FAQs


Construction

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. We can always 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 typically 3-6 weeks.

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.

What resin do you use in your factory?

Each board is built with either Resin Research PH project 2100 system or Entropy Super Sap Eco Resins. Epoxy is safe, easy to handle and environmentally friendly. Having no VOC release or harmful chemical vapors is enjoyable.

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. If you ever visit our Santa Cruz HQ, you’ll notice something very unlike traditional surfboard factories. It doesn’t stink! We send out for polyester glassing. Sorry, if you’re looking to sniff fumes then you won’t get it here!

What kind of foam do you use?

We shape boards from high quality, structural, surfboard specific EPS (styrofoam) from Marko Foam. Marko foam manufactures domestically, has been producing foam for over a a half century and are on a level of customization and support to progress surfing for generations to come.

Find out more about Marko Foam’s 100% recyclable EPS surfboard blanks here

Check out Envirofoam = the world’s first and only recycled EPS content molded surfboard blank

The industry standard which Stretch first put his hands on and has always had the ability to do since he started shaping in the 70’s is the traditional polyurethane foam blank. Although Clark foam is not in business, the crew at US Blanks have been supplying our high quality poly cores as well as Millennium Foam.

There seem to have been many new innovations in the surfboard core business since Clark Foam closed it’s doors over a decade ago. One of the more recent foam cores to show up on the scene is Varial Foam Technology. This new innovative surfboard blank is a stringerless, high modulus core made with a different chemistry allowing it to be glassed with either polyester or epoxy resin.

Outside of close tolerance or CNC friendly machine blanks, we also have extensive experience in wood should you be so inclined. Stretch learned from the old guard (which includes his dad) down at Malibu back when hand shaping chunks of balsa was a normal thing. PVC/carbon sandwich composite tow and kiteboards are a whole other deal in which Stretch is highly regarded.

Do your styrofoam blanks absorb water?

Marko Foam EPS (styrofoam) blanks are made using compression molded technology. 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. Tight fusion = minimal water absorption! 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 are unmatched. In order to achieve a tightly fused, higher density EPS form, it takes significantly more time to remain under heat and pressure. More time and more work costs more but the crew at Marko Foam are lifelong surfers and they know what it takes to make the best product possible. When it comes down to optimal EPS foam for surfboard construction, their blanks are the best in the world and we are happy to work with them!

 

Learn more about Marko Foam’s blank manufacturing process here

Can you give me the volume and model measurements?

Yeah and no. Unlike many other shapers, Stretch doesn’t design his boards on the computer so all of that quantitative data isn’t easily accessible at once. Each of the models is created using his own curves, templates, rail profiles and design theories. The master design is hand shaped with a square tail and no deck channels then optically scanned (via probe or laser) to create the CAD file for CNC milling purposes. Once this master file is created it can then be opened with computer shaping software to be manipulated and gather data like rocker, width and thickness measurements as well as volume. We refer to this in-house as a plan shape which has all the consistent attributes and features of a select model. Often times, data and measurements can be provided from the plan shape. However, if you’re looking for an adjusted rail profile, a pulled in tail outline, slight pug nose addition or extra deep deck channels then don?t bother asking for volume measurement down to the 0.2L accuracy.

bamboo wood stringers?

Compared to the common wood stringers found in all other surfboards, bamboo has a high tensile strength. Combined with the high elongation properties of epoxy resin, bamboo offers a specific cyclical rate and amplitude of flex that is unlike any other woods. It also has a lower environmental impact compared to other farmed and harvested woods.

bias weave S-glass

Included in the CFT construction package, this specific cloth and unique lay-up is exclusive to Stretch Boards. The performance gains include increased mechanical strength, optimized flex within epoxy/EPS matrix, durability and performance longevity.

