The History of Xtra Foam Surfboard Blanks in the UK - Triocean Surf | Surfboards, Xcel Wetsuits, Surfboard Blanks
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The History of Xtra Foam Surfboard Blanks in the UK

November 29 2017 Categories: Products

In 1995 Dave Grover went to Durban, South Africa to surf and lifeguard. In the bars and the warm water, contacts were made and for the next few years a steady stream of surfboards and surfboard blanks made their way to South Devon from South Africa.

In 2007 local business man, Neil Girling and Dave formed Triocean Surf. Ten years on the company continues to grow with a focus on excellent customer service and advice based on experience and local knowledge, served with friendly banter and humour.

Xtra Foam surfboard blanks have been there since the beginning, and are stronger than ever, with an updated look and a few new blanks for this year, coinciding nicely with Triocean Surf’s tenth year of trading.

Company founder Rod Macdonald has honed his methods and specific skills over the years, and along with a great team, continue to grow and develop their main product – the surfboard blank.


So what is a surfboard blank?

Standard surfboards are constructed with a foam core, shaped to the desired board specifications and then lamintated (very basically – covered in fibreglass and resin).

The surfboard blank is the foam core and is traditionally polyurethane foam.

How is a surfboard blank made?

The surfboard blank starts off in liquid form – it is mixed and poured in to a mould, which is then sealed and the mix is left to expand.

Once cured, the blank is taken out of the mould, inspected and then taken to have a stringer fitted. A stringer is usually a single strip of wood that runs down the centre of the surfboard to provide strength and stiffness for the blank.

The blank is cut in half on a machine saw, the stringer wood has glue applied to both sides and the new blank is clamped together and left to cure.

The mix of the liquid polyurethane foam and the production techniques can greatly affect the quality of the surfboard foam. This is something that Rod and Xtra Foam have specialised in and taken great care to bring consistency and quality to their products.

What makes a good surfboard blank?

For a good surfboard blank, the following properties need to be taken into account (not in any necessary order):

  • The blank must be white in colour and not fade in a short timescale – everyone loves the look of a brand new surfboard. If no colour is used for the design, the white should stay white for as long as possible
  • There must be no large voids, or air bubbles within the foam – this will undoubtedly cause issues for the shaper, but any unseen voids may compromise the blank’s strength
  • The density must be as consistent as possible throughout the blank – this gives uniform strength and allows the shaper to adjust weight and flex within the board design with some precision
  • It must be easy to shape, with no tearing under normal conditions – this will affect the shaper more than the end user, however its nice to see your board looking as good as it can
  • The stringer should be free of kinks and the correct amount of adhesive used – the stringer is used for a reference point for the board’s measurements. If the stringer is wonky, there is a chance the board will be too. Not enough glue can obviously cause issues and affect aesthetics of the final product
  • The blanks should be relatively light – the blank is the core of the surfboard, not intended for the main strength of the structure, but firstly the shape. Where any small weight saving is possible (without going too far – some strength is required), this is extremely helpful

A surfboard blank is a hand-made product, Rod and his team strive for the best quality product they can and Triocean Surf are proud to be the UK distributor for a fantastic product from an authentic, family run business.

Our range of Surfboard Blanks

Triocean Surf stock the full range of Xtra Foam surfboard blanks – shortboard blanks, fish blanks, minimal blanks and longboard blanks.

Shortboard Blanks – Available from 6’3″ to 7’3″

Fish Blanks – Available from 6’5″ to 6’11”

Minimal Blanks – Available from 7’2″ to 8’5″

Longboard Blanks – Available from 9’8″ to 10’3″

Which surfboard shapers use Xtra Foam Surfboard Blanks?

Xtra Foam blanks are in high demand in the UK, with many of the country’s top shapers choosing Xtra Foam surfboard blanks for their boards.

These include (but not limited to):

Luke Young (Luke Young Shapes)

John Purton (JP Surfboards)

Graeme Bunt (Local Hero)

Dave Farrow (Many Returns)

Matt Adams (Adams Surfboards)

Ryan Hervè (Nutz Surfboards)

Here’s a small list of some of the products we get from Durban, South Africa:

Fancy your hand at shaping your own surfboard?

To make it easy for you to make your own surfboard, we have compiled the products you will need in to surfboard shaping kits:

Shortboard shaping kit

Minimal shaping kit

Longboard shaping kit 

You may also like our Knowledge Base, which includes practical articles, tips and tricks to help you with all things surf related.

Happy shaping

Surfboard Shaping


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