Surfboard Geometry and Design - Passy`s World of Mathematics

Surfboard Geometry and Design
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Latest Technology Board Riding
Surfboard Geometry and Design
 Types of Surfboards
 Choosing a Surfboard
 Parts of a Surfboard
 Surfboard Fins
 Fin Configurations
 Making Surfboards by Hand
 Computer Design and Manufacture
Types of Surfboards
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The Shortboard
High Performance, Sharp Nose, Thin Rail Edges,
Highly Curved Deck, Three or Four Underside Fins
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The Fish
Shorter, Wider, and Flatter than the Shortboard;
works well in small mushy surf.
Images Source: Google Images
The Longboard
Oldest design, Rounded Nose, Long and Wide,
Great for small waves and Beginner Surfers.
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The Longboard
Brazilian Surfers Nose Riding on Longboards.
The Funboard
Smaller than Longboard, thick and long giving
Buoyancy volume, paddling power, and stability.
Image Source: Google Images
The Gun
Special Board for Huge Waves. Very Long for Paddling
Speed. Designed for very High Speeds and Control.
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The Hybrid
The typical hybrid is a larger and wider version of either
the Shortboard or the Fish. Great for medium size days.
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Other Types / SUP
The Stand Up Paddle Board “SUP” gives four times the
Paddling power of a normal surfboard.
Tow-In Boards with Jet-Skis used for Big Wave entries.
Images Source: Google Images
Choosing a Surfboard
Detailed Sizing Charts are used for the Type of Board
you need for your height, weight, and surfing style.
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Parts of a Surfboard
Changing the Geometrical Shape of each part significantly
changes acceleration, stability, hold, and manoeuverability.
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The Nose
Pointy - dropping into big waves, and paddling in chop
Round - easier to paddle, glide, and plane on the surface.
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The Rocker
Rocker is the curving upwards of the deck (nose and tail)
Fish and Longboard (small waves) have minimal rocker.
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The Stringer
Stringer - stiffener placed down the middle of the board
to strengthen the core and add rigidity.
Image Source: Google Images
The Rails
The “Rail” edges of the surfboard are rounded (“soft”) on
Longboards for stability and tracking, but go to a right
Angle (“hard”) shape where they meet the bottom of
Shortboards to give acceleration and tight turning.
Squared off bottom
“Hard” Rail profile
along the edge
of a Fish Board
from Nose to Tail.
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Tail Shapes
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Round / Pin – stable in big surf, smooth round turns
Squash / Square – more lift, plane, pivot, loose sharp turns
Swallow / Angular – Quick water release for mushy waves
Surfboard Fins
Fins are required to turn the board, stop sideways slipping,
and hold the board onto the face of the wave.
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Surfboard Fins Tutorial
There are many Fin Types, Shapes, and Arrangements.
Fin Characteristics
There are key measurements which define each fin type.
Foils on Fins
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Fin Profile called “Foil” critically affects turning, hold on
the wave face, drive acceleration, and stability.
Foils on Fins
There are four common Fin Profiles or “Foils”
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Foils on Fins
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Drive, (Speed), Pivot (turning) and Hold/Release
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Foils on Fins
Flex and Cant on Fins
Original Images Source: Google Images
Detailed Fin Measurements
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Bulbous Bullet Fin
Fin Base Profile pushes up a “Bulbous Wave” at 180
degrees to the fin cutting wave to create cancellation.
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Evolution of Fin Technology
The incredible acrobatic surfing we see today is due
to the evolution of Fins over the last ten years .
FCS Fins Australia
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FCS Fins Australia are world leaders in Fin Technology,
and continue to create exciting new products.
Fin Configurations
Depending on Surfboard Type, there can be 1 to 4 fins used.
(Five fin boxes under the board allows for Tri or Quad).
Images Source: Google Images
Bottom Contour
Bottom contours influence how water travels under the
surfboard, and assists lift, planing and manoeuverability.
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Surfboard Deck
Decks are either flat or domed and slippery fibreglass
needs thick wax or rubber grips applied to it.
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Making Surfboards
“Shapers” turn a foam blank into a proper surfboard using
cutting and measuring tools, sanders, fibreglass, and resins.
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Making Surfboards
An order form and detailed plan is used to measure and
make each surfboard to the customer’s requirements .
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Handmade Surfboards
“Shapers” and “Glassers” hand make custom surfboards.
Handmade Surfboards
“Shapers” use special measuring tools.
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Computer Design and Manufacture
Modern Surfboards are mass produced using computerised
design / scanning equipment as well as shaping machines.
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Computer Design and Manufacture
A “real” Surfboard is made by a master shaper and then
Scanned to store all of its 3D Geometrical characteristics.
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Computer Design and Manufacture
The Board can be customised and then automatically cut
out and fully shaped using computer controlled machinery.
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Hybrid Design
This design wouldn’t “Float” as a Surfboard, and makes
q difficult guitar to dance around with, but is interesting.
Images Source: Google Images
Mathematics of Surfing
Complete details of all material covered
in this presentation can be found in the
“Mathematics of Oceans” lesson on the
Passy’s World of Mathematics Website:

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