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Concave or Flat for Lakes

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:03 am
by CanadianGringo
Just got two new midsize boards and not sure which will be better suited to my conditions/skill level
I plan to try them both out on the next epic day - but just wondering about peoples' thoughts.

1) Liquid Force Influence137cm
2) Best Spark Plug 136cm

The latter of the two boards is flat, lots of rocker, apparently good for free riding as per the internet. Lots of flex. Lots of wood. (Best)
The other board has less flex, seems to be more fibreglass and/or some carbon. Biggest difference is concave. (Liquid Force)

The question is what is best for lakes - bump and jump type conditions (to bust some old windsurf lingo).
Usually I am out in 20 knots with chop when I go. Just learning to jump now - and doubt i will ever master huge air.
I am an intermediate kiter and still perfecting upwind.

Re: Concave or Flat for Lakes

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:38 am
by fluidity
CanadianGringo wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:03 am
1) Liquid Force Influence137cm
2) Best Spark Plug 136cm
The latter of the two boards is flat, lots of rocker, apparently good for free riding as per the internet. Lots of flex. Lots of wood. (Best)
The other board has less flex, seems to be more fibreglass and/or some carbon. Biggest difference is concave. (Liquid Force)
The question is what is best for lakes - bump and jump type conditions (to bust some old windsurf lingo).
I've been kiting a bit over 2 years now. At first like you, jumping seemed out of my reach. Now though, I can get up to 9m (woo2) so probably just over 10m real height on a good day. Board design is one of my passions though!

Looking them up on the net and from what you've written, the Liquid Force board will be better for learning and especially for lighter wind days due to less rocker and the concaves will help guide the water. You will get upwind a lot easier on this board shape.

The Best Spark Plug will be more playful and also forgiving to land big jumps with, also if you have a lake big enough to be playing on the waves the rocker will make your wave riding more enjoyable. Experiment with the fins too, small fins make a board more playful.
Both the Best's flex and the Liquidforce's concave will soak up some of the pounding of chop that would otherwise be taken out on your knees.

Don't read too much into carbon fibre in boards. It makes them stiff and light but not resilient. The Best's basalt gives flex and resilience. S-glass is similar.
Where the manufacturer puts the fibres, what type, orientation of fibres, thickness throughout board all affect performance, lightness and longevity.
On the Best, check the footstraps position. Further out gives you more control, less flex. Further in and the board's rocker will take over and be more forgiving of poor stance. Landing big jumps with boards where footstraps are closer to the centre stresses them more and is more likely to lead to snapping.
Have fun!

Re: Concave or Flat for Lakes

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:59 am
by dylan*
I dont know what your typical wind speed is, but the influence has just enough rocker for me that I can feel it in the lighter days. If this is at all a concern I'd go for a flatter board like the spark plug, because it has been the difference between a fun session and a struggle a bunch of times for me. If you usually have plenty of power to ride though, the little extra rocker feels great since it translates to a smoother ride. It's still not a high rocker board, but just enough that you can feel it. Great for boots or straps. I still have my influence from 2012 and ride it regularly, it's a pretty sweet shape.

As far as the concave... it's not going to be a big difference compared to the difference in rocker and flex. The spark plug is kind of a noodle so if you're heavy that might be a negative for you. Personally I like flexy boards but I'm pretty light.

Re: Concave or Flat for Lakes

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:49 am
by fluidity
dylan* wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:59 am
I dont know what your typical wind speed is, but the influence has just enough rocker for me that I can feel it in the lighter days. If this is at all a concern I'd go for a flatter board like the spark plug, because it has been the difference between a fun session and a struggle a bunch of times for me. If you usually have plenty of power to ride though, the little extra rocker feels great since it translates to a smoother ride. It's still not a high rocker board, but just enough that you can feel it. Great for boots or straps. I still have my influence from 2012 and ride it regularly, it's a pretty sweet shape.

As far as the concave... it's not going to be a big difference compared to the difference in rocker and flex. The spark plug is kind of a noodle so if you're heavy that might be a negative for you. Personally I like flexy boards but I'm pretty light.
Canadiangringo has the amount of rocker back to front and the influence is not flatter?

Re: Concave or Flat for Lakes

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:48 pm
by rynhardt
Remember that on a flexible board the rocker will flatten more under load.
You'll get a more realistic idea of the rocker by standing on the board on a flat surface.
Unless you have a really deep concave, it will have negligible effect, apart from stiffening the board.
For a softer ride, flex wins everytime.

Re: Concave or Flat for Lakes

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:16 pm
by Blake
For Ontario's fresh water lakes with chop = Mako
Been riding Lake O for 15 years, always on a Mako. I've tried other boards, but always go back to the Mako.

Give Billy from Kite Passion a call, he can set you up.

https://kitepassion.ca/