Also referred to as “indexed” weave, the 45º angled orientation with respect to the length of the board allows for higher articulation of the load bearing cloth matrix which allows energy absorption and release. This translates to a better strength to weight ratio while providing dynamic flex response. The fact that it is done in S-glass further enhances it’s strength and structural integrity through it’s chemical composition.

direct sized E-glass

The fiberglass cloth we use as default in our EPS/EPOXY construction is already above industry standard. Unlike a cheaper cloth with the entire weave “sized” in a chemical bath and heated, direct sized cloth receives it’s sizing and finish properties on each individual strand that then gets woven into the cloth. This allows for increased durability, mechanical strength and structural integrity above the typical E-glass.

What is SURF STANDARD construction?

SURF STANDARD is the long time industry standard construction for building surfboards. Polyester resin is used to hand laminate fiberglass cloth over a shaped polyurethane foam core with a wood stringer. Our SURF STANDARD can be customized for dimensions, fin system, different cloth types, weights, airbrush or color lamination. You can also upgrade to an epoxy resin glass job instead of polyester for an additional charge.

What comes in the STRETCH EPOXY construction package?

STRETCH EPOXY starts with a high quality, compression molded EPS foam core with 3-ply Appelcore stringer. It is then custom shaped and sealed with a lightweight finishing compound prior to lamination. It gets a full epoxy glass job using direct sized E-glass, sanded to 600 grit and treated with a teflon acrylic sealant coat known as “Dolphin Skin”. Each board is heat cured to 135ºF to assure optimum structural integrity.

Our “EPOXY” construction has long been considered above industry standard through our intensive production process and with over 40 years of experience with this “alternative construction” method, Stretch Epoxy boards have outperformed and outlasted traditional polyurethane and polyester construction boards.

The default cloth layup is 6oz. bottom with 6oz.+ 4oz. deck using Resin Research epoxy. STRETCH EPOXY construction is an excellent base construction to add options such as wood, cork, deck channels, carbon, stringer types, foam density, cloth adjustments and many other customizable details. Substitutions for ECO-foam and bio-resin are available at no extra charge.

What is CFT?

CFT stands for “Controlled Flex Technology”. It was derived from the need to produce a high performance surfboard that outlasted the traditional polyurethane/polyester construction.

An upgrade from EPS/EPOXY construction, boards built with CFT include: deck channels, bamboo stringer and bias weave 4oz. S-glass. Each board with a CFT logo is shaped by William Riedel and built in Santa Cruz, CA.

All CFT boards use epoxy resin because it allows for the use of numerous composite structures and materials to be incorporated. Design and application of a surfboard for a specific surfer, wave type, ocean condition or personal preference can be limited by it’s construction. Understanding how to create a board to react, flex, cycle and perform while in the design and shaping phase is the difference in getting a good surfboard versus a great surfboard from your shaper. Getting boards customized, shaped and glassed all under one roof allows ultimate control and precision in achieving that goal. CFT has been developed by Stretch with over 35 years of knowledge and experience. It truly is the best custom high performance surfboard in the world!


Design

Deck Channels?

Those grooves on the deck of the board are what we call “deck channels” and they’re individually hand shaped. They’re designed to moderate longitudinal and torsional flex patterns, increase structural integrity and provide tactile grip !

Most apparent is the feeling of having your hands grip right into them. It’s snug under your arm, easy to grab and confident when diving deep.

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 in. It also increases board strength through rigidity.

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.

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 above the fin cluster to still allow for tail articulation.

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.

custom artwork?

Custom airbrushes can be specified while ordering. Although we have common stock colors and designs, we can customize nearly anything you request so long as it fits within production needs and your aesthetic preferences. Often times, duplicate artwork will have some variation as each custom board is done individually. This is typical of abstract color laminations, foam stains, and some intricate tape work. Anything shown on our website or instagram feed can be requested.

For replicating images from photos or vector files, rice paper lamination prints would ensure that you get exactly the artwork you want since you would be the one designing and providing it. By visiting Boardlams.com and purchasing your prints to be drop-shipped directly to our factory while your order is in production, we can laminate your graphic onto your custom board. Price is variable depending on whether you supply a small 4″ x 4″ logo or a full length layer that’s going on a 10’0″ SUP.

