In this first part of behind the design, we chat with product designer and shaper Sky Solbach as he takes us through the constructions available within the 2023 Duotone Surfboard Range.

Sky Solbach shaping room_Duotone

Hi Sky, can you break down the three different constructions available within the 2023 surfboard range, let's start with the Original construction.
The Original construction is a vacuum bamboo tech construction. We've worked on this construction for many years now and refined it over those years. Starting with a foam EPS core, we put some layers of fiberglass, then lay a three millimeter cork inlay on the deck which is our cork shock absorber 2.0. It covers the entire stance area of the board, removing all of the miniature vibrations that you might feel from the board and gives the board good dampening and also a bit of a memory effect.
It's really good against heel dents too. Over the top of the cork shock absorber 2.0 we have additional bamboo patches, again to protect the core from the impacts from your heels, especially in the stance area where you're standing. The Original Construction boards are ideal for riding with foot straps because they're heavily reinforced in the stance area where they take the most impact from when you're riding with foot straps. So this is a great construction for strapped riders and an all around construction for riders who want to have a lively, nice feeling board and something that's very strong and will take all the punishment that you can give it.

Great, let’s move onto the SLS construction.
This construction we've refined over many years and through many iterations. The basics of this construction are an EPS foam core wrapped in fiberglass. On the deck of the board, we have a three millimeter cork inlay which we call our cork shock absorber 2.0. Then over the top of that we have another layer of fiberglass plus a layer of an Innegra cloth.


The introduction of the Innegra cloth two seasons ago was really a game changer for us on this particular construction. It not only made the boards lighter, and gave them better dampening. Innegra is a softer material that absorbs the impacts a lot better than glass fiber does, it made the boards even stronger and more dent resistant.

Also, for the same reasons that make Innegra a really good dampener also make it great for dent resistance because it has some give and is not as brittle and prone to splintering and cracking as pure fiberglass would be. So these boards are really strong, they're really light and they have really great dampening properties. In a nutshell, the SLS construction is our best medium to high performance all-round construction for every rider out there.

Sky Solbach shaping room-DTK

And finally, tell us about the D/LAB construction.
The D/LAB construction features an EPS foam core wrapped in fiberglass. On the deck of the board, we have an RMF shock absorber. This is where the D/LAB construction differs from that of the SLS construction. Instead of the cork shock absorber 2.0 that we have on the SLS models, on the D/LAB, we have the RMF, which stands for Reflex Memory Foam.


— Sky Solbach

This is a synthetic man made material. It has really good dampening properties and really incredible memory properties. What that means for the surfboard is that that damping effect takes out all the unwanted small vibrations and gives the board a really smooth ride. This is where the D/LAB boards feel very similar to a light custom poly surfboard, but of course still having all of the benefits of strength which you need from a kite board.


The other amazing thing about the RMF material is its memory property, it can get squashed down and will come back to its original shape over and over again for the lifetime of the board. This means that it will reduce the amount of heel dents that you get. It won't completely eliminate the heel dents, but it will definitely reduce them.

More importantly it will keep the board feeling lively and reactive for the entire lifetime of the board and it won't break down and feel less lively over time. The D/LAB is our highest possible performance construction and is the preferred construction for our team riders competing on the world tour.


Thanks Sky for that in-depth analysis about the three constructions, could you wrap It up with a brief summary of who each construction is aimed at?
With our three different surfboard construction technologies for 2023 We really feel like our range of surfboards offers something for everyone. So whether you're a dedicated strap rider looking for the strongest possible board, then the Original construction is for you. If you are an intermediate to advanced strapless rider looking for the best mix of performance and value, then the SLS construction is perfect for you and if you want no compromise and you want to have the best possible performance product under your feet, then go for the D/LAB.