thE BoarD LaB
Finishing up the 'straight out of the 50s' Hodad Pig for the summer slop coming up. Soo much sanding on the longer board. Daniboy snapped some shots in the dusty room.
The shorter and stubbier, the better! Right? For the moment that seems to be what everyone is talking about. And right now the popular new dimensions are short, wide and fat. Personally, those dimensions have been one of my favorite combinations. In 2005 I designed my first board. It was based off of AI Flyer II (which everyone had at the time) but trimmed down 5" and increased the thickness in the nose foil. I did not shape the design (Tom Brockman did), but the board worked great. I revisited a board that I did design and shape in Nov of 2009. The design portion of the the board is explained in this post. With that template and shape in mind, I added a few things to the board's features. First, it has a chopped tail, much like the Neckbeard. Actually it's not 'chopped', but really just not shaped. I guess that is a better way of putting it. The difference between 'chopping' a built board and having a 'chopped' tail is that cutting a board that was meant to function with the whole outline, hull and rail rocker would dramatically change the way the board functioned. Now this may have worked for Dayne, but in reality it would ruin the board for whatever waves or rider it was intended. What Dayne wanted was to loosen the board. A board shaped with a wide 'chopped' tail provides a very loose back-end, without sacrificing rail rocker or cutting into the concave (or vee) of the bottom hull design. And it just looks sick. Secondly, the Mr.Buzz is buzzing in all the mouths of those who like to surf unruly. And that board looks awesome! The design feature I like about that board that is blended into my board here is the deepness and width of the concave. When Stretch explains the concave he makes note of how far it extends to the rail. Since my 'shorty' is meant to be ridden primarily as a quad, I deepen and widened the concave closer to the rails. It runs 1/4 right out of the tail. Similar to the tail pipe Todd P describes on one of his boards. Third, I added two fins. The original design was a tri. This board is made to be ridden as a quad, but I left the center trailer fin for versatility. Throw the quads on for smaller, mushier days (most days). If the waves are throwing a little barrel and a little bigger (shoulder ro head), throw on that 5th trailer Kelly Slater has been making so popular. The waves take it to the next notch, solid HH combo swell, with medium building tide, low wind, fast and pretty hollow- throw on your thruster set. If it gets any punchier than that, use your step up or thruster or whatever. This board is not a one quiver board. It probably can handle some overhead stuff. I tested it in solid 12 foot faces in Santa Cruz. Although it paddled in early with no problems, it was way to lose for the amount of water that moves on that wave. It took me a few beatings to get it through my head that I had to dig deep with my back foot to keep from sliding out. It was really fast and was easy to get in front of sections. However this shorty is designed to rip in slow, small, mushy waves. You know, what we usually ride. Here's a little video shaping the new design. http://vimeo.com/32939198
Time to glass a few. The longer they sit on the rack the more likely they get dinged or dented or just dusty. So put down the planer and pick up your gas mask cause it's time to glass.
At times there you come across a shape or design that you want to do, but none of your templates fit the bill. I had this little problem with a tail I was doing. Not anything special or out of the ordinary, just a rounded tail. However, the board is a little larger than what I normally shape so none of my tail templates fit. And the ones I had just did not look right. Solution, use some good old geometry. After a slices and dices with the surform and some softening with the block... ...Round Tail!
I knew the warmer months would mean working in a sauna if I did not finish my room. So over the last few weeks popped in some insulation, radiant heat barrier, drywall, paint, lighting, shelves and cabinets. Let's not forget the A/C. There you go. A new shaping comfortable shaping room. A few weeks of work in three seconds.
After a series of boards with the standard single to double concave, I have been experimenting with some different hull designs. I really like some of the theories that are explored in boards by Bob Simmons, Tom Brockman, Gerry Lopez, Geoff McCoy and Bob McTavish. That's just to name a few that come to mind as I'm typing at the moment. There are certain individual elements of these boards that really make sense. So the obvious objective is to combine all of the best features into one ultra performance board, right? That would be great if every rider and every wave were the same. And also if the objective of every surfboard was the same. But the reality is that few of those elements are ever the same in sequence. So a modest amount of each element in the right combination is what would be desired. A long time shaper once said that everything has been invented, it's only a reinvention of an old idea. However, people are riding surfboards today differently than they ever have before. And that is what can make a reinvention the new thing. Lately I have been messing around with a single to double to Vee out the tail. This very last model has a rolled entry, actually a slight displacement hull. I cut the single concave 1/3 more shallow and moved the actual transition to the double concave slightly closer to center. The Vee rolls out the tail and is less drastic than in some previous boards I made. One theory that think is good but haven't actually tested is McCoy's design regarding tail rails. So I put down the planer and picked up the screen and softened up my tail rails. This one is ready for my volume displacement on the deck and an dead octopus painted on... more to come on that.