Please make note when ordering board that you would like to have custom rice paper included so it can be noted for production.

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 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.

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.

why am i supposed to ride the “THING” model so short?

well, the short answer is that you don’t really have to….. Nathan wanted a super small under volume skatey board for little wedges and ramps and he definitely didn’t want a fish. he came up with a shrunken down version of the Fletcher Four-fin. Stretch refined it so that the outline would accommodate a 5-fin convertible set up because it got so curvy at the squatty dims. the issue was that it was supposed to be small and it was really hard to ride if you weren’t in very fast powerful waves. everyone else who would be surfing in normal waves likes the THING at their normal dimensions. crowds, currents, wetsuits, kelp, hangovers, etc… all contribute to needing a little more help on the paddling and quickness aspect of the performance side of things. order the THING at your normal dimensions for daily driver status. order the THING shorter if you’ve got a penchant for riding tiny boards and paddling into gutting rampy waves (or aren’t a fan of Mr.Buzz).

What’s a SK8 deck?

The SK8 deck or skate deck is a concave profile design option shaped into select board models. Longitudinal ridges acting as wedge platforms serve as leverage points to give you more control or extra leaning force when laying it over on rail. They thin the centerline and bring you closer to the water. SK8 decks allow you to ride a wider outline without compromising control and give you an overall enhanced feel of connectivity to your board.


Misc

How long will it take to get a custom board built?

That all depends… We’ve been doing this long enough to know what most people want to surf based on size and weight and types of waves commonly frequented. However, we can’t nail it on the head every time and assuming that the majority of people all surf the same dims in the same models with the same style and preference is as silly as saying that the surf will be head high, glassy, uncrowded and A-framing 365 days a year. Every wave is different. Every surfer is different. We’re not going to tell you that you need to be riding this or you ought to be riding that. It’s the reason that we pride ourselves on giving the surfer the ability to choose for themselves what they feel is going to give them the most satisfaction out of their next board. Custom configuration and build options are fun and give you complete control. Expect new custom order requests to be completed within 6-8 weeks. Depending on the variations in construction and options chosen, this can range between 3 weeks on up to 10 weeks. For those of you who aren’t too attached to 1/16″ here or there, color options or fin systems, we have a variety of stock boards available to purchase immediately on a first come-first served basis.

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.

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!

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.

When will new board inventory be available?

All surfboards are individually custom built and made to order. Whether a stock size or new custom order, each board is done one at a time. We try to keep popular sizes and models available but since the stock inventory is on a first come – first served basis, we can’t control customer demand and availability. Feel free to call or e-mail for more accurate timeline on what’s coming down the production line and we’ll be sure to do whatever we can to get you dialed in on a new board.

Can you ship to any address?

Surfboards can ship anywhere in the world. We typically use FedEx and give you our lowest rates for shipping + a minimal charge for handling to cover packing materials and labor to have it boxed up. Any special requests for delivery service can likely be accommodated. DHL, priority shipping, air cargo, personal shipping account #, “hold at fedex location”, work address, combined with other items, etc…

If ordering from our webstore, flat rate shipping is included. For any special instructions or shipping needs, please contact orders@stretchboards.com.

The guild factor on that other guys website says I should ride XX.xL of volume. Why can?t I get that volume in a model I want from you?

Designing models on a computer lacks the benefit of an experienced builder and surfer because computer programs utilize specific algorithms to optimize curves between set control points. Who would you rather trust to build your board, a shaper who actually knows what something as basic as high tide does to the shape of a wave you typically surf or a computer that says a curve looks pretty because the numbers say it should? Volume merely suggests the amount of water displaced when you are on top of the board. Other factors such as surface area, foil, rocker, bottom contours, rail profile and construction are far more relevant to performance based surfboards than volume. Knowing the amount of volume that’s in a board model and size you are familiar with is good info that should be used as reference and not as a sole guideline when ordering a new board.