We have no fresh video of James and his Flyboy to share, as James has been away at contests and giving lessons for the past two weeks, so we wanted to revisit an old concept that deals with how our boards interact with the wake and the hydroplaning. BUT forst we sort of need to deal with the concept of materiality or maybe it’s relevance. We’ve always termed it materiality, but we’ll let you decided have we finish this post which term makes the most sense to you.
We have a HUGE accounting background in the Flyboy Wakesurf shop! One of the terms that is used frequently in accounting is materiality. Normally auditors test or sample accounting records and look for errors. They may find some, but the error only amounts to say 2 cents. Everyone has their 2 cents worth, but is it meaningful? Well it could be. If the total value of all the records amounted to 3 cents, which we see lots of these days, then the 2 cents worth is about 2/3 of that total value and WOULD be material. Although, lets be honest, no one is going to test a batch of records that support a total value of 3 cents, you’d give that money away before you’d pay someone to test it!!! But if the total value of the records being tested say was 4 million dollars, then we probably don’t care about those 2 cents, do we? We might do a little extra checking to make sure it’s not some systemic problem that allows the records to be total crap.
For the most part if the only error we found was 2 cents, we’d just ignore it and call that 2 cents worth error immaterial. Right? 2 cents worth in a sea of millions, just doesn’t mean anything.
The other term we’ve heard folks use is relevance. We don’t like this one as much, for this purpose, but some folks do, so we’ll present it here for completeness. A contest with only two entries, probably isn’t real relevant, is it? It’s like playing tic tac toe, it’s just one player against another, certainly not worth all that much in the grand scheme of things and doesn’t determine global domination or anything like that. Anyway, you get the idea, we hope we didn’t offend anyone, we know you’re bright and didn’t really need those explanations.
So we tried to share with you a video taken by Jon Shields of James wakesurfing behind that 60 foot yacht up in Washington. You’ll remember that the wake height was around 6 feet high from the flats and the yacht was traveling around 17 mph. Fast and tall! Jon posted the video to his Instagram account but many folks couldn’t access so, kindly, Jon posted the video to his YouTube account and we can embed that for you here now.
Here is that video and thanks Jon Shields
For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that Yacht wakesurfing video if the embed above didn’t work for you.
We wanted to bring your attention to just somethings. Go ahead and watch the video, it’s a blast. You’ll notice at the very beginning, there are two riders on the wake, but the port side rider falls which gives James the opportunity to do the wake transfer.
But did you notice that James is on the brakes most of the time on the starboard side? Big powerful wakes allow us to wakesurf at much higher speeds. If you watch at the very beginning of the movie, James is hydroplaning on a very small portion of his board and what happens when he sort of slams on the brakes, sending spray forward? The spray hits the water in front of James and then he passes over it doesn’t he? So that spray that is shot forward and seems to go backwards past James, is that what is happening? It’s not is it? James is moving forward, we can’t really document that all that well, but we understand that intuitively right? There isn’t any ambiquity that needs clarification? Maybe there is, but it sure seems obvious that is what is happening. That that spray is not moving forward after it hits the water, it’s movement in the direction of travel of the boat is: none. The boat and the wake sort of pass by. But the water that James is hydroplaning over is not moving forward or backward.
You can test this on your next trip out, toss something that floats out in the flats, it has momentum from the boat traveling, but once it hits the water, it just stops. If you watch James, though, he has enough speed and his board is hydroