Seabase – Our Surfboard Manufacturing Products
Our Surfboard Manufacturing Products
In 2017 Seabase launches its new range or methacrylated Marine resins. This advances polyester based surfboard resins again, making fast gel and cure resins tougher, with faster wet-out and increasing usability. With tweaks to fibreglass finishes, the Seabase QS 10M (Seabase Surfboard Quality 10th test Methacrylated resin) surfboard resin is to launch this summer; combined with the Seabase reinforced by Hexcel range of surfboard fabrics to produce the clearest, strongest and most production friendly laminates in the surfboard industry.
Way back in the 70’s the move away from greenish fibreglass surfboards was gathering momentum. Using volan and silane treated cloths and very basic polyester boat resins meant surfboards weren’t “white” or clean looking, and they certainly didn’t look new as the resin aged quickly and became even more brittle. Dents became cracks which browned and wicked water. Silmar Resin was the industry standard then, and their 249a was the most used resin available. Silmar is still the industry standard surfboard resin, used world-wide because of its consistency in gel and cure times and certainty in cool or warm conditions. It was reliable, and production factories liked that.
We’ve come a long way. Seabase produced a resin in 1978 that was whiter and stronger than any other resin on the market at the time. ISO 7X – an Isophthalic Resin – was used in the 70’s and 80’s in windsurfer manufacturing that required a stronger resin. In the late 70’s Seabase developed a range of fibreglass cloths with Hexcel in France and optically matched the fibreglass finish with the new resin, added a better UV stabiliser, and later added faster amine accelerators in the revised ISO 10X to produce a popular surfboard resin still used widely in Europe today.
In the meantime Silmar refined the range of Polyester resins, adding different dyes and optical brighteners to produce Silmar 249b and 249 bb, progressing the resins further.
In 1982 Seabase produced a resin containing methacrylates. These coatings were interesting because they were tough and flexible – the coating on many cars including Mercedes new “scratch resistance” paint coating a made from these tough methacrylated resins. They were very difficult to make, involving missing solids into solvents using high speed sheer mixers – beyond the practical ability of our small company at the time. In 2010 Seabase finalised a resin that contained added methacrylates, adding more strength and “toughness” to resins, but it never went to market for pricing reasons.
I remember a conversation I was having in a factory in San Clemente many decades ago, talking to Phil Edwards – the great Phil Edwards, who shaped a 48-stringer Hobie surfboard for me, still treasured today.
He was telling me about the old days when he and Hobie Alter and Gordon Clark were surfing together at Trestles. “Whenever we’d surfed our brains out” he said, “no matter how tired we were, it was always me who was last out of the water. As he tells it, first out was Gordon Clark – “I’ve got work to do”. Then Hobie would bail citing work pressures. Phil said he really enjoyed those empty waves, but he always looks back on the guys that changed surfing in different ways. “With regrets?” I asked. “No, but perhaps with hindsight I should have got out of the water earlier”, Phil sighed.
Seabase imported the first Clark Foam in 1976, part of a 20’ container shared with some guys in the Channel Islands. Until Gordon closed the factory in 2005, Clark Foam was the market leader in high quality close-to-shape surfboard blanks that set the surfboard industry on its solid basis.
While it’s never been quite the same since, the principal of high quality, totally committed surfboard foam has been continued and enhanced by US Blanks. The same team that produced Clark Foam has dispersed, but key remnant people have produced a stunningly organised factory in California making the world’s best surfboard foam. Oh so consistent blanks, straight stringers, clean, thoroughly thought out plugs by renowned shapers – this company takes surfboard blank production and raises the bar again.
And what a great crew to work for – so obliging, so helpful and so polite and so very, very quality oriented, Seabase is always inspired by the staff at US Blanks, and we distribute their foam with pride and dedication – we strive to share their values on customer satisfaction and service.
US Blanks – not probably, definitely the world’s best surfboard blanks. Bar none.
The latest Seabase reinforced by Hexcel range of surfboard cloths have changed surfboard lamination with its 100% clean, quality fibreglass finished with a new unique range of technically advanced finishes that attract and absorb resins far more effectively, making lighter, stronger and less brittle surfboard laminates. Used world-wide the Seabase by Hexcel range of premium surfboard fabrics are guaranteed to be clean and clear in all production, are optically matched to the new range of Seabase Marine QS 10M surfboard resins – part of the Seabase range of marine resins.
Way back in the 70’s the move away from greenish fibreglass surfboards was gathering momentum. Using Volan (Ahhh, Volan. Treatment for surfboards as they used to be! We only used two treatments (finishes) in the old days – silane or this partly chrome volan. Chromium treatments were dangerous and have been banned, but Volan carries on somehow. Give a great retro green finish (the chrome refraction) to mals and retro boards, and is tough and bullet proof. (well, nearly). This original cloth was also known as Boat Cloth because it was always used for boats building back then…..) Silane treated cloths and very basic polyester boat resins meant surfboards weren’t “white” or clean looking, and they certainly didn’t look new as the resin aged quickly and became even more brittle. Dents became cracks which browned and wicked water. In the late 70’s Seabase developed a range of fibreglass cloths with Hexcel in France and optically matched the fibreglass finish and flex with the new resin, added a better UV stabiliser, and later added faster amine accelerators in the revised ISO 10X to produce a popular surfboard resin still used widely in Europe today to produce ,clear, white clean surfboards.
Look for the label above on all our boxes of Seabase Reinforced by Hexcel. This is the genuine CLEAR finish cloth from Seabase. We are the only company to distribute this fibreglass cloth world-wide. Seabase is an Authorised Hexcel Distributor world-wide.
The CEO was foiling fins 50 years ago, but for decades we never had enough nice fins to sell. Yes, we had the production fins from various factories, but often these had defects – artfully disguised with extraordinary paint effects – and never with the foiling and templates we wanted. We are proud to stock a full range of True Ames fins from great designers – George Greenough, Hobie etc – but it wasn’t until ten years ago we started to produce our own range of high tech, high performance beautifully foiled total quality fins – the Beyond© Range of fins for Fins Unlimited, FCS, and Futures boxes and plugs.
These are exceptionally well made – you can see the beauty as we don’t add any flashes; disguise any shortcomings. These are pure, naked fins, they glow and transluce with depth of colour and visible foiling. Not only are they beautiful, they are fully designed to work exceptionally well – inner subtle foils, outer complete parabolic curves, engineered flex patterns. Plus we’ve got some great names advising us and offering their templates…..
We use multi-layers of first quality fibreglass, carbon and other matrix clothes and cores selectively and apply them effectively. Check out the range and try them! 40 years of surfing and experience is in every fin. They will advance and enhance your surfing – guaranteed.
FCS: We stock FCS fins, plugs and boxes to round out the full needs of every surfer.