- what's the difference between the "THING" and the PUG?the thing is a mini version of a fletcher four-fin. you ride them short. they have ample rocker and similar width to a normal shortboard. the loss of volume means that the outline has to be full but it ain't stubby at all. the tail can accommodate a 5-fin configuration because of the relative proportions. the pug is really a somewhat magnetized fletcher four-fin or ratskate with 6" cut off the nose, single concave pushed back a tad towards the tail and a five fin configuration. same foil and rails and rocker as a performance shortboard but with the slight modifications in the outline and tail width, it can be a good small wave board and daily driver. it does so much in the way of versatile surfing that it kinda beats out the thing as a small wave board. if your day to day surfing consists of quick beachies and round bowly reefs then the thing is a great board. if you have more of a broader spectrum of wave height and type then the pug is the best bet between the two.
- Epoxy resin only, huh?If you ever visit, you'll notice something very unlike traditional surfboard factories. It doesn't stink! We use only the best epoxy resins in the world. Each board is built with either Resin Research PH project 2100 system or Entropy Performance Grad Eco Resins. It is safe, easy to handle and environmentally friendly. It's also the best surfboard epoxy resin around. Having no VOC release or harmful chemical vapors makes it pretty nice for everyone as well. Epoxy has come a long way since the yellow stuff of the past generation. Now they are brighter, whiter, perform better and are optimized for surfboard specific usage.
Check out more info here:
Entropy Performance Grad Eco Resins
Resin Research Project 21 System
- "doesn't EPS foam suck water?"Marko foam uses compression molded technology as opposed to the blocks of eps that are 48" x 40" and anywhere from 8' to 14' in length. The tight bead fusion occurs when injection ports introduce clean steam into the close tolerance molds to activate the expansion process under controlled heat and pressure. Because the molds can withstand a longer process of expansion into foam, the density and cell structure as well as the shaping characteristics of Marko EPS foam blanks is of unmatched quality. The reason no one ever wanted to do a tightly fused, higher density eps form is because it takes significantly more time to remain under heat and pressure in order to get tight fusion (read = minimal water absorption). Financially, it wasn't feasible for larger companies, especially ones based in far off inland areas where surfing isn't a passion. Marko is the complete opposite and you'll see that in the quality of their foam and the price of the materials. It is a truly surfboard specific eps foam blank.
- Can I order my Stretch quad or 5-fin convertible with FCS?We use FCS Fusion fin plugs because they are a pre-lamination install and far superior for EPS production as they supply greater structural integrity and a cleaner install. We always use 9 degree and 0 degree plugs for either quad or 5-fin convertible boards.
With the FCS Fusion fin system you also have the ability to adjust fin placement up to 1/8 inch fore/aft. Keep this in mind when you are experimenting with swapping fins and especially when you are tightening the grub screws as youÕll see a tendency for the fin to want to creep in the direction of the tightening screw.
Your life is easier because FCS uses a 0 degree/90 degree cant in the fins themselves meaning that you canÕt mix up which side your symmetrically foiled rear quad fin is inserted. It will be the same cant on either side because THE CANT IS BUILT INTO THE PLUGS ALREADY IN YOUR BOARD.
This feature allows you to have a greater use of available fins because the FCS FINS ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON CANT ANGLES BUILT INTO THE BASE OR SPECIFIC BOX DEPTHS like the futures system provides.
- Are Stretch's quad designs different than others?Stretch designs his quads with ½ inch deep boxes in the rear. Your new board is NOT DESIGNED TO BE A TWINZER so donÕt go thinking that the smaller fins go up front.
Your rear fins will fit snugly into the rear boxes only. The front fins have ¾ inch deep bases so they will NEVER fit into the rear boxes.
If this is your first quad with futures fin system installed then thereÕs about a 50% chance YOU MIGHT PUT THE REAR QUAD PAIR IN BACKWARDS. This is because stretchÕs fin design utilizes a 50/50 symmetrical foil with a 2 degree CANT OUTWARDS TOWARD THE RAIL. Those 2 degrees may seem subtle to the unknowing eye but it makes a big difference in how the board surfs.
If in doubt, follow these easy steps:
1) remove the rear fins and pinch the bases together. They should either splay outwards from each other or be smooshed together.
2) If your fins are canted inwards than reverse them to the opposite side asap!
