The “Surfboard Construction” review with Noel Salas Ep.21

This video is about The “Surfboard Construction” review with Noel Salas Ep.21

In this episode, Noel takes the Sampler in 5 different surfboards all made in different constructions with the exact same dimensions. Salas talks about these boards and what makes them so different and how they feel under his feet.

The industry standard construction is Polyurethane with Polyester resin (PU/PE), and the whole review is based on feel in comparison to what most surfers are accustomed to the PU/PE.

Board number 1 is the PU/PE, and Salas talks about flex, feel and cost. Noel has been riding this type of construction since he was 9 years old. When he rides other board types, he naturally compares them to the PU/PE. The cost of the PU/PE is $695.00, which is not cheap by any means, and the longevity of its life can be relatively short from a surfer’s perspective. The PU/PE is not Eco friendly and, because of this, many different companies are coming up with alternative constructions that are more compatible with planet earth.

Board 2 is what the surf world calls EPS, and this is a Expanded Polystyrene foam that is glassed with an Epoxy resin. Expanded foam is a open cell foam that is susceptible to taking in water if the glass is cracked, and the surfer does not fix it right away. This foam type is very light and more durable than PU/PE and can be a bit difficult to work with for shapers. The cost for this type of foam and epoxy resin is a bit more expensive because of this difficulty. The cost of Noel’s EPS board in this review is $820.00, which is $125.00 more compared to the PU/PE.

Board 3, the Flexbar, is much like the EPS (board 2) because it uses the same Expanded Polystyrene foam core and Epoxy resin but has a completely different application for performance purposes. There are 2 pieces of Expanded Polystyrene foam that sandwich a thin layer of high-density foam throughout the entire board. The top piece of foam has the deck routed out to place in a hand-shaped high-density bar for the board’s strength and to control the flex characteristics of the board. The cost on the Flexbar is $885.00, which is $190.00 more than a PU/PE.

Board 4 is called XTR, and it’s an Extruded Polystyrene foam core with an Epoxy resin. This foam core is a closed-cell foam, which will not let water penetrate into the core and will give this board a longer life. There are many benefits to this type of foam and it’s worth it’s weight in value for the surfer who is looking for a board with great flex characteristics and durability. The cost for this board is $815.00, and it’s one of Noel’s favorites.

Board 5 is called Varial foam, which is a proprietary formula and can be glassed with either Epoxy or Polyester resin. Noel had this one done with Epoxy resin to compare with the other models. Salas said he struggled with the Epoxy resin finish because of its stiff flex characteristics. The cost of this board came in at $1,000.00, and Noel recommends to the surf community to go with the Polyester resin for better flex at a cost of $880.00. Noel did a review on the Varial foam core with Polyester resin as he is a big fan of this combination.

Enjoy the whole review as Noel goes into detail on each construction.

For custom orders on each board type read below.

Flexbar, PU/PE and the EPS go to

XTR: go to



Felix Lux says:

This is the single most helpful review of yours. Was always wondering about the alternative CI constructions, as CI PU durability is the only real downfall in my experience as a lower level traveling surfer.

Seth H says:

You look the best on the flex bar!
But what board FEELS the best?
What boards are you riding?
Thanks man!

KayneHunter says:

im getting a new board, its like the sampler, should I get a a 3 oz. glass job or a 4 oz. ?

Brent Rucker says:

Hi Noel, I love your show. I’m 175lbs and I surf the steep, hollow, and powerful waves of Ocean Beach in San Francisco from chest to overhead+/double. I need a durable board that won’t snap on heavy surf, but will also flex and not chatter/skim out with speed on turns. What kind of construction do you recommend for these conditions? Thank you

daniel vb says:

Hi Noel, can you tell me the name of the song in the beginning? Great video as aways.

dexterpolyester says:

Noel this was really great! So much info I’ve tried to piece together elsewhere, this did it I’ll be coming back to this many many times. Thanks!

Torrey B says:

Awesome. Seemed that the standard EPS and the Flexbar boards went the review — I want to see you on a vacuum bag carbon board someday ! Check out justinternes on insta

Gabriel Sales says:

Hi Noel, great review !! Just wondering, did you weight those boards after waxing, placing pad and fins or before ?

dizzeepetee says:

Noel, I was interested in what you had to say about XTR construction. Having tested all these constructions, did the XTR have the same level of chatter as a normal EPS, through bumps or chop on the wave face? I’ve never enjoyed EPS because of all the chatter, but XTR being a closed cell EPS foam, it sounds like it could be more dense and absorb shocks better. Also, how does the weight of the XTR compare to a standard EPS board? Thanks

Collin McMenamin says:

Such a cool review! I’m currently riding Varial and love it, I only weigh 135 and with single layer 6oz glassing on my shortboard. After four months I only have one tiny dime-sized pressure ding, while my normal Poly boards glassed team light would be pretty dented by now. I might have to try XTR or Flexbar next though, thanks Noel!

Surfer Yoda says:

So on the Flex Bar, what did you use for paint? It came out pretty cool and looks like the color was clear enough to keep the logos? I was just curious for a board I have that still works great, but leaves little to be desired in appearance. BTW, love the reviews. I’m a huge Bonzer fan and was stoked you got to review the Shelter.

UniqueStranger says:

The varial foam has terrific properties. It is durable and has good flex. However, I discovered from a friend, who is a shaper, that it is very toxic when working with it. A shaper got sick while working with varial foam.

gulfsurfco says:

Great reviews Noel! Sub’d.

Rad-Dad says:

Another well-produced video with quality info on construction. Watching the Trace #’s, you were flying on the pink eps/epoxy board – review #2. Props for riding a 5’7″ in the Sampler shape!

Jack Schreuder says:

id be super keen to see you try a firewire board to see how you like a more eco-friendly flex pattern and how it stacks up against industry standards in particular LFT helium and FST constructions

Ryan Lochrane says:

Hey Noel, love the show I just subscribed. I have a question, I have a 6’2 sampler that I like but I feel that it is too long. I am a bigger guy weighing around 220 lbs. Its a predicament that I’m always in trying to get a board that is snappy but has the right volume. Would it make sense to order a custom and go shorter and thicker for the sampler. I wasn’t sure if it would take away from what the board is intended to do. I surf San Diego and Carlsbad. Thanks

Alexander Crosby says:

great review! i am curious though about saying that poly flexes more? my understanding is that epoxy resin is about 75% more flexible than PU? when discussing this i think you need to talk about the amount of glass and the density of the foam which probably impacts the flex more than anything. i maybe totally wrong and ultimately whatever you feel is what matters!

Deforest L. Cooper says:

Great review!! That flexbar looks really really good on you! The clips were sick and your review was very very good. I really liked all the points you talked about! Great review Noel! Yeww!

Torrey B says:

Noel, do you notice the flexbar crushing and cracking at all? I’ve got a B&W in FlexBar, and the glass is cracking pretty badly under my foot. I’ve had it for maybe 6 months.

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