Hi Guys - Chris Middleton here from wooden-stuff.com - the guy in the images above making the hollow Foilaia.
I can happily share with you my two cents on forming a nose rocker and riding flat foil pocket boards.
Riding a flat board is do-able but it's a long way from being ideal in my opinion - once you get to a level where you're nailing 9 out of 10 gybes, tacks etc, etc then yes it becomes much more doable.
But for the likes of most individuals, the nose rocker helps in touchdowns, avoiding to bury the nose, providing your board's wide enough at the front and it also helps with the take-off.
Now, if you're riding a foil that generates a huge amount of lift (large wings, super thick, crossover foil, kite/SUP) it could be argued that the board can be as flat as a bean because the moment you generate forward momentum with your kite your up on the foil, so the board serves strictly as a platform to control the foil (in theory never touching the ocean) but as I said previously for most people the nose rocker helps.
The initial Ketos Pocket foil boards have a continuous rocker that starts from about halfway along the board.
I've heard people criticize this due to the fact that the front foot when riding is higher than the back foot - does this matter?
What I've learned over 20+ yrs of kitesurfing is that the human body can adapt to anything providing you are persistent. Here in France Ketos is one of the premium foil brands and lots of people ride their boards & foils.
What I try to do with my foil boards is keep the foot area as longitudinally flat as possible but I always introduce some nose rocker - between 4 to 10cm is enough.
Add to that a nose concave on the hull and this will add comfort in the touchdowns.
Bending 25mm Paulownia with steam is for me a non-starter - I do not have the patience or the kit.
Much simpler to use 4,5,6mm thick sheets and laminate several together - you can use airex or EPS foam as a core (I know that this is not eco...) and then sandwich the deck, hull & rails giving the impression that the board is a solid wooden construction but the weight is considerably reduced. Schenkles for sure is producing some beautiful boards that weigh in at a remarkably light-weight.
Some of the Foil boards that I've produced recently are here - https://www.facebook.com/fastafoil/
The Wooden-Stuff Kilaia boards (KIte aLAIA) are here - https://www.facebook.com/woodenstuffproject/