Well I’ve been offline for quite a while now. I’ve had some family sadness going on that took a great deal of joy out of most things. I have to say that I became very aware of the therapeutic power of being out in the ocean, cruising around and just taking in the majesty of it all. So as life moves on towards its different normal I’ve found myself thinking about a new board and stumbled on an idea that I’m really excited about.
I had a bit of an ah ha moment when I was thinking about how flexible my light wind board is and how that is limiting its pop-ability – build a external plate to screw to the the middle to stiffen it. Then I realised this idea could have some other very cool applications.
Here’s the idea. Continue to build the simple flexible cores that I have in the current light wind board but add, say, 4-6 additional inserts distributed around the middle and along the centre line. Plates with different amounts of concave, stiffness and rocker could be bolted on to the mid section to affect those same things in the board. For example, if the core has 0mm concave then lateral ribs with any amount of concave you wanted could be built and screwed to the mid section on the top of the board. You could even put them where the handle inserts go. Make them stiff enough to pull the concave into the board and there you have it. Instant concave!
The same would apply to plates that could stiffen the mid section, or add/ flatten the mid section rocker.
The tuning plates extended to near the edges of the mid section you could also use the plate as a place to secure hard wearing c-section material over the rails of the board so that you could ride over things like pvc-pipe rails and jumps. If these edge protectors were thick enough on the underside of the board, they could act like a channel and help when riding fin-less.
So the two key uses for this:
i) Prototyping: for DIY’ers tweaking the concave, rocker and stiffness means building a new board for each configuration. However, getting the right amount of each is as much art as it is artJ. Tunings plates could be built to quickly and very cheaply vary these parameters so that you could properly test out what they do and what you like. For stiffness you could build up the plate by successively adding more and more thin plates of the same shape. It might also be possible to incorporate a some kind of tensioning device like a spring that you could tension up and down with a screwdriver so that you could continually vary it.
ii) Once you’ve got a ‘quiver’ of tuning plates you could then swap them around on any given day – wake style in the morning, flexible board for riding chop, dead flat board for light wind or free-styling......big concave board just to see what the hell it does!!
In theory it seems that it might be possible to tune the one core to be specific for different styles instead of having one board that trades off style-specific features to make it more general purpose.
Even better than all of this is you could serious bling up the tuning plates: the outline of them, what they’re made of ( aluminium I-Beams, hard-woods, plastic) you could even make it furry if that was your thing!
A construction issue that will take some thinking about is how to reinforce the inserts to protect them from the lateral forces they’ll be subjected to. At the moment the forces are largely all perpendicular to the board. The lateral forces may well loosen the inserts unless the forces are distributed over a larger area. Maybe with base plates or connecting stripes over the bottom of the inserts.
I’m very excited about this idea. I’ll post more as the idea evolves.