For shorter boards and step ups, if you are looking for a little extra strength, but don’t want to hinder the flex…go with a little more wood. A typical stringer is an 1/8 inch of solid bass wood or 4mm ply .16 inch ply is much stronger. For a little more strength go with 6mm ply or .24 inch.

Wood Types:

  • Spruce used to be the best wood in my humble opinion. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available.
  • Balsa…for looks, very soft.
  • Bass is the best substitute for spruce.
  • Cedar is a darker wood and a little more brittle.
  • Redwood is heavier, dark, and fairly strong but tends to snap a little easier than Basswood.

Carbon on top? Or on the bottom?

Carbon adds strength. Sheer strength. But it adds a degree of stiffness. Imagine a board glassed 4oz on the bottom and double 6 top with a carbon band down the center of the deck. How much strength to you think that adds? Not much.

The structure is very imbalanced.

It will most likely, not buckle from the deck. It is highly likely to buckle from the bottom. If you were to put the carbon on the bottom it would balance out the structure. Sure, it might make the board a touch, a slight touch, stiffer but, the benefit from the added strength far outweighs the flex issue.

Imagine a stick with some bend in it. Which way do you think it will break the easiest? With the bend? Or against the bend?

Carbon on the deck is more or less cosmetic. If you want better results, put it on the bottom.

So Carbon or Wood for a little more strength?

Wood everyday.

- R.

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