I saw an ou riding a multi-stringer board at Hummies a while ago - and decided to find out a bit more about it. Turns out it was shaped by legend East London shaper Lampies of Lampeez Shapes. So I dropped Lampies a mail to find out more about the design....
"I often hear surfers say, why fix what's not broken or what else could possible be done. I and many other surfboard shapers disagree with that. For starters, the present way that mainstream boards are manufactured using a polyurethane blanks and polyester resin is over 60 years old. Surfing and surfboards designs have come a long way since then. So has technology and alternative materials.
Enter extroded polysterene (XPS foam) and epoxy resin, carbon composite stringers. Xps foam does not absorb water, maintains its flex properties for a longer time and is more durable, plus off-cuts can be recycled. Epoxy resin is stronger then polyester, end of story. The multi-carbon fiber or composite stringers (around a dosen plus per board) is stronger, more consistent and lighter then wood. Think of the stringer as your chassy in a car. A well designed chassy improves the handeling, so does the multi stringers. It connects the top and bottom deck, fins, rails all together as a unit that both absorbs energy and stores it.
We have seen the super slow mo's of how a board flexes and twist when surfed and that is a big part of board designs that's been overlooked. Think how tennis got faster and more powerful when rackets shifted from wood to composites.
Don't get me wrong, the way boards have and are made has its good points. It is a cheaper, quicker way to manufacture and does justify a means-to-an-end. I, for one, think we can and should do better.
In return the XPS foam, epoxy and multi stringers allows us to break away from current shapes. By going shorter and thinner, surfboards take off on a different level. In a nutshell, basically its about shifting the boundaries on how boards are designed and made."
Shot Lampies! Check out the slideshow below to see how the multi-stringer takes shape.
PS - the Diet Plonka is a design by ex-EL ripper and now Hossengor resident and shaper - Kevin Olsen.