One of the biggest questions I get is what's the difference between epoxy, fiberglass, and this NexGen I've been hearing about? In this post I'm gonna go through what the pros and cons to all them are so you can hopefully make a better educated decision.
Your traditional fiberglass construction (also referred to as classic or PU or poly or glass) is the classic construction of the surf industry. It's what boards have been made out of for the last 60+ years. PU construction starts with a polyurethane foam blank and a wood stringer. These boards are then traditionally shaped by hand and wrapped in fiberglass and polyester resin.
Epoxy boards, although they may appear to be new to the surf industry, have been around for quite a while. It has only become mainstream recently as the foam/glass/resin combo has been perfected. Epoxy boards will typically start with an Expanded Poly Styrene (EPS) foam blank with a PVC foam stringer. These boards are usually shaped by either a machine or by hand. (We choose to have all ours shaped by hand. It keeps people employed, and the art of surfboard shaping alive. Nothing quite like hand built if you know what I mean.) The board is then wrapped in fiberglass and covered in epoxy resin.
NexGen is an exclusive here at Degree33 that we are pretty proud of. It has the benefits of poly and epoxy without most the drawbacks. It really is the Next Generation in epoxy construction. NexGen starts like most epoxy surfboards with an EPS foam core. However, with our shorter boards (typically under 7'6"), you will notice that they're stringerless. This keeps the weight down and is unnecessary on the shorter stuff due to the strength of the resin. On the longer boards, they will have a wood stringer like the poly boards do. The other main difference is with the glass and resin. The resin is an epoxy resin but its strength to flexibility properties are drastically improved. This allows us to use much less fiberglass than other epoxies (see the benefit below).
Here's the bottom line, it ultimately comes down to your personal preference. Around the warehouse we like NexGen and Poly. One of the things that is really attractive about our fiberglass boards is that they're all built right here in San Diego, and personally hand shaped by Bill. This is a major bonus to have a master like him be the hands behind your craft. All our epoxies and NexGen's are still designed by Bill, but he doesn't shape them personally. All constructions have their pros and cons though. Really it's just your call.
It’s like that Ford vs Chev thing; I’m happy have a ride.
The trouble with the polyboard though is not the fiberglass are the epoxy with EVO the problem is is that no one makes a good polyurethane foam anymore!!! since Clark’s went out of business There is no consistency in blank.
OK, so why do you offer your Longboards in Epoxy only, and not NexGen?!
Dang Luc, I recently bought the epoxy 7’ hybrid. I wish I would have held out for the NexGen. I definately would have paid $50 more. I like the new designs though.
Well if there’s enough demand I will carry them. In the mean time let’s get you guys NexGen longboards going. Let us know and we can start on them.
Hi Luc – I have to agree with Mr. Tom. You have me convinced on the Nex Gen and if you had it in a longboard might order it right up! Is this something that only you manufacture? I am a new surfer looking for first board, and have been on longboard only. Will the nex gen have the stability of a big ole long board? Your site is really great, even the videos. I wish you much success!
Hmm… I was getting close to ordering one of the 10’ ultimates in epoxy but now I might wait it out till you do have them in nex gen. Glad I got ur email.
I absolutely wish I could carry every board in every construction but I have to do it incrementally. Right now in my warehouse I have NexGen in everything under 7’ except the lily pad. They will be added to the site by next week. We went with under 7’ first because that’s what everybody wanted first. I would love to carry longer stuff in NexGen too but it’s gonna take more guys like you that are wanting it. It’s worth it. My longboard is NexGen (well I guess all my personal boards are). I just did 2 custom Ulitmate longboards last month that were both NexGen. Turned out great.
NexGen is still an epoxy construction so it will need to be repaired in a similar manner. If it’s a small ding you can fix it with epoxy solarez. If it’s a big repair then take it to your local shop that repairs epoxy. As long as they use a high quality epoxy resin to repair it you should be just fine.
I am going to buy a nexgen fish board as soon as i get enought money!!…can’t wait
If there is a ding, how is NexGen repaired? Also, is it more environmentally friendly the epoxy?
Nex Gen seems to be the best bet from what you are stating. Since there are differences in repairing poly/epoxy. What would the repair be for a nex-gen look like?
The resin you will need to fix your board will depend on what construction your board is. If you have a poly board then use a polyurethane resin and so forth.
As far as where to buy it… I’m not sure. Check with your local repair shops and see if you can buy some off of them or if they can point you in the right direction.
