Monday, April 30, 2012

B8 WakeUP - Wake style board

Had a fantastic 20-25 knot, messy surf session on Sunday. I took the light wind board with 2" fins and 10m RPM and the combo was great. Despite dubbing the Lightwind Board the 'Board that should have never been' its turned out be the best performing board I've made so far - a genuine all-rounder with great light wind performance along with some of the trade-off's that you get for 'All rounding a board'.

In particular, it makes chop almost invisible because the board is thin ( 6mm) and very flexible. The flex is not in the tips but in the middle as the tips are the same thickness all the way along. This means that the when the tip is loaded up it transfers the load along the board to the middle. This means that everywhere along the length of the board absorbs the impact of the chop rather than the tips taking the lions shares as would be the case for typical profiles. The trade off is that the board does load and pop as well because ( from what I have been told) much of a board's pop relies on stiffness in the middle. Maybe so that all the energy when loading up is stored in the kite lines and not in the board as it deforms. As a result you need to drive the board through with your legs to get the rotation and let the kite provide the lift rather than being slingshot-ed by the kite lines as you release from the water. This is actually very good in light wind conditions when you can't load the board but in stronger winds not so good.

The width is also a bit challenging for loading the board up in stronger winds. The force you can exert at the rail with your heals is around 1/2-1/3 of what you can do with a 39-40 cm board because the distance form (my) heal to the rail in a 39cm wide board is about 2cm while on the 44cm boards its more like 4-5cm or more than twice the distance hence 1/2 the force. Basically, the board wants to lay flat. This also makes me think that choice of board should not only take into account your weight but also your foot size. Anyhow, this was the inspiration for trying something more along the lines of a Darkside (slingshot) style board: long with lots of rocker but not unusually wide.

So I've put together a design in Board Off for a 138 x 41 cm 40mm rocker and no concave. The Darkside used 0.75" fins ( basically nothing there) but for choppier conditions I'm going to put 1.25-1.5" fins.

All the details and the design are in the Board Design page on the right hand side at the bottom of the page. B8 - WakeUP

Haven't decide the core profile yet. By not using concave the board will be materially less stiff and so I'm thinking to increase the middle thickness a bit with a 7mm core and some more carbon in short sections of just in the middle and leaving the tips at 6mm. Preliminary Flex modelling of the board suggests the additional carbon (additional to the B7 Lightwind Board) might stiffen it too much and loose the chop handling. Still playing with it.


  1. Cool Matt!

    How its going?

    Did you build it yet?

    A freestylish board, looking forward to this one ;).


  2. Hey Matt

    I'll be finishing the above board in a few days! Darkside to go!