US Blanks has announced a deal to manufacture and distribute INCIDE Blank Technology. INCIDE is a carbon fiber, miniature surfboard known as the “Brain”, positioned inside the foam surfboard blank and serving as a stringer replacement.
Dan Mann, former head of research and design at Firewire Surfboards and creator of INCIDE, has spent 13 years developing the design. US Blanks has partnered with Mann to manufacture INCIDE Blanks at their facility in Southern California and distribute them via their worldwide network.
“Carbon fiber has been used to improve elite equipment in every other sport from golf, to snowboarding, to race cars. It’s an incredible material that allows us to fortify and bolster traditional surfboard designs.” Dan Mann, INCIDE Blanks
Surfboard construction materials have remained relatively unchanged since the introduction of polyurethane foam in the 1950s. Dan Mann has been shaping surfboards and working with alternative materials for 20 years. He began working with carbon fiber in the year 2000. “The material is 5 times stronger than steel, but retains flex properties that are similar to a traditional wood stringer”, Mann explains.
The need for new material became evident as surfers complained about surfboards losing their liveliness after extended use. “The real selling point for INCIDE is not just the strength and flex, but rather, the return to static.”
Mann explains that traditional wood stringers lose a percentage of their return to static each time the wood is stressed or flexed. This translates as a less lively, less responsive, and ultimately, underperforming surfboard. With INCIDE, even if the foam exterior absorbs superficial damage, such as heal dents and minor dings, the overall flex pattern and the board’s performance remains unchanged. Mann states that, “INCIDE blanks perform at their optimal level for an indefinite timeline.”
“The carbon fiber ‘Brain’ provides supreme strength and flex pattern, but the EPS foam shell allows the shaper the same creative freedom as a traditional blank. There is no new learning curve with INCIDE. The only difference is felt by the surfer, in the form of added performance and life of the board.”