Thanks this was what I needed. Last week unded the Golden Gate I lost 2 fin and put several perssure dents in me and my board. Was wondering wether to use fiber glass resen or epoxy.
also where do you buy it in the bay area without paying the hi cost of shipping.
NexGen Longboards add 2 more please.
ok luc,sounds good,a little reading and i learned a lot,and i will have to say the nex gen sounds like the way to go,since most of my dings happen to and from the water,not while i am surfing,besides,who wants to paddle more,iwant to catch more waves!
Glad to see that the NexGen is getting such a great response. I have been Long Boarding since 1963. Last year I picked up a Flexlite which I believe is a next generation material and I must say that it has spoiled me from paddling to turning to nose riding it incredible, lite as a feather and it is a 9’2".
this is a great website.
i read the emails u send and use ur website alot
Thanks for the great feedback Wes….we have several other customers just like you who are now revamping their quivers too! NexGen is where its at!
Well I gotta share that after using the 6’0 Retro in epoxy vs the 6’2 and 6’4 pivot fish in NexGen that I just received out here, there is a definitte difference in the weight and response of the NexGen. Well Done! My next Ultimate will be NexGen for sure maybe by mid summer…I am in the process of totally revamping my quiver one board at a time. :-).
I wondered why most of the boards up here in the Pacific northwest are now transported in board bags. Now I know, it’s the composition and having to travel so far from Seattle to the coast, it’s a definite plus.
Hi Luc, For the longest time, I was sold on epoxy boards for the ding resistance and a little less weight, specially with longboards, until I read your info on this next Gen. Next Gen seems to encompass more benefits so this has me leaning toward this type of construction.
Pray for sex, we can surf anytime…NOT!!!!!!!!!
Carlos (the rabbitt) Planas
It sounds like the best of both worlds!! Keep up the innovation!! Thanks for sharing the stoke!!Peace,Dennis aka DenRA Proffitt
I have been riding both epoxy and fiberglass boards for the past 3 yrs. I have never tried a nexgen shape but feel it might be worth a try. There has not been an epoxy that I have ever ridden that impressed me. They are always to light and I can never get a rail dug in unless it is milk glass. So unless you could change my mind, I don’t think nexgen would be any different.
Daniel- Yes we have looked in to and done some testing, and any XPS/extruded polystyrene had problems with de-laminating. There was an issue with the resins adhering to the blank so we discontinued it.
Tony/anyone else interested- we have a hand full of longboards coming in Nexgen that will arrive end of June. If you want one of them, give us a ring and we can reserve one.
I was going to purchase one of your epoxy boards, but if you think the NexGen longboard will be out soon…well maybe I’ll wait! Plus my friends in Oceanside are hoping you start making them as well.
Have you considered using XPS foam on any Next Gen Sup’s?
I am posting another vote for NexGen longboards.
i am very interested in the nexgen.my husband and i have several boards, but my fav is a 7’ 3fin superior board. i think its epoxy but not sure. for me its a longboard cause im short, and i have ridden short boards. i prefer the longer ones, my kids can ride with me. anything that makes them better i am all for.
Excellent article! Every detail I would ask and want to know. For me it sums up to “Moce is better” atleast in this case. LOVE this page.
Well I’m not familiar with the surf that far north but the simple answer to your question is yes. Different boards will perform differently in the different wave types… hollow, mushy, etc.
For mushy waves you can usually get away with a wider and thicker board that will give you an edge in paddling and float. It all depends on the type of wave you usually surf, what you have in your quiver, and what “hole” you’re trying to fill.
If you want specific info give us a call here and we’ll talk you through it.
Do you have different boards for different wave conditions? Like beach break or point break? Does it make a difference? The surf up here on the Strait of Juan de Fuca is different from the Pacific coast in WA, but is it that much different from say San Diego, Baja, or Costa Rica? Thanx, jp
Of course you can reserve one. Give us a ring at the warehouse and we can hook this up for you.
+1 For long board. I would like a nine six ultimate. Can I reserve this?
NexGen boards will pressure dent more than a standard epoxy but less than a poly board. The resin is softer (which is why it has better flex) but it is super elastic so it retains its epoxy strength.
It’s hard for me to get away from the old poly style boards. I haven’t had much luck with the epoxy boards I’ve tried, though I haven’t tried one of yours, but I’m interested in trying the next gen finish for sure. How does it hold up against pressure dings?
I just have one ? why is there no longboard in your new NexGen?
You got my attention and vote for NexGen. 9’0 please
I vote for a longboard version as well…however, I would like to get a fish as well.
