort, when less than one half of one percent of the boards are returned.
Electrical Glass (E-Glass) is the most common type of fiberglass used today. It has a low cost, and was originally made to be used in circuit boards. The E-Glass is strong, and is used in some of Wave Zone`s internal glassing, but although you will see it promoted as something special, it`s just a basic material.
Structural Glass (S-Glass) has greater amounts of magnesium oxide, aluminum oxide and silica oxide in the binder. The binder is the coating that holds the glass together. S-Glass is 40% stronger than E-Glass, and is being used in the carbon reinforcements.
A product called Warp Glass was produced specifically for the surf industry. Structurally, the binding is comparable with the two types above, but the important difference is apparent in the weave. The goal was to create a product that would weigh less as well as provide more strength. Wave Zone uses Warp Glass as their dominant fabric.
S-Glass and E-Glass fabric are constructed with about 50% of the threads running one way, and the other 50% running the other way. This means that 50% runs from nose to tail and the other 50% runs from rail to rail, on a skimboard.
Warp Glass, on the other hand, is created with 75% of the thread going in one direction and 25% going in the opposite direction. When used on a skimboard, this means that 25% of the thread runs rail to rail, and the larger 75% goes from the nose to tail.
So, what`s the benefit of choosing Warp Glass? A Wave Zone skimboard made with Warp Glass, has better balance of strength in the places it`s needed. Most likely, you`ve never seen a skimboard with a break from the nose to the tail. If a board breaks, it generally breaks from rail to rail. This is also the reason a surfboard is made with the stringer from nose to tail. Warp Glass is used by Wave Zone because the larger amount of fiber is placed where your board needs it the most. You can be sure that import board manufacturing doesn`t involve paying the 50% increased cost of creating these lighter, stronger and longer-lasting skimboards.
On Wave Zone`s skimboards, the rails are “turned down”. This design decision gives the lower rail a sharper, harder edge, which is done because the sharper the edge, the less drag is created. In the end, this means increased speed. For example, take a surfboard (short board), and look at the tail - by the fins. The sharpness of edges in this area will let the water flow off the back of the board faster. This will help the board go faster. Conversely, a longer board will usually have rounder rails by the tail or soft edge. This will cause the board to give the rider chance to walk the board or ride the nose, while being sucked toward the wave.
The rail wraps are reinforced, which results in a longer board life. The glass is wrapped around the rails on the skimboard, with a double layer on the bottom edge of beginner boards. There are even more reinforcements on the larger boards. Every skimboard made by Wake Zone Skimboards has at minimum double glass on the bottom rails. A simpler way of creating skimboards would be to meet the bottom and top layer of glass at the rail; however Wake Zone does not cut corners. A rail that is wrapped, will give you added protection against rail splitting. The bottom edge of the board has a double reinforcement, because that`s the area of the board that grinds on the beach, and where it`s needed the most.
On Wave Zone`s skimboards, the average rocker is 1 ½" at the nose and ½" at the tail. Since the majority of us don`t ride in perfect conditions, we need more control and more options. The skimboards made by Wave Zone have the perfect nose rocker to do some great stuff. Without a rocker, your nose would simply dive into the mush. Rocker will pull you through cutbacks. When you`re coming down the wave, you need rocker to pull you out through the bottom. If you have no rocker, you will risk slamming nose-first into the ground. The tail rocker is also optimal. With it, you`re able to maneuver better. If you want additional rocker near the nose, you can simply lean or step closer to the tail; like doing a kick tail on a skateboard.
If you ride with your foot up by the nose, you will usually have an issue with the nose of any skimboard, regardless of how much rocker you have. Many times while you`re riding you don`t use the rocker, because about the first 1/4 of the board is above the water. The center of the board is the sweet spot; it`s where you`ll get the best ride. The rocker is always there if you need it, but too much rocker will spin you like a top when you try to shove the rear end around. The best ride is achieved by the rider who learns to stay in control under different types of conditions.