Those 2 degrees make a big difference with the way StretchÕs quads will handle as they compensate for the bottom contour at that point of the board. The more vertical the rear quad fins are then the more drive you can get out of stomping your rear foot on those symmetrical foils. The more canted out you have them then the more control you have when leaned on rail at speed. ItÕs a delicate balance between cant angle, tow angle, cluster spread, rear fin configuration, front fin size, rear fin size, foil, template, material, etcÉ and thatÕs just on top of the board design!
We set our fin boxes prior to lamination so that the proper fin cant angle is adjusted correctly in each individual board.
- Bat vs. moon vs. diamond vs. swallow vs. squash?Stretch believes in two tail types, round pins and then everything else. A lot of it has to do with the length of the rail line and where it ends. Round pins are a continuous rail tip to tail whereas everything else has a pivot or end point. When the rail line ends on a pivot point then the feel of the board will be based on where that point is positioned. On the bat or diamond tails the pivot point ending the rail line in the tail block is pushed up from where the board's rocker and length are measured. Whereas a moon or swallow tail has the rocker and length measured from the very end point of the rail line, the fact that the bat tail has the rail line shortened means that the fin cluster will effectively be utilized closer to the tail as the surface area will naturally increase as the pivot points in the tail move closer to the wider portion of the board. One can disregard the use of the mid-point or apex of the tail block since Stretch believes the performance of the board is from tip to tip across the tail block width. The bat tail increases the tail block width. Quads with a wider tail will also help give the looseness and the pivot-like feeling that you can't get with a tri fin because there is a trailer fin, which needs a narrower tail to provide lateral stability when leaned on rail as to not disengage from the water.
There are very subtle differences in feel that even the best surfers can’t decipher. If you want to surf in small or weaker surf with the ability to turn quickly then go with the bat tail. If you want to surf small to medium size waves and you are powerful in turns then get a moon tail.
- What is the difference between a Magnet and a Fletcher four-fin?There are 3 main differences between the magnet and a Fletcher four-fin: the outline is slightly fuller, especially in the tail. Also, the rocker is a bit more relaxed in the nose but still continuous and not flat. The foil has a tad more foam distribution across the deck and into the rail. This combination enables the magnet to be more efficient in planing through softer sections, catching more waves and surfing in conditions where you would be working harder to get your shortboard to move about. It is not a super groveler so much as it is really a board to give you that extra “umph!” when the ocean isn’t doing it for you.
- How is a Magnet different than a Fletcher Four-fin?There are 3 main differences between the magnet and a fletcher four-fin: the outline is slightly fuller, especially in the tail. Also, the rocker is a bit more relaxed in the nose but still continuous and not flat. The foil has a tad more foam distribution across the deck and into the rail. This combination enables the magnet to be more efficient in planing through softer sections, catching more waves and surfing in conditions where you would be working harder to get your shortboard to move about. It is not a super groveler so much as it is really a board to give you that extra umph when the ocean isn’t doing it for you.
- What kind of foam do you use?We use Marko Foam exclusively for all boards we build here in Santa Cruz. Marko has been manufacturing high quality foam for nearly 5 decades. Their surfboard specific pressure molded EPS blanks are the best. Their manufacturing process is environmentally sound, stronger, lighter and more versatile than any other foam Stretch has found over the last 20 years of EPS/EPOXY production.
- Where is your factory?We are located at 983 Tower Place in Santa Cruz, CA. We're in the business park at the end of the street and on the left, closest to the train tracks. It's conveniently located about 3 blocks from the beach. So, if you're ever in the neighborhood and want to check out the latest and greatest, order a new custom or just say "hello", stop on by.
- Why do Stretch surfboards have deck channels along the rails?Deck Channels (also referred to as "grab rails", "love handles", "channel tops", "thumb rails", "parabolic air grippers", etc..., etc...) are nothing new. In fact they've been done as early as the mid-80's. People will debate who had it done first by saying that it was "so and so" in Florida in '84 or "that one guy" in Santa Cruz in '83. One thing for certain is that once you have them, no other board will ever feel the same.
Most apparent is the feeling of having your hands grip right into them. It's snug under your arm, easy to grip, confident when diving under waves and just plain out feels good to grab onto.
Performance aspects are more subtle to differentiate between other deck channels upon first look. Like individual shapers making individual boards, deck channels can be shaped and designed with characteristics associated with any particular shaper. Each of our boards have deck channels hand shaped into the board before getting laminated. There's no machine or router bits or power tools involved. Putting in deck channels involves eyes, hands and an intuition for how the board should perform.
