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Infused Carbon - Shining Light on Carbon Surfboards

  • By Paul Malixi

Infused Carbon - Shining Light on Carbon Surfboards

We have been receiving a lot of questions about the benefits of Varial Infused Carbon surfboards and if its right for you. Carbon has been rising in popularity thanks to its durability, performance benefits, and... let's face it, they look good. I mean really good.

With the considerable price increase, it's a big commitment for not knowing what you're getting into. Therefore, we're here to dispel any rumors and get down to the facts behind carbon so you can make an educated decision behind your purchase.

What are the benefits of Varial Infused Carbon?

Carbon is both stiffer- and stronger – than fiberglass.   The fiber itself is about 5X the stiffness of E Glass fiberglass.  Furthermore, a 6oz carbon weave has about 65% more fiber in it than a 6oz fiberglass weave due to the fact that carbon fiber is lighter than fiberglass. A stiffer lamination means a board that responds faster.  It is also even more chatter resistant than Varial Foam/ fiberglass boards.  It won’t bend into the curve of the wave as easily, but it sure will fly down the line and boost into the stratosphere.

Should I get Varial Infused Carbon?

If you have a favorite model and you want it to last a long time, protect it against pressures, buckling, and/or cracks that can happen with travel, rubbing shoulders with crowded lineups, or landing heavy in the flats; in this scenario, we say go for it. If your favorite board looks like the surface of the moon, pressures, craters, cracks due to the aforementioned abuse, carbon is a great way to add more impact resistance, and extend its life. In the end, you'll have a board that will always be there for you as a daily driver or trusty travel companion.

If you're trying out a new model and you're not sure how long you're going to keep it for, this is a scenario that would not be ideal for upgrading to carbon.

Why should I choose Varial Foam over others for Carbon lamination?

We have experience surfing carbon wrapped EPS boards and they do perform well, with limitations. When the surf starts getting larger, they start to chatter at higher speeds. EPS also has a tendency to feel "corky", so people will order them smaller than their preferred sizes to compensate for that. Lastly, they're a little too light and can turn into an airplane wing lifting off in stronger winds. Varial Foam has a increased structural rigidity that is known for increasing control while reducing chop and chatter. Its optimized density also does not feel corky in the water and will help prevent feeling too light under heavier wind or wave conditions.

Learn more about Varial Foam Technology here.

Another thing to factor are repairs. Dings/punctures happen to the best of us, and while carbon boards have a higher resistance against blunt impact, it is not resistant against sharp objects such as rocks or reef. In fact, sharp objects can penetrate through carbon quite easily just like fiberglass. The last thing you'll want in this scenario is exposed EPS foam absorbing water while you're out in the lineup. You would have to get out of the water as soon as possible in order to save your board. If there's any remaining water in your EPS foam which could take days in the heat/sun to fully evaporate (which is also not good for your board), that will cause your board to gas out, delaminate, and absolutely ruin it. Unlike EPS, Varial Foam is closed cell so water will not seep into the foam quickly. Also, long exposure to heat and sun does not cause Varial Foam to delaminate. In the event of a ding, put your board in sunlight for a bit and it will be ready for a professional repair in no time.

We surfed a Varial Foam blank without lamination and the board was bone dry in less than a couple hours. Click here to watch.

How is it made and how much is it?

Due to rigidity of carbon fabric, laminating it requires a technical vacuum bag technique that only a few shops can offer. Since our propriety Infused Carbon process utilizes a one-shot epoxy system, we're able to offer full carbon with Epoxy at a reasonable cost of +$280.

How can I order it?

Choose your desired model and dims on our custom board builder, and select
All Carbon: 3k carbon deck and bottom, Epoxy resin only [+$280]

VARIAL CARBON WRAP PROS + / CONS - (tl:dr)

PROS

+Looks damn good
+Stronger/Lighter
+Blunt Impact/Pressure Resistance
+Buckle/Break Resistance
+Longer lifespan
+Epoxy glassing click here to read about the benefits.
+No corky EPS feel
+Minimal chatter with larger waves/higher speeds
+No delaminations
+Easier ding repairs
+Heat/Sun resistant

CONS
-More expensive
-Does not increase protection against sharp objects
-Stiffer flex rides differently

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