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Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

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surfingwithkites
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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby surfingwithkites » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:03 pm

El Nino, exactly right. So many people are obsessed with a certain length or tail shape ("dude, all my sick barrels have been on swallowtails, make it a swallowtail")

LIttle do they know that half a millimeter of toe in on their side fins does more than 5mm of tail rocker. Little do they know that deck rocker and rail tuck are huge factors.

I've done the same thing and given friends purposely mismarked boards and then they go "this is the sickest 6'4" ever" and I say, yeah, that because it's 6'2" or 6'6". Pretty funny sometimes. Plus if you round of the tip even a bit it radically changes you "nose at 12" number" I measure everything off the tail block of course but not everyone does.

Agree that Burton may provide great info eventually. They are more like a super sized version of Hein on this project from what I hear. Should be cool.

I really agree that big guys need much bigger boards. It's not simple scaling. Big guys wave boards are one of the most challenging things to shape.

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby El nino » Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:36 pm

surfingwithkites wrote: I really agree that big guys need much bigger boards. It's not simple scaling. Big guys wave boards are one of the most challenging things to shape.
I think it will be an on-going endless battle for me to find the right surfboards.

Right now I'm focused on getting dialed with my light-wind kiteboard too. I want to eliminate every kite bigger than 9m. I'm getting closer... 10.5 is the biggest now, but not quite there yet and I end up being the guy taking photos on a lot of days (SUCKS!!!)

I just find that you have to have a different riding style as a big guy.... more power turns, and lots of sinking the rail.

Maybe it's technique or insufficient skill (and maybe you guys have some input here), but unless the waves are sizable I do'nt get kicked back by the lip like some smaller guys do. In turn, this means I feel like I can't go as vertical or I'll punch through the back of the wave. It almost feels like I need to actively not be as agressive (I'm not claiming that I'm an all-star or anything out there).
I very much change my riding style depending on the wave - much moreso than smaller guys, who can use a more similar attack on a wider variety of waves.
I guess the plus side is that I feel quite comfortable in slightly larger waves (and am actually usually MORE motivated to attack the lip than with the little waves).
I guess I just have a smaller "sweet spot" on the lip and in the pocket that I have to fit in. Maybe I just need to make a point of trying to realize that and not trying to force an off-the-lip, or whatever, if there isn't a lip powerful enough to send me off. I was hoping that a bigger board might help in this department though.
...thoughts?

Also, for me (and probably a lot of the people on here) I have a concern for getting it down to 1 board.
I travel a lot and I need to limit my baggage - 1 kiteboard and 1 surfboard + 2 kites would be frick'n amazing and totally ideal. So that means I really need to find a good all-round kiting shape. Serious challenge for anyone, because when you spend the time, money, and effort to travel somewhere then it's a bit of a waste if you don't have the right tool for the job. One board means compromise, and that means you just can't get it right.

The worst is when you're at an epic spot with epic conditions and you know that the perfect board is sitting in your basement back home.

I guess ignorance is bliss in this case.
Hey everybody - don't read this thread! Just grab any surfboard off the shelf. You'll be happier if you don't know any better!

Fu©k it! ...I need to move to Hawaii.
Last edited by El nino on Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hein
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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby hein » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:34 pm

You guys just don't see it. Engineering is not about quantifying everything and nailing it down to the gnat's ass. It's about using sound engineering principles in the areas you can so that you can keep control of the variables you understand. That lets you devote your creative energy to the ones you don't.

If Burton is trying to quantify the feel of a surfboard then I wish them luck. If they are trying to build a stronger, lighter board in less time then they need to look at other composites applications and beyond their own capability. Making snowboards is cake. If they are trying to impress the masses by spending a bunch of money on a lofty goal then I'd say they are on the right track.

As for denting epoxy laminates. Do a proper post cure. You know, one where temp follows a specific curve. Seriously guys, epoxy is so easy to do right but it seems lots of folks don't appreciate the importance of some basic process control.

-Hein

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby El nino » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:27 pm

I don't think it's so much about quantifying the "feel" of a surfboard, but more about better defining the variables involved and their effects.

Yeah, with a board - the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
I think that too many people use this as an excuse for not knowing what they are doing though (not that I do).

Wouldn't it be better if the whole was equal to the sum of the parts...only with constantly improving 'parts'?

BTW> I can't speak for others but I'm fairly aware of what engineering is 'about' - I studied for a few years on the path to become an aeronautical engineer... decided it wasn't for me though and went kiting. :wink:

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby simonm » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:46 pm

en·gi·neer·ing (nj-nîrng)
n.
The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.


El nino, back on the origional topic, the one board, two kites quiver is exactly what I'm after as well. Likewise I travel a fair bit and don't have the ability to take much with me. A crossover board that works well with the kite in a range of conditions and surfs OK is worth its weight in gold.

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby hein » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:07 am

Sorry, I wasn't picking on you guys as much as the general belief that the process of designing a surfboard is some how magical and as such can not be engineered. And that the only people doing real engineering are the big companies with huge budgets and expensive tools. Hope that clears up my more passionate post.

Simon, I hope you find a board to your liking. I only weigh 155 and I am sure I can travel with a 2 board 2 kite quiver (not counting a wake skate) comprised of at 133 flip tip twin tip, that 6-0 surfboard I posted and two generators 5.5 and 7.5. My twin tip is all carbon and super light so I pack it to protect the bottom of my surfboard. It's easy to just slide it in the other compartment of a double surfboard bag. I'm working on a travel sized electric pump since those hand pumps are so bulky. I have a wheeled box type bag for my kites, harness, clothing and all that.

