all you need to know about Balsa Wood Surfboards
Balsa wood Surfboards | by Kaony
I am sure I can get a foam board for less bugs! Reason enough to buy a foam board, ain’t it?
Sure, that’s right, somehow. But you have to consider that we are talking about two different kind of surfboards, that are actually not comparable. The main difference accounts for the durability. Foam boards are not supposed to stay for more than two or three fulltime surf seasons as the material is only durable to a certain extent. Kaony produces handcrafted individual boards made of Balsa, which will definitely will be a loyal companion until you’ve reached a ripe old age. Thus, you should rather see it as an investment than a short-term toy. Well, we are convinced about that and therefore we ensure lifetime guarantee.
Where is the difference between the production of balsa and foam boards?
The production of Balsa wood surfboards is again totally different to that of foam boards. Every small step of the production is a manual process and requires enormous precision and technical know-how. The inner frame is benefiting from the wooden wing structure, which makes the board extremely light weight, flexible and durable - without using any foam. Additional protection of the Balsa outer layer is given by an anti UV Polyurethan covering, which will be glassed and polished to perfection.
At first glance, actually, the wood surfboard is looking rather fragile. Do they really withstand the enormous strain of the water?
Believe it or not, but a Balsa wood surfboard is even more solid than a standard one. The material is not that susceptible to damages or dings as a foam board. The frame, the Balsa cover and the fiber glass coating create an almost indestructible unit, which withstand the toughest ride. But anyway, there is always a way to get a ding, so what you should do? No worries, repairing a Balsa surfboard is as easy as as doing a ding repair on a foam board.
What about the weight difference?
Out of the water the boards are of course heavier than foam boards. How big this difference is actually depends on many factors such as weight of the raw material, board type or size etc. But regarding the fact that many of the light weight foam or glass boards produced are produced with less material at the expense of durability, the small differences in weight is not the case anymore.
Kaony relies on a balanced relation between weight durability for a sick fun in the waves. Due to that Kaony boards are definitely the winner. You don’t have to worry about damages due to knee dents or death grips.
So does it feel to surf the board in the whater?
In the whater you finally don’t feel the difference in weight anymore. But it gets exciting once you started surfing the Kaony boards as additional weight means additional drive. In combination with the inner air core of the board, the bouyancy, as a result of the volume, creates an unique and incomparable surf experience - with each session anew.
Is it possible to customize the boards according to my needs?
In general, there are two different approaches to produce the Balsa boards. The most common one is to produce a board according to our current series. The other way is to use your experience to adapt the boards to your needs and surf preferences. So you input is always welcome. But you have to bear in mind that the price and the producation time have to be adpated.
Which kind of fin system can be used?
In general, all FCS or Future Systems can be used for all boards.
Design of the boards
Every Kaony Balsa surfboard can be redesigned into a masterpiece according to your personal style and idea. Which is not possible, of course, is the imaging of logos any references to other brands, famous pro-surfers or signature models.
How durable and tough are Balsa surfboards?
Just two things to mention here: wood boards are more durable than foams and the ding repair is almost as easy as repairing foam boards. Damages caused by knee-dents or death-grips can not occur anymore. But if the boards hit something sharp or are hit with great force surely you will get in trouble. Only small scratched on the surface of the Balsa board cannot really harm the board as the water will not be substracted by the wood as foam would do.
Which board is the right one for me?
This question has to be answered individually as everyone has his own surf style and skills and we have the possibility to customize the design according to that. If you are still a rookie but you would love to ride a Balsa surfboard we totally recommend to gain some information from surfers you may know on your surf style, skills and the spots you like to surf. Of course, please contact us, we will support you with advice and help. After all you should enjoy Kaony as much as we do.
Balsa wood - what is the benefit?
Extremely light, beautiful, durable, environmentally friendly and much more. An incredible feeling and direct connection with nature. Balsa wood is one of the most lightweight types of wood and it is very easy to work with. From where Balsa came from it is used for building rafts. Globally, it is also utilized as a substitute for cork; however above all, it is especially a popular commodity among model-makers (e.g. miniature airplanes and boats). Moreover, table tennis rackets, boats or musical instruments are partly made of Balsa wood. It is a significant core material of composite materials of sandwich constructions, such as in boat, sail or small aircraft constructions. Balsa Wood is also used for manufacturing blades for wind energy systems. There are different strengths of Balsa wood ranging between about 100 kg/m³ (0, 1 g/cm³) and 200 kg/m³ (0,1 g/cm³). This density makes only one-third of the density of ordinary wood. Depend on the application, you can choose between especially hard and relatively lightweight or lightweight and soft wood. The density of lightweight Balsa wood is comparable to that of polystyrene hard foam. Before synthetic resin was used to produce surfboards, Hawaiians used Balsa wood for that. Even today, many surfers appreciate Balsa boards still. Good to know: the spherical housing of the instrument capsules of the American space probes Ranger 3, 4 and 5 were made of Balsa wood to protect them from the hard impact on the lunar surface.
A rooky’s life is not easy: practising take offs in the white water, getting washed every session due to wipe outs and a bunch of more experiences, which might be only empty and confusing technical expressions. As we don’t want to raise more questions than answers at this point, we took some time to give you an overview of all the basics of surfing and what it’s all about. Enjoy and keep surfing!
Actually, trying to choose the right kind of board for yourself is already incredibly challenging. The range seems to be quite huge. We try to shed some light in the dark: In general, there are 3 different types of boards.>
Most longboards measure more than 8,5 ft. They are rather slow and hard to turn, but their mass and length make paddling, catching waves easier when learning. Longboards are the best choice to get started with the take off.
As the name predicts shortboards are the opposite of longboards.They are extremely fast, short and leightweight, what allows them to make turns easier and faster. Shortboards should be used by advanced surfes. As a beginner you will have a hard life to mantain a proper paddling position, catch a wave and find the right balance with them.
A funboard is a kind of mixture of all the benefites of a shortboard and longboard, kind of. It is fast, maneuvrable and at the same time not that hard to catch a wave. Choosing the right board is a crucial factor on your surf. That’s why you also should consider your body height, weight and the spot you want to start in addition to the surfboard type.
Choosing the right board is a crucial factor on your surf. That’s why you also should consider your body height, weight and the spot you want to start in addition to the surfboard type.
Here you will find some more terms.
plan shape or outline
Looking from the top at the surfboard the shape is called plan shape or outline. The plan shape determines the type of the board.
The shape of the back of a board is called tail design. Common used tail designs are pin, squash, square or swallow design.The wider the tail, the more space, the easier the take off. They can be turned easy in small waves but might be harder to control in big waves. Square and squash feature exactly what wide tails does not. With a smaller tail the surfer can make better turns and deep carves.
The curve of the bottom of the board is called rocker. The rocker mainly affects the turns and the speed of surfing a wave. Just remember: the more curve of the bottom, the easier you can make turns, but with less speed. If you want the opposite effect, just choose a surfboard with less curve.
The sides of the board are called rails. You can choose between low, med and high rails. The thickness of the rails again will affect the turn and the balance. The thinner they are, the easier it will be to turn, but at the expense of balance.
Without fins, you cannot steer the board at all. They can be fixed permanently on the board or can be attached seperatly. Small sized fins allow deep turns and slides, whereas big fins will have a positive effect on balance and power stability. But also the number of the fins is determining. Most surfers use the tri-fin system, meaning 3 fins on the bottom of a surfboard. The middle fin allows the steering and a good drive, and the fins close to the rails will help to keep the board in the water in hard turns.