We could all be totally wrong, so do whatever makes you sleep at night. A few years ago, I was driving over the CB bridge and I witnessed some dude's board fly right off his roof. He was riding nose first, so lesson learned. Sorry, nose first renegades, I'll always ride fins first. I haven't used racks in years, so maybe things have changed during that time. I walk to my break now. And yes, I've been catching a few nugs here and there. I hope you're getting your fair share too! Make sure to eat your fruit! I'm going to the grocery store today to pick up some grapefruit. Health is wealth!
Are you sure you're not a rack engineer too? I am not an engineer of anything and I was terrible in all the scientific/mathematical courses, but here's my take: take a shortboard for example. When loaded nose first, the nose literally curves around the roof of the car towards the hood. When you're driving down the road, you presumably get two kinds of wind pressure. The first is the wind that hits your hood/windshield and rolls off. As the wind flows up the windshield, the wind will immediately catch your nose, which may cause the unneeded pressure that I was referring to. The second is the direct head-on wind, which would hit the underside of your nose and roll of; almost like a second windshield. If the tail was first, the wind would flow between the board and the roof with little to no obstruction.
"Always drive with your fins first." - Mark Twain
Wind is always caught between the board and the roof, especially with the tail forward. If you have a board with rocker, that air will then hit the angled down nose at the rear. This puts additional force on the nose, along with some turbulence that is not favorable. If you have this same board nose first, it allows the air to flow over top (more than in between). This does place some force down on the board, but greatly improves aerodynamics. This is all a moot point if you are not using a rack system like the one I have. I know most surfers traditionally use the strapped flat rack setup, which should really be a tail first situation for safety.
I am not a board rack engineer, but I have taken two aerodynamics courses in college.
Last edited by brewengineer; Sep 24, 2013 at 04:18 PM.