The guys at Duotone are constantly looking for ways to improve their surfboard construction and in their product descriptions, they often talk about the challenges involved in finding a good balance between lightweight, durability and feel/flex and how it’s easy to make a board strong and stiff or light and fragile.
According to the guys at Duotone, “We’ve been quite happy with the way our Light Team Construction has performed over time, utilizing the cork shock absorber as a damper, and we’ve honestly struggled with several attempts behind the scenes to make any substantial improvements when experimenting with alternative damping materials as they simply could not match the innate technical qualities of cork. These experiences led us to start looking into alternative materials to replace or compliment the fiberglass laminate itself.
Since we have quite some years of experience now using Innegra as a damper to tone down the rapid reflex of our carbon twin tips, we figured we’d give it a try on our surfboards as well. Throughout the process of development of several dozen prototypes, we learned about the many benefits of using Innegra cloth to replace some layers of fiberglass. Firstly, it´s stronger by weight than fiberglass, resulting in a significant weight reduction. Additionally, it serves as a damper to give the boards a more forgiving feel, which is especially noticeable in the harsh, choppy conditions we often have in kitesurfing.
Finally, because the material itself is less brittle than fiberglass, the boards are more durable, especially from impacts that might crack and splinter a fiberglass laminate. The Innegra simply flexes and absorbs the shock, which makes the boards much less prone to dings and cracks – And that’s why we call it the ‘Innegra Shield’, because it really does shield the board from a lot of damage you would normally get on a typical board. So, basically, we have managed to make the boards a bit lighter, more durable AND have a better feel and flex which really ticks all the boxes in our criteria for a high performance kite surfboard that will stand up to the rigors of every day kitesurfing.”