Wouldnt it be more cost effective to just spend the $12 and compare the drag with and without them yourself to see if there is a substantial difference? Modelling usually isnt the solution to a ten dollar question.
I am a mechanical engineering student doing a project using MATLAB to optimize anything I want. I was thinking of trying to optimize something related to surfing. Does anyone have any ideas that I could try? My initial thought was optimizing fins but realized there is not a lot of research dealing with fins. I am open to any ideas, even ones that are not surfing related.
Maybe try to optimize the geometry of the tail of a board for varying speeds. Compare this to the effect that fins play on speeds. You could also do a variable sensitivity analysis between the two.
What changes have the most benefit over the ranges of water velocities that the board sees.
I've always wondered what the benefits were of having a pointed nose on a board... seems like a waste to me other than cosmetics. Any truth to that?
Board thickness vs. width... speed, buoyancy?
channels in boards
I'm no engineer, but I have an idea. You say that an artificial reef is not feasible, due to project scale, cost and sheer size; but what about a standing wave? Build a form, perhaps modular, say the size of the average, garage-built quarter pipe, light weight mterial that can be weighted down or anchored, that you and 1-3 other guys can take to a river with a decent CFM flow. Drop it into a spot and generate a rideable standing wave. I'm not talking Pipeline here, I'm talking at bare minimum, paddle up stream on a body board, drop right in front of it and be able to just coast. If you can get something bigger, that a surfer could stand on, more power to you. When I was whitewater kayaking guide out East, we'd drive hours for a good standing wave.