B.D.X  (Bourton Diagonal X Weave) & Carbon Strengthening Techniques

Polyester resins, polyurethane foam and standard fibreglass techniques have across the board stagnated the last 15 years. The introduction of clear bleached glass encouraging the labour saving free lapping method was perhaps the last real quantum leap. Any wonder the market was open armed for any alternatives and with the fall of the world’s largest blank supplier a few years back they all flooded in. From the Tuff Light to the Firewire to the Avisio and all of a sudden the buzz word in surfboards was new technologies.

Well the dust has settled, and none have the market by the jugular. Bourton Surfboards in all its wisdom sat on the fence and quietly set about improving its polyester program. One of the main reasons for its decision was its foresight in the belief that the creative side of surfboard manufacturing and the need for customizing would always outlive the “Pop Out”. We absolutely believe that anything that impedes the custom shape or instant creative impulses is basically a retrograde step. Most of the new so called technologies can only produce models as their manufacturing is based around moulding or techniques that require set design simply because of the shear expense of the tooling necessary.

Nevertheless the polyester systems had to be improved since there was an argument on the strengths of the lightweight models which were being outdone by some epoxy divinicell polystyrene combos. There never has been a successful debate against the superior performance of the polyester –polyurethane products only their strength. I guess the fact that 95% of the guys on the tour are still riding them is a testament to their superior performance.

THE B.D.X  System

Normal fibreglass cloth as a rule is laid on to the shaped blank in a zero to 90 degree pattern i.e. where strands run parallel to the stringer and then perpendicular to it, sort of like o’s and crosses.

Laminates like this are vulnerable because if a board wants to break in half (shortest path from rail to  rail in a straight line) it has only got to break through the strands that run parallel to the stringer as the crack will run between the latitude fibres as we should call them. The BDX system is designed to lay the weave in a diamond pattern or diagonal direction to better understand it. Theory is that when the board is stressed and the crack seeks the shortest path from rail to rail, it has to break through double strands making it twice as resilient.

The flex pattern is also different, in effect, since there is no fibre running parallel to the stringer, which would stiffen up the flex as the stringer does. The end result is the board has more flex. This does allow the board to absorb more sudden shock more so than a less flexible glass job. Quite often it is a sudden lip that hits so quick that causes the more should I say brittle (less flexible) boards to snap suddenly. The shock gives them no time to absorb it because they are too rigid. To counter too much flex the BDX system also employs a stronger multi laminated stringer that gives the board a stronger backbone and in fact a more powerful kick back when flexed. This stringer is not heavier or thicker, just more tensile.

Most of the real foot pressure  work is done with the back foot around the rear of the board and quite often surfers will push through the deck and split the rail edge underneath. We call this tail cancer and is terminal as it is impossible to fix. To combat this we use carbon flaps rolled over in a right angle right to the bottom edge positioned exactly where the heel or toe is going to attack and this prevents the cancer.

The BDX system comes with 3 strength ratios

1. BDX Team – This is a single layer of 4oz laid diagonally top and bottom supported by a carbon wrap around the last 10 inches of the tail. The team glass has as a standard a 4 ply stringer which is twice as strong as the 3 ply’s.

2. BDX Strong – This is the same as the team only it has a 0 – 90 degree 4oz insert on the deck. This improves the impact strength on the deck. It also comes with the carbon tail wrap. The 4 ply stringer is optional with this glass job

3. BDX Double strong – This glass job incorporates the 4 oz insert on the bottom as well as the deck meaning that it has 2 layers on the top as well as 2 layers on the bottom completing the even sandwich principal. The mix of diagonal and 0-90 degrees confuses any crack that is looking for the weakest path to follow. The 4 ply stringer and carbon wraps are optional with this system.

This glass job is usually used more often on semi guns or any board that is intended to be used in reef power. Very, very rarely do these ever break and they are surprising light for their strength. Believe it or not I have employed this system for over 15 years and the results have proved that with PU boards they are laterally 60% stronger than the standard glass jobs. And with the double diags 200% stronger.

The BDX team weight has been used in my HPL models which have been sold into retail for the last 4 years for those wanting team weights and not one customer to my knowledge has been dissatisfied with the results.



By Troy Brooks

A lot of the top Pro’s break 20 – 30 boards a year, maybe more. We use the lightest foams, glass and resin. The sanders, sand to a milli nothing of the cloth. Throw that into 6ft Kirra and it is very likely to snap. Over the 8 years and  probably 400+ boards later using 4×4 Diag Glass, the % of board breaks is right down. They are much stronger and give you more confidence when hitting that late lip. They have a really nice spring and are full of life.
I won’t be going back to straight glass – Diagonal all the way.



By Mick Fanning


I have been using the diag glass for the past 3 years and find it to be really benificial. Firstly my percentage of snapping boards has dropped dramatically. But on a functional level I find that is has great flex response. When I am pushing on my board I really want a quick response and the reaction time and spring is great. I have ridden other non diag glass and feel like they feel a little stale from the get go. Def a good thing.



By Bobby Martinez

“Where do i start.  with the glassing of the boards i have not had any brakes in years…..(knock on wood)  the boards seem to be really strong and last a lot longer than anyother boards i have ever had from anyone else in the past.  the boards can stay glassed real light and dont loose any of there flex wich for me is the best of both worlds.  over the past couple of years i have only broken a couple boards, wich amazes me considering im surfing everyday and what blows me away most is how fucken light these boards are and when i pick them up i feel like they wont last long at all. i feel other peoples boards and they feel real heavy to me and they tell me that they have broken plenty of boards. my boards are the lightest they have ever been and work and the best and last longer than anyother boards i have ever ridden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i want more!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahaahahahaahahahahahaaaaa”



By Paul Crowley

Hey Muz

One of the downsides of the BDX construction (for you) is that the time between new boards is extended.  You made me a Ment’s special 6’6″ SB in 2009 (i still have the PDF file!), at the time it got some strange looks :-).  Since then it has been to Balix2, Ments x2, Cloudbreak, Maldives and I now in Europe.  Superficially looks a bit worse for wear (heal dents, depression from landing on it and it landing on the reef)  but still in 1 piece (???), has outlasted all my other boards and still the go to board when the going get seroius.




Fig 1

4x4x4   Diagonal optional
Carbon reinforced tail rails
Carbon reinforced pod
Carbon reinforced strips top and bottom
Optional double diagonal 4x4x4x4

STANDARD ON : Ledge Tamer

Fig 2

4x4x4  Diagonal  optional
Carbon reinforced tail rails
Carbon reinforced pod

STANDARD ON: Little Zappa , Sexy Fish
Pseudo Fish, Reef Swallow


Fig 3

4x4x4  Diagonal optional
Carbon reinforced tail rails and pod

Skinny Bullet, Silver bullet


Fig 4

4x4x4  Diagonal optional

STANDARD ON: Fat Bullet, Roundtail

Bottom Feeder.


Fig 5

4×4 Diagonal
Carbon rail and tail wrap
Carbon reinforced strips top and bottom
4 ply stringer optional