(the moron surf monster forgot to post this) Here is the new 5'8" short board. This board would be about 2" shorter that your normal high performance short board. Since I have a lot of questions about the shape, I will point out a few key elements that make this design. Let's start with the obvious. What's up with the nose? I have actually had a lot of positive reactions to the nose. Without all the boring details, what I did with this template was expanded it 3" at the nose. After testing this board, I think its a bit much so future boards with be trimmed down 1". What this does is increases the planing area while paddling. With the planing area increased it allows more water to flow into the single concave that begins just past the entry rocker in the front of the board. This helps paddling efforts. Also, the rocker is trimmed down and not as excessive as some standard boards. That helps for more speed while paddling as well. Another feature which might be hard to spot, is that I have added an additional inch to the template in the nose. This again adds more planing area for speed. To offset the weight of that adjustment I refined the standard thickness the nose (12" from the tip). This keeps a balance to the board once your standing that helps to keep the board extremely maneuverable, yet a little extra width in the front for paddle speed. What's up with those "deck channels"? Actually they are not deck channels at all. I call it a volume displacement. When you dome the deck of a surf board, it should flow naturally out to the rail. What I do with my performance boards is leave extra foam in the dome all the way out to the rail. Then create a normal HP rail. The tapered down rails create a "step" looking feature, which is actually the extra foam blending up away from the rail. Why? The extra volume gives some additional float in the front of the board. This also helps for more paddle power without sacrificing weight or width. The bottom has a wide number of variations. These can be changed for wave type, rider ability or fin set up. The bottom that I have really been enjoying is a single to double concave to Vee out the tail. This is for a tri fin setup. For the quad I do a single concave that seems to rip. All of the boards are finished in Epoxy resin and S-Glass with a sanded finish. I will be making a few more larger sizes that will be available in about a month. If you see me in the water, ask to try the board- no problemo. See you out there!
Just finished another HP Shortboard. These seem to be working really well. This one is trimmed down in volume from the last HP Shorty. This should definitely be an all around every dayer kind of board. It's ready for some personality and lamination. Diamond Tail the Nose Rocker and Rails Vee out the tail
Once the board is done, you have one last step that could potentially ruin (at least esthetically) all the hard work you have put into making it perfect... SANDING. There it is, a sea worthy craft. Ready to take on anything. And you have the little kid feeling of "I can't wait". But you must. Now once the last coat of glass hardens, it's time to get all dusty again and sand it all off. Of course when you're done, it is a beautiful smooth craft. It's just that the fine dust is SO annoying. By the way, don't hit the cloth either!
>So, I haven't been posting much because of the lack of time. Time well spent... I was messing around combining a few templates and came up with a fun looking solution.The problem with mainstream surfboards is that the boards fed into the minds of surfers as the "must have" are boards that are really designed for pro riders. These boards are designed for high ability and hardcore waves. But these boards are not really the boards suitable for the average shmoe. With that statement, I would venture to assume that many surfers are not riding the equipment that best suits their abilities and general wave conditions. I have always held to the theory that more volume in certain places of the board is better to catch the "average" wave for the "average" surfer. Once you start adding increased waves size with increased abilities, the design of the board dramatically changes. That led me to experiment with a design at the end of 09 that was based on some of the theories regarding planing surface and the increase of speed. The template was discussed in the post New Board Design. In short, I decreased length, added width and volume. I made that board EPS and only 2" thick. And it totally rocks. These barrel pics are on that board. I found though that while it excels in waist to chest surf, there is a need for a little more board in waves head to over head.That led me to combine my standard short board template with the new design. Here is what I came up with.I expanded the template in the immediate nose to increase planning surface area. The nose is also expanded +1" from a regular short board that size. The center and tail kept the same standard measurements. Wide point stayed in the center.With the template drawn out take a look at the rocker and thickness.I dropped the entry rocker down a notch as well. Because of the deck volume displacement I give to all my short boards (one reason why the 5'6" works so well) this board is to be 2" shorter that your standard board. So I started with a 58. With the entry rocker low the kick is out the tail. I added "notch" in the tail rocker in the last 6 inches.As you are paddling the lower entry and increased volume displacement will help enter wave sooner. The kick in the rocker at the end of the board gives you back foot speed control. So you need to beat a close out or flat spot, bring your back foot forward (like you normally would) and the board flattens out. Now you want to carve or catch air, place your back foot farther back and the board becomes loose. The rider has the ability to enter the wave sooner, hold speed longer, and become more agile through a few minor design changes.Here's a view of how the the wide points increase and decrease with size adjustments.As the rider's size increases the boards outline changes but the properties stay the same.I didn't have all the fancy computer pictures put together when I started shaping this model. I only had a set of dimensions on a piece of paper. But the shape came out right on.Once the glass is done and we get some swell, the testing the board will be next.