Just about every single Stretch board has deck channels. Incorporated with our EPS TECH, they provide: strength, moderated flex and comfort.
We shape these into the boards with a smooth edge rolling into the channel and a sharper edge closest to the rail. It allows your thumb to slide and lock into the channel. It also increases board strength.
The deck channels follow the outline of the board which gives it the same effect as having a "parabolic stringer" setup. It helps to reduce torsional flex.
We also control the foil of the deck channels. This is the depth with respect to its position on the board. The deepest part of the deck channel is always at the center and up towards the nose, where you'd typically grab onto it. The foil will taper out when you get closer to the tail so that the flex is still there and it won't feel rigid.
We used to only put deck channels on certain boards after Nathan requested that we put them in his. Since then, everyone who tries them says they can't ever go back. They add some time and labor to the construction process compared to traditional methods but the feeling of having them in your board far outweighs the extra little bit it takes to put them in.
- Can I get my artwork modified?Custom airbrushes can be specified while ordering and all pen artwork is done after the board is completely finished. Call or e-mail to set up an appointment with Kevin, our graphic artist. Together the two of you can personalize your next board. The sky is the limit with custom artwork. Feel free to e-mail, fax or design whatever you want. Mix and match, swap colors, make it big or small...It's all up to you!
- What's with the bat tail?The bat tail, or star tail, has been around a long time. Much like a diamond tail, it can be used to push the pivot points up along the rail line, thus giving the board a more pivotal turning characteristic. We like using these designs on our four-fin models because with a relatively straighter template running through the tail, a bat tail or diamond tail becomes more suitable to the increased width.
- "Love Handles?"They're just sooooo fun to squeeze!
- Why do you call it "2 lb. epoxy?"2lb. epoxy refers to one of our specific construction methods. It is a 2lb. density expanded polystyrene (a.k.a. styrofoam) that is similar to what you'd find protecting a new dvd player fresh from the box. We glue in our own stringers into these foam blanks. The board is shaped and then glassed with epoxy resin. From a distance it looks just like any other surfboard. The board itself doesn't really weigh 2lbs. but it sure is lighter than a standard polyurethane/polyester board. They come with "love handles" so that you can squeeze and hold them tight!
- I've seen EPS/epoxy surfboards, what's the difference with yours?Yeah...there are plenty of EPS boards out there and it seems that nowadays they are being heavily marketed. Many people buy them without even knowing what EPS stands for. EPS is essentially Styrofoam. There are various densities and EPS foam types. Two major types of foam being used are extruded polystyrene and expanded polystyrene. Both have varying levels of performance and feel. Advancements in both foam production and epoxy resin have brought the alternative materials spectrum into a new light. Stretch has developed an astute understanding and meticulous command of epoxy construction techniques that spans over two decades. The difference in our epoxy boards is craftmanship, performance, and quality.
- Are there different types of epoxy boards?Indeed, there are various types of epoxy constructions. In the surfing lexicon, "epoxy" can almost immediately be associated with a "pop-out" type of construction. Our epoxy construction comes in three forms. We have an epoxy lamination over clark foam, a custom shaped 2lb. density expanded polystyrene blank with epoxy resin, and a sandwich epoxy construction ("ultimate" construction). The 2lb. epoxy models are similar to traditional polyester construction with the differences being in the foam type and resin. The performance and feel will likewise be different than your standard polyester. Our ultimates are of nearly the same construction as a Tuflite® sandwich epoxy with the only differences being that we hand shape the board custom to the rider's specifications and we glue in our own stringers to induce both strength and, more importantly, proper flex characteristics to match that of a traditional surfboard. Whichever process is chosen, rest assured, Stretch boards has been doing it right for nearly twenty years.
- How long will it take to get a board?We do all our orders by hand right here in our factory. Everything is custom ordered and tailored to the rider's preference. Turnaround time can vary depending on artwork, construction type, and production limits. Typically, we can give you an estimate over the phone or via e-mail. It could be that we have a stock board ready to ship that day or something is running through production and will be ready in under a week. For those who can't find exactly what they are looking for, the wait period for a custom board is 3-6 weeks depending on blank availability. It could be 2 weeks. It could be 9 weeks. Just give us a call and we'll be glad to help you out!