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Wingfoil board constructions vary greatly between brands. Indeed, the way your board is built will directly influence its quality, its longevity and its price. It is important to ask yourself about the construction of your windfoil board in order to make the right choice.
Design can sometimes make us look good. However, we should not be fooled. What makes the soul and the quality of a board is its construction. It is in the water that we will realize the difference: lack of rigidity, nervousness, fragility, breakage at the slightest impact… All this limits the life of the board, causes delamination of the deck or the hull, etc. The list can be very long. The list can be very long… and costly.
Some brands sell products with very average constructions at very high prices. Unfortunately, either the boards are very heavy or the construction does not live up to the sales pitch. They then quickly go to repair, the original cost soars, plus the time and structural quality is lost. An extremely light board can also be a bad sign for strength.
The board is often the most complete element of a foil/board/sail package. It is essential that this element is also of high quality. The choice of the size of the Wingfoil board is also an important criterion to consider before making your choice. Understanding how Wingfoil boards are constructed can help you choose your pack and avoid disappointment.
From a polystyrene block that we will have previously machined, we realize a sandwich stratification on the whole board as follows: polystyrene – fiberglass – PVC foam – fiberglass then finishing gel coat. By definition, a full sandwich construction consists of attaching two thin but rigid “fiberglass or carbon skins” to a light and very dense “core” (PVC or Airex foam). As a standard, we use a PVC foam of 3 to 5 mm depending on the model of boards built.
As a rule, the inner skin in contact with the polystyrene block is made of fiberglass. On a rigid carbon board, we simply replace the fiberglass by this component. This technique brings a weight gain, a better stiffness and reactivity of the board.
This type of construction is generally used in windsurfing. It is the most durable and solid production technique on the market. It may be more expensive, but it brings incomparable quality to the product. And that’s why we produce all our rigid foil boards in this way. Cherry on the cake: Our Sky rider boards, available in 5’5, 5’8, 6’3 in carbon or fiberglass version are designed in France, and more precisely in Morbihan, in Brittany.
These boards are among the only ones on the market to benefit from this design technique on the hull. They are also among the only ones to meet French standards for the protection of workers and oceans (no lead paint).
This technique consists in taking a polystyrene block, slightly denser than the one needed for the full sandwich construction. This polystyrene block is covered by different layers of fiberglass. This construction is less expensive because it requires little equipment to produce these boards. They have the advantage of having a lower construction price, but for a lower quality.
As a result, Wingfoil’s low cost boards usually have two to three layers of fiberglass which tends to make them very fragile, and accelerates their deterioration. Other brands, more concerned about the durability of their product, have more layers of fiberglass or carbon. Nevertheless, this will result in a consequent overweight of the board, without having the reactivity and the rigidity of a full sandwich board.
This model of board is built with a mixed fiberglass/bamboo or fiberglass/carbon. This technique is a little more efficient than the simple monolithic construction because it brings a little more rigidity to the whole. It consists of applying one or more layers of fiberglass on the polystyrene, adding a layer of bamboo on top, then covering with resin.
However, it remains relatively fragile to impacts and is definitely less rigid and solid than the full sandwich version. The bamboo layer being very thin, the rigidity is certainly better, but not sufficient. Some brands talk about full bamboo or double sandwich bamboo construction.
This consists of covering the polystyrene block with a layer of fiberglass and then with a bamboo and then with a layer of fiberglass. It is possible with this technique to slightly increase the load weight compared to the simple monolithic construction. Nevertheless, it is far from being comparable in terms of rigidity and ability to withstand violent shocks.
Therefore, only the full sandwich construction will guarantee rigidity, strength and longevity of the product while remaining light.
We made this choice for all these reasons:
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