From EPS Blocks to Surfboards

surfboards made with epsSurfing has been making waves for hundreds of years. What is known today as the modern surfboard was invented by the Polynesians. The surfboard is designed to allow the ‘surfer’ to stand on the board and ride the wave towards the shoreline. Today you can find surfboards are made with EPS as the primary material for flotation. 

The original surfboards were made out of woods that were known for their buoyancy, such as balsa and koa. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the polystyrene surfboard was invented by Reginald Sainsbury in England. Sainsbury worked at Poron Insulation Company in Millbrook, Cornwall when he first invented the polystyrene surfboard.

EPS, expanded polystyrene, is known for its high buoyancy rating, which makes it an ideal material to float on for various body weights. What also makes EPS the ideal medium is the ability to carve the material into any shape you would like.  

ICA has had the opportunity to work with several surfboard companies on the east coast that use EPS as their surfboard material

Surfboards Creation EPS Block to Finished Surfboard

Chris Willey of Willey Surfboards used ICA’s EPS blocks to create his custom surfboards. Take a look at his step-by-step process from start to finish. 


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This is the first step in building a surfboard. The Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam block supplied by Insulation Corporation of America will make about 15 boards. The block is 8 ft tall 4 ft wide and 3 ft deep. In front of the block is a hotwire cutter which will be used to cut the block in half.