Buzzard Technical stuff . . . .

We use Dow Ethafoam 220E (2.2lbs/cu ft) or Zfoam (2.0lbs/cu ft) for PE cored boards. This is a LDPE (low density polyethylene) foam which comes in 9 foot planks. We also use Dow 400E for some custom and "Big Bro" boards. "Fatboy" boards use 400E (4.0lbs/cu ft) with a 15mm layer of 220E laminated on top to give extra thickness and buoyancy. This core is incredibly stiff and when used at full thickness with an HDPE deck and Surlyn slick almost impossible to bend and is very hard to ride unless you weigh 16 stone plus! (but see user's views from Marcus.) For warm water use and ultimate stiffness we use Propafoam PP cores at up to 55mm core thickness. The cores are cut on a bandsaw to a template on the cutting table to give a basic shape and rail angle. At this point the core is sanded on a belt sander to the required thickness.

Rail-cutting tables

 Then the nose taper is cut on a swinging cradle bandsaw and the core is ready for final sanding to the correct size and profile.

Swinging cradle bandsaw

The Surlyn slick, which we use on all boards, (except PP cores which can have a PP slick bottom) is then heat laminated to the bottom of the core foam using a moving hot air laminating table. (No glues or solvents - very hot air only). The board is then left to cool under pressure to remove the stresses caused by the lamination temperatures.

The heat-laminating table

The deck is of HDPE Hiseal (uncross-linked) which comes from the USA. For PE cores it is used as it is but for PP cores a heat activated glue film is put on before lamination. It is then heat laminated to the top of the board. While the board is still hot, the deck is pushed down over the upper rails and laminated to the rails with a hot air gun and glove. After further cooling and destressing the board is put back into the templates and the lower rail area is re-cut if needed using a bandsaw or for the larger "Fatboy" boards a spindle-moulder.

The belt sander-thicknesser

The lower rails - always HDPE Hiseal (with film if on PP) are then fitted by hand using a hot air gun and gloves and trimmed to size, a second rail is then fitted if required. This is then trimmed with a special knife and sanded ready for finishing. Dave smoothing the rails

Dave smoothing the rails

Nose and Tail
The nose and tail are then cut and sanded to shape - crescent, bat-tail, wing-pin-tail or whatever you want - and then the HDPE Hiseal is fitted using the heat gun as before. Dave fitting nose and tail (to a BodyGun)

Dave fitting nose and tail (to a BodyGun)

All the rails, nose and tail are trimmed with a special knife giving an eighth inch stand-up. This is then heated until partially molten and then finished to give the board a strong waterproof surface.

Now . . .
Fit a leash and try it out!!

Technical enquiries to Dave at:

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