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Apr 7, 2014, 10:24 PM #11
Apr 7, 2014, 11:42 PM #12Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
- Singer Island
Apr 8, 2014, 12:37 AM #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2010
- Cackalacka border beaches
I feel flex when I bottom turn an old clapped out, mushy deck PU board. Feels like I tapped the brakes. No squirt or not as much squirt. It's because more bend is being put into the rocker under my feet from my weight and slows me down a little. Straight is fast and curve is slow with overall rocker. Especially under my back foot on a shorty where it wears out the fastest and where I set a rail from, toe side mostly for me. I want my boards to be stiff and not flexy end to end. And not too bouncy like those PVC sheet foam 1lb. core stringerless tufflite boards which I have heard to be described as "too stiff" which I don't feel when I'm on one. They actually go pretty good far as I can tell but the hollow feel is not my fave.
Apr 8, 2014, 01:07 AM #14Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2010
My daily driver coil is a short disc shape with lots of volume taken to the rails since I'm heavy. Has much less noticeable flex characteristics.
I just stripped the glass off a board that had more than 1/2 the deck de-laminated. Talk about flex. When I would paddle out, if I snuck over a wave that was close to breaking, it torqued the foam just right and you could literally feel it bending under you. It's a wonder it never actually broke.
I had a Chinese pop-out for a while. Very stiff. No perceivable flex at all. The glass on it was bizarre. Kind of brittle. Despite being constructed poorly, and having no flex, I have to admit it actually surfed well. Guessing the shape was a copy, but I got used to it having very little flex. Only really noticed it when I would switch back to another regular Poly board. They felt more "alive" to me.
I wonder how much my weight attributes to me being able to really feel a boards flex. I'm 215-220 lbs, and I can really load up on a turn. I feel like the flex helps slingshot me out of a hard turn. If I were 70lbs lighter, I might not feel it so much.
One important property of a modern surfboard we often overlook is flex. This is now a hot topic in surfboard design. Surfers are starting to understand how surfboard flex affects our surfing and which design characteristics increase flex memory. Shapers everywhere are responding to this increased interest.
Flex allows your surfboard to build energy through turns when the surfboard's materials change shape. Picture this sequence: You drop into a fast, steep bottom turn. As you do so your surfboard's foam will bend into the turn. This results in more rocker and stored energy. As you come out of this turn and aim for the lip the foam snaps back to its original shape, releasing the stored energy and shooting the surfer out of the turn. A seasoned surfer will turn this burst of energy into acceleration, propelling himself into the next maneuver. While the flex characteristics can help your surfing, creating a surfboard design with flex in mind presents challenges. First, the surfboard must walk the line between flex and strength. Secondly, after repeated compression and expansion, a surfboard's traditional wood stringer will weaken, giving it a "dead" feeling.
The recent emphasis on flex resulted in questions regarding stringer placement. A board with a center stringer will be stronger and less flexible along the center. However, its rails will flex and wobble which can cause the board to slow. This is called torsion flex. The closer the stringer is to the rail, the more strength or spring it will have along its perimeter which is where the board primarily makes contact with water in turns. It also supports the rail to maintain more of its original rocker shape while the flex comes from the center of the board.
So now that you know shapers are experimenting with increased flex memory on their new surfboards, perhaps it is time for you to do some experimenting yourself. The idea of springier surfboards accelerating better out of turns sounds great, but can you use it to your advantage?
I've been working on a few different flex patterns. One is the Incide Blanks with a carbon "Brain" within the board.
Feels a lot like a wood stringer, but will probably keep its pop longer than a wooden stringer which slowly loses its recoil.
Also been doing some more of my Dissect series with no stringer but many glue lines to more evenly distribute the flex. Some have a concave deck, some have a high density foam glued within the blank.
An area that I've thought of for designing a board with flex that is wooden and has a tapered profile is a concept I refer to myself as a foiled torsion box. Yes laminated layers which represent the rail design and the internal framing... Almost identical to Roy's construction method, but instead of laminating the board to the bottom rocker dimensions rather laminated it to the desired deck curvature, then using a foiling jig which drives a straight cut router but, one would be able to thin out the nose, and tail as desired. Once foiled, finish the bottom with anther lamination. Then I think it would flex, but some problems may arise during the router foiling process..
Apr 8, 2014, 09:42 PM #17