>I had a vision when I began shaping this board. This was to be a retro classic shape. So I wanted a paint job equally retro and classic. Don't ask me why, but in my sketch drawing of the paint scheme(which had no colors) I made the lines at a funky angle. It looked cool on the sketch so I wanted to replicated that on to the actual board. Since it wasn't a straight 30, 45 or 90 degree angle, I did this 6" above 6" below measurement 7 inches from the stringer to make these angled lines. It only got weird around the nose where the curve of the nose distorts the measurement. Then you have to get really "eye-bally" to make it look as even as possible. I chose an old school mint green color. You know the color our original 1950s tile counter tops used to be. That was the base color for the whole thing. What was weird too, was my white paint had this minty smell to it. Every time I mixed the color I wanted to taste it. Bottom taped off after measured up.Top taped off after measuring. After the lines were taped off and looked even, I started to mask the bottom portion of the that particular line. I measured again 1/2" down from the top line at center and 7 inches off center on each side. Bottom doubled masked.Direct viewTop view, double maskedNext on the list was the diamond pattern. This was also at some random angle. So again I measured some increments across the board and used the tape to set "mid" points. Once the mid points were set, I removed the tape and drew in the diamonds with a stencil I made. I created a mid point on the stencil that lined up with the mid point from the tape lines. That gave me evenly spaced diamonds all sitting at the same angle. All of the diamonds are free handed off the stencil.Even measurements at funky angles...The tape made two center points on each top and bottom mask.Now the lines are starting to fill in. I masked off each diamond since I didn't want to have a dark green stripe under the yellow diamond. I started airbrushing, but found I was getting too much over spray in the mint green area between my dark green lines. So for the top side I spent a good hour masking everything off with the butcher paper. This paint job was starting to have more headaches than a married woman.The joys of being creative!At this point you can see the where I am going with it... I hope. I'm kind of worried about the 46 diamonds that are now waiting to be painted and pin striped. So here I go. One diamond at a time. Top then bottom, then a second coat to fill in the uneven spots. That was quick (can you feel the sarcasm). At this point, I am starting to question why I didn't just order the print on the cloth and glass it in. But I supposed there was no such thing in the 50s and since this is the "retro" board, I'm stuck doing it the old school way. Patience, persistence and lot of yellow paint. I am ready to strangle... myself.Diamonds done! Good riddance.Where did I put my pin striping brushes. I found all my OneShot (you can't use on an EPS blank) but for some reason can not locate all my brushes. That was a pain, so I had to go with a #2 for the outline on the diamonds. Again, one at a time. Once the diamonds were all done the next thing was to put the tail drips in. I had sketched out what I wanted it to look like, but the sketch and the actual dripping of paint across a surface are two different things. Next time I think I will actually freehand the drips to get some better guidance. Even though the drips aren't exactly what was on the outline, they do give that raw uncontrolled flavor I was looking for. Plus it was just plain fun to spend all that time making the perfect lines, then just drip paint all over it. BottomTopSideAll painted and ready for glassing. This one turned out pretty close to the paint scheme that was on paper. The colors were right on. The pattern turned out okay. The drips, well... are drips. Kind of like everything, you just have to go for it. The way it turns out, is the way it turns out. Now, I think I'll play my guitar... for a while.