I would try to find a shaper/builder who is your size and weight and hopefully rides. Or maybe Jeff would want to send you that parabolic stringer board he's building. Or maybe spring for a Sunova. -Hein

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby tautologies » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:23 am

hein wrote:Sorry, I wasn't picking on you guys as much as the general belief that the process of designing a surfboard is some how magical and as such can not be engineered.
Of course it can be engineered. The problem so far, I think has been in the process. It isn't as much engineered as it is copied (or attempted copied). Some make it some don't, and for the end user it is confusing...
I think good shapers will always be in demand as they have a high probability of making a good board. The good shapers just need to know they need to charge more for the proto that actually do make it to the production line. There might be less demand for hacks, but that is fine too. :-) I am not aiming this at anyone in particular...and no, I don't believe a shaper can put more of himself in a board than a machine can...


a.

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby hein » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:53 am

Yeah, I think that's right, Alex. The challenge is not in the process of creating a custom board or the process of creating a production board. Each one of those on its own seems to be doing very well. It's how they are connected.

You have a famous shaper making prototypes using traditional methods and can produce his best shapes using that medium. Set him in front of a computer and he's not in his element. Prototypes are sent to a production facility where the process, the construction and even the materials change. The only thing retained, hopefully, is the shape. In my mind that is not enough and leaves too much to chance. With flex being deemed as so important I would think the shaper/designer would want more control over those variables.

Maybe I've over simplified the picture and companies are actually doing it much better. Show me. Maybe Burton will.

To me it makes sense to develop the shape within the context of the production requirements which places it more in the realm of an engineering development project. But you can't realistically wait for the factory to build your development prototypes. And that will constrain you too much into their way of doing things. So you need to set up a small prototype facility that can duplicate what the production facility is doing so you can strive to simplify and enhance the construction and process at the same time you are working on new shapes.

I'm not saying that todays boards are not good. Just that there is room for improvement in the development process. I am an engineer and have consulted companies on how to set up their product development systems from concept to production. Guess I'm still at it. I'm not looking for a job.

-Hein

P.S. I don't know how this is going to help Simon or if anyone even cares. Get a board and ride it. If you don't like it or it breaks. get another one; there are lots out there.

If you are interested in enhancing your product development process then maybe you should sign up for this seminar.

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby surfingwithkites » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:52 am

Hein, You are right about working in one medium and mass producing in another. It is difficult.

There are two different things going on. One is reproducing magic boards. This is what Burton/Merrick are after. This is where the money is. The other is developing new designs and new styles of boards. Two very different things. Engineering favors the first, maverick designers usually do the second

If you are going to look at what works best in waves the only place to see it is in surfing. Kiting is just not there yet. One thing that is true right now is that the highest performance surfboards in the world are being handshaped (to some degree) and hand glassed. This is amazing in this day and age but there is no way around this fact. No one is winning the wct on mass produced boards yet and that is where the high end of waveriding is make no mistake. Taj did o.k. on firewires but no better than before really. It is only a matter of time I'm sure until someone wins on mass produced boards or "alternatives" like compsands but the time has not yet come.

I think Burton/Merrick are setting up a facility just as you describe and within 2 years will offer the very first exact clones of boards that guys like Dane Reynolds and K.S. are riding.. No one in the world can do it right now and that must drive the engineers wild. Surely surfboards are a simple thing! And yet.......no one can consistantly reproduce magic boards....yet. One huge advantage they have is a lot of top riders and top shapers doing massive volume of boards. They have more raw data than Hein and I could produce in seven lifetimes.

If you control all the variables and only change one tiny thing each time (which is the only way to "engineer" progress) You either have to do gigantic volume, live a very long time, or get very lucky. The date no one has changed the sport through engineering. The huge advances in progress in board design have all been "leaps of faith" so far. Simon Anderson is basically the father of modern surfing and he was a "backyard" shaper.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in engineering but I think there are many other factors and many other paths.

One thing is for sure, the race is on.

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Re: Surfboard recommendations (Surfingwithkites)??????

Postby tautologies » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:58 am

I also think SWK is right here. Not only is it hard to reproduce the magic board, but there is the question of what a magic board is. Something that is magic for me might not be magic for others. I am for instance painfully aware that being 6'1'' and heavy isn't the average size for someone who wants to surf. It meant that my specs for a magic board might be different from a 5'5'' and skinny guy. It doesn't have to be since our riding styles and conditions will be different but it might be. Now of course some boards will be able to capture larger audiences, so to speak, than others, the as SWK is saying there are so many variable that making a vanilla board isn't at all trivial.

Now when that is said, most riders will not be able to notice small differences in boards., and there still are a lot of very nice production boards out there. Every rider sort of have to find the ONE for him / her self. This takes going through boards, some might go custom, some not. I have seen customs that were not at all what the riders had expected so there is not guarantee that custom will make the rider any happier. Production or custom...it is a very difficult process.

I like to have a selection that will fit me for what I want to do that day..and the conditions that day. I think there is no end to how many boards I would like to have, which of course isn't realistic. Now I only have to learn how to use them..getting there slowly though :-)

A.


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