Woods for surfboards? There are different woods to make surfboards, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Although the most recommended is usually paulownia wood, it is not the only option. Some people look for heavy planks, others prefer light ones, and others look for the aesthetics of a specific wood. So on many occasions it’s also a matter of taste and not just about the benefits.
What requirements must the wood meet?
Before choosing a wood to make a surfboard, we must know what requirements the wood in question must meet. The essential thing is that be resistant and flexible against impacts Otherwise, it would start with the first exchange rate. It should also resist moisture and accept finishes well. There is no wood completely immune to moisture, it is necessary to apply finishes that improve this characteristic.
It is also desirable to be a light wood, although it is not essential. You can find cases in which species, generally tropical, were chosen that, although not light, meet the requirements above and have been used in the manufacture of surfboards. Needless to say, there are clear exceptions, such as ipe wood, which, due to its high density, does not even float.
What are the best woods for a surfboard?
Paulownia or kiri. It is undoubtedly the most popular wood for surfboards. It is light, flexible and resistant to shocks and moisture. It has a density of approximately 280 kg / m3, which makes it a very light wood.
Boat wood. It is perhaps the lightest wood we can find, between 100 and 150 kg / m3. It is very easy to work with and also glues very well. It is also widely used to make models, crafts and model aircraft. However, for what concerns us, paulownia is inferior to shock and torsion resistance.
Cedar. Depending on the species of cedar, the density can vary between 370 and 600 kg / m3. The clearest is what is known as red cedar. It is resistant, flexible and behaves very well against moisture
Redwood. Density around 415 kg / m3. It is an easy to work wood and ideal for folding. On the other hand, its resistance to humidity is lower than that of cedar and paulownia, although on the other hand it accepts finishes very well.
Koa or Acacia Koa. It is a species of Hawaii and due to its proximity to one of the areas where surfing was born, one of the forests that was most traditionally used. It has a higher density than the rest, about 610 kg / m3.
plywood. It is common to use plywood boards to make the skeleton of the boards. This type of card is made of veneers glued in the cross-grain orientation. With this, a dimensionally stable plate is achieved. Depending on the wood and adhesives used, the board will be more or less resistant to moisture. It is also widely used in the manufacture of boats.