SurfTech uses a 6-stage process to make it's TUFLITE EPS boards.
1: A lighter weight EPS blank which is a perfect replroduction of a proven master hand shape is formed in high tolerance molds. To ensure master replication accuracy, each blank is checked in over 200 places.
2: Precision thermoformed, durable aerospace sheet foam is then laminated to the EPS blank with a layer of fiberglass resulting in a seamless, sandwhich laminated hard shell blank.
3: Fin box and leash plug hardware is installed and the entire board is hand laminated with epoxy resin and fiberglass.
4: The board is then vacuum sealed for curing. The vacuum process presses the lamination directly to the blank, eliminates any excess resin or air bubbles and preloads the fiberglass, resulting in the faster, more "lively" feel of a TUFLITE.
5: The board is then hand and machine sanded with extensive use of templates and inspection against the master. Because of the smoothness of the vacuumed surface, the sand coat on a TUFLITE is very thin, reducing dead weight.
6: The board exterior is then painted with a multiple stage catalyzed finish over a primer base coat and oven cured. Decals and graphics are then applied and sealed with a clear top coat. The entire board is finally polished to showroom perfection.
An EPS core is 60% lighter than it's polyurethane foam counterpart. The result is a board with 20% less overall weight and a more lively, consistent flex pattern, allowing you to ride shorter boards which paddle better and perform quicker, snappier turns. The boards are also 20-30% stronger than poly boards in regards to pressure dings. It's a longer lasting board that stays new as far as the flex is concerned.
To date over 30 master shapers have partnered with SurfTech worldwide to replicate their most sought after shapes, allowing them to spend more time researching, testing and refining their shapes for that next magical design.
I spoke with Rusty the other day, who has shaped some customs for me in the past. He told me he has done a few boards with SurfTech, using their TUFLITE technology and a couple of his blank shapes for masters...the man had nothing but good things to say about the process and end product. Turns out to my surprise...while I grilled Rusty on ALL the aspects of EPS...that he and the head of SurfTech, Randy French, first began to explore this EPS process back in the early 80's. Rusty told me the thing he likes the most in the end product is the fact that someone has the ability to replicate that "MAGIC" board time after time, and it will perform the exact same way and be the exact same board every time. Not to mention the fact that long after he has passed, people will still be able to ride a Rusty shaped board or a Merrick, BushMan, what have you.
Seems like a solid set-up, so many shapers can't be wrong and wouldn't endorse a crappy product. With Rusty's advice in regards to the boards he's done for me in the past, he highly recommended I give one a try.
So, I Put my order in for one and should have it in a week. Will put it through the ringer here on the big swells and frigid waters of Nor-Cal and let you all know my true opinion of the product.