Wish I had some extra money cuz I sure would buy a Next Gen Board.
I’ve always liked epoxy for its durability and weight, but I’m curious to ride a nex gen.
New Gen sounds good to me, but I’d need to ride it to know for sure
still like old school surfboards (fiberglass)in fla, been surfin since late 60s had lots of boards,where else can you shape,glass,sand,finish and than surf the next morning,I thinf only fiberglass. e
I stick with glass for a lot of reasons, but the main reason is cost! Not only in buying and making of new boards but also for repair!
In all reality “Who cares man! Just SURF!”
NextGen sounds pretty cool, I have an amazing fish right now, traditionally made, but a next Gen may indeed be something worth trying. Thanks for the heads up!
I enjoy reading and learning. Please keep sharing with us. Thank you
Thanks for the info-have been considering your boards for awhile and this article helped. Do you do custom nexgen 8’6" boards with the ultimate configuration for the steeper, colder, faster waves up here in Norcal
This has been very informative and helpful Luc. Thanks for the info and I am sure to take this into account when I am deciding on my next board. I am something of an old-school guy when it comes to glass…but might have to become more diverse and evolve with the newer materials that are out there. But I will miss the old sweet smell of glass being sprayed on some freshly shaped foam LOL
I’m another one waiting for a NexGen LONGBOARD 9’!
Maybe I could even win one;-)
BTW Nice write ups!
Everyone have a safe and happy 4th!
I also want a 9’0" Nex Gen-When would one be ready to order? Thank you, Gary
not sure on this one…need to do more research…i’ll tell u one thing…i don’t like bouncing off chop…however with a mini-longboard there may be minimal difference…that will be my next board…or a fun shape
Have been surfing 40 years. I have believed that glass was the best because everything else was too corky. But I really want to win your contest becaues I want one of your 10 ft longboards in your new material because it will float better and keep me in the water longer. Please choose me!!
Pismo Beach, CA
Thanks for the info. Very educational especially since I’m just starting back up where I left off———in 1970 catching a few off the beaches of Hawaii. Got sidetract by life in general. It was a long board then. I know it will be the same now but after your artical, I’m convinced NexGen would be the way to go. So add one more to your list GOTA HAVE IT. Thanks for the updates.
I enjoyed the education. I have found an epoxy long board is the best alternative for those of us getting a bit older…. the buoyancy helps with the choppy days— I don’t feel like I am fighting so hard and I don’t tire as quickly…
@ LUC…..THANKS…..I HAD A DUKE AND THE REST OF THE NAME I AM GOING TO MAKE A STAB AT IT DUKE KA-HANA-MOKA,,,,,I KNOW THAT IS NOT RIGHT BUT I HAD ONE AND GAVE THE DAMN THING AWAY…..NOW IT’S WORTH 3 TO 5 THOUSAND DOLLARS………HIND SITE IS 20/20 THANKS FOR THE INFO
Thank you for taking the time to actually expalin and discuss the different types of construction and board materials on your site instead of just only listing your models prices and sizes. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on building boards using high modulous carbon fiber and what would be the pro’s and cons of a board that is constructed of carbon fiber material ?
This is relatively new to me so reading your information was informative. Lots to consider before a purchase. Thanks for providing this.
Being a somewhat novice rider I haven’t tried all the types of boards. However, this article is a great way to check out the pro’s and con’s of all the boards out there and gave me some good ideas of what kind of board to get. Epoxy has my vote for right now because I like the sound of it not being to light.
Informative. Thanks. For me, any type is great.I paddled out a week ago, after no surfing for 12 years! Choppy and crossed up @ Port Aransas, Tx. Fun, but I’m still recovering.
I had an EPS board that was clearly C.N.C. machined and although it was a great template (C.I. Flyer) I hated it. Way too stiff. Three sessions and still no “connection” to the board. It was like it had no soul. I know, that sounds kooky, rite? True tho. I sold it to a buddy and he shreds on it so go figure. All of my other 4 boards are poly and I have a special bond with each. All were hand shaped by great shapers and the love and care they put into the construction transfers to the owner. I have been trying to reduce my carbon footprint tho, so I would be willing to try a nextgen. More important to me is that any board that gets a spot in my quiver be hand-shaped. This helps keep the art of shaping alive. We don’t need cheap pop-outs from Asia skewing the market. It’s just not in line with the organic nature that has historically defined surf culture and the surfers lifestyle. Thanks for the post and keep up the good work!
There’s somthing beautiful about the classics, I do like epoxy though & I haven’t tried the Next Gen?
WOW! Great article – the ultimate FAQ guide! I cannot wait until you manufacture a New Gen longboard in 10’2" (my current epoxy longboard is used for both surfing and paddleboarding).
(I can wish, can’t I?)
We are it bud. If you want to try one out you’ll have to get it from us. Cheers!
i’ve been riding glass boards for awhile, I love the feel of them. But after a year or two of hard riding, fixing dings,pressure bumps from my heels, and discoloration. They end up in the rafters of my garage, before they get to bad. That way, one day my kids will be able to ride them. So its back to the used racks looking for another decent board to ride for a few years. It’s not so bad lot’s of choices to choose from, I get to ride a lot of different styles, and these boards get a second chance. Surfboards belong in the water. And when I don’t find anything, I can always pull one down from the rafters and take it to the ocean. And you know what?… The board handles great. It’s like telling me thanks, for giving it a second chance .Take care of your boards and they will take care of you. Aloha & mahalo from a Nor Cal Surfer
Are you an exclusive Nex-Gen wholesaler ?Where on Hawaii can I try one before I decide to Buy ?
Sounds good send me a 9’6 demo and let me test ride :)
Hey I think as long as the board is made to what I have asked it doesn’t matter what it’s made of to me, all preform in great ways- just have to have the specks that fit to your surfing.
Hey, I read your article..very informative! I’d LOVE to have a NexGen Longboard, BUUUUTTT…you don’t carry that…(yet.:D) So I’ll definitely choose Epoxy. Thanks for keeping us informed! Looking forward for more blogs!! :D
What it all comes down to then is personal preference. Some people are loyal to one or the other. There is no one construction fits all in surfboards. I myself would rather like the Nexgen, with it being lighter and me “not so light” :) it would be better.
Based on your reviews will give a try to NEXGEN as of now !!!
Hey so this was a really interesting page. I’m not that familiar with surfboards but I’ve been surfing a few times and LOVED it. My friend gave me her surfboard so I want to get into it: it’s an Ohana Kemp, about 8’ to 8’ 1/2" feet. What kind of surfboard is that? Not sure. I dunno if you can tell me just by that description.
this nex-gen sounds good, i would like to try it. i am a little apprehensive though about the lack of weight. as a rider of long boards, i have been riding for about twenty years now. my first long board was a 1952 seal harbor. i have learned to use this weight to my advantage. both to punch through the inside or give that little extra push as you slide into the face of a triple over head. i live and ride in the north where we have cold heavy water. it would be nice to have the extra strength in nov when we can get 12 to 25 foot surf.
Thanks for your very insightful emails. Living in Hawaii is very expensive which is why I am double-crossing my fingers to win a mini-long board. Until reading your articles I had no idea what I really wanted. It’s been years since I surfed due to career and back injury. I am on the mend and so wanting to get back into it. I don’t mean to be selfish but……..I really really want to win!
well man if I win the free board I might get a next gen but I’ve been surfing for almost 14 years and I still love my old poly’s, my appeal is that in 14 years I’ve gotten pretty aggressive (rough) with my boards, any chance you can figure out how to make a board that rides just like a poly but stronger :) bottom line, I’m kinda freaked at the idea of spending $600 on something I’ve never tested.
Luc, thanks for the blog, very informative. BTW, you misspelled biased, but who cares.
I have been surfing past 10 years, year round, on PUs. I bought one Epoxy shortboard 3 years ago mainly for travel because I got sick and tired of finding my boards destroyed upon arrival no matter how paddedy bag was. However, Epoxy sucks, it’s so dead, it has no soul and gives no glide.I think I hate my Epoxy.
NexGen sounds too good to be true. But, I will have to try. My questions are:
1. Where are you located and do you let people test run your nexgen boards?
2. My favorite board in the world is a 5’9 fish PU, insane light, only drawback is paddle out in east coast short period swell is nothing but steady beatings. You say the nexgen is lighter than PU. However, I don’t want anything lighter than my current 5’9. Do you make thick 5’9s in order to get more weight? If not, do you take custom orders?
Great info! Can’t wait to own my first board. U guys are awesome, keep it up!
nothing like the ol’ classic glass board, great write up.
great info….. will be making better choices with this info,
Thanks for the class. I have also done my research and tend to be a glass mean..except if your talking SUP’s then epoxy is the only availability and more durabke for the task
Luc – thanks for the info, I never knew all these differences before. I’m very interested in the NexGen materials!!!
i still think that the traditional glass is better. but i have not tried the nexgen stuff so wouldn’t know about that. epoxy is too hard to maneuver.
Thanks for the info. It was very informative and well written. Over the years I’ve only owned glass boards, but the nexgen stuff sounds very interesting. My current mini tank is a 9’3" Mike Maag that rides great, but it’s really worn out. Hurry up and offer the nexgen for longboards! I’m wondering how it would handle at White Plains on Oahu…
Thanks for the info. It was very informative and well written. Over the years I’ve only owned glass boards, but the nexgen stuff sounds very interesting. My current mini tank is a 9’3" Mike Maag that rides great, but it’s really worn out. Hurry up and offer the nexgen for longboards!
What kind of designs/graphics do you have . I plan on getting another board for Christmas !!!
We can make a fish to your specific requirements. Just give us a ring at the warehouse and we can talk through the details. As far as rentals/demos, we don’t have the ability to those right now, but that’s why we offer our 30 day “ride it” guarantee.
Epoxy is better for these reasons:
Lighter – Your standard epoxy board can be much lighter than a poly
Stronger – Epoxy boards will 10-15% stronger than poly boards.
Environmentally Friendly – Epoxy surfboard are significantly less toxic
Cuts Through Chop – A poly blank is a fairly dense foam. This gives smoother on the water when riding.
Responsive – Another benefit to the poly blank is the spring it provides. This can make your board more responsive and more performance driven.
Better Graphics – Because the foam is more dense and the resin of a poly board is transparent
Just my 02
nex-gen sounds likes the way to go! Lik others, I hope to get a longboard! On the west coast of Fla I think its the only way to go!!
Necessity being the Mother of invention, I’m gonna add Nex-Gen to my quiver. Although the basics of classic design are still flowing strong through shaping. Technology is still pushing the limits of surfing forward, and it shows in todays riders. SURFING, YA GOTTA LOVE IT!!
Looks too good to be true….we’ll see
Thanks for the info i think i will stick with the classic.
OK two thumbs up will be in the market for new board soon
I have only ever had poly boards so I dont know how I feel about anything else. I would love to try but money is always an issue. I have my first board I bought when I was 15 still. I have it touched up every few years and it keeps going strong. I have bought several other poly boards but my 6’1" 1960’s era Rainbow Rider is the best. I bought it in the 80’s. One of these days I want to get a 7’0 – 7’6" version of it made. A NexGen sounds like the way to go.
I just bought a 7’6" epoxy (not one of yours) to add to my quiver and so far, I hate it. It surfs like a slug – can’t turn it at all – not responsive. It’s like I am starting over with over 20 years behind me. However, I’ve yet to hit it on a solid swell. My son on the other hand loves it. I will keep you in mind when I decide to order a 7’2" cause I am now leaning towards NexGen.
Keep up the good work, Luc.
I’ll take one of each if it ships free to FL.
i have only ridden a fiberglass board and not had the pleasure of trying out any different boards yet. I am hoping to purchase a new board if i can get the money together this will def help me on my decision for my next board though i have been shopping for a while and it feels like im only getting further from that new board :(
I have two longboards from the late 1990’s. I assume they were made from the now defunct Clark foam blanks. Is that the traditional glass you mention in your blog? I have a Tanaka shaped 9’ longboard with triple stringers and a center box with twin thrusters. I love it but it is showing signs of wear (bought it new in ‘97). If I took detailed photos could you use those and make a custom board out of NexGen? Something a little more durable? I live in Houston so I don’t get to surf as often as I did when I was stationed in Hawaii. Conditions in the gulf are just wind chop, if you’re lucky. I miss surfing.
hello, i tried a some epoxy board from 7’10 malibu to 6’6’’ shortboard. Now i have a epoxy 6’6’’ shortboard and a poly 6’8’’ funboard. Well epoxy board are heavy and is uncomfortable to move arround, but to begin(or crowded places lol),is perfect because resistance, floats a lot its easy to stand but difficult to go outside, better for heavy surfers.
Poly its faster, moves better, easy to move arround, need a lot of care to not damage. So..to beginners epoxy, or if is a small board like 6’6’’ ou 6’0’’ i think its ok.
The float between the standard EPS and the NexGen is going to be about the same. They have the same foam core which is where the majority of your buoyancy comes from.
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September 15, 2015
if the nexgen is special for you, how can I fix the board when it is broken or gets dingged?