The art of surfboard shaping
Understanding how planing hulls work and how different features of a surfboard affect its performance is super interesting and translates back into how I surf. In researching board shaping I found Carl Ekstrom who has been experimenting with board shapes including asymmetrical boards for the last 60 years. His theory is that from a side stance our bodies are not symmetrical and our heels and toes perform differently with the various board shapes, so why are all the boards we ride symmetrical?
I shaped this board as a high volume fun board with a wide tail to surf the river wave and minimal rocker to allow for faster planing. I offset the fins, added a twisted rocker, bulked up the heelside rail and cut an asymmetrical tail (fishy on the toe side and cropped off on the heels) to experiment with Ekstrom’s theory. I found it to be a lot looser on my heels and a bit of a pig to paddle but once on the wave it picks up speed really fast and does the smoothest cutbacks.
The materials used were a Polyurethane blank with polyester resin and 8 oz fiberglass deck and a 4 oz bottom. I tried tinting the resin with a red pigment but it turned out a bit pink. I decided to install future fin boxes as I made my own fins from a homemade ply using maple and oak veneers.
I finished this board 9 months ago and was able to surf it a few times on the Eisbach river wave in Munich. Finally after fixing the damage caused by the river wave and a further patch up after the damage incurred by the airplane I was able to surf it on the opposite side fo the world in Dunedin!
When I make my next board I really want to make a hollow core wooden board and maybe copy an existing shape to understand how each factor of the design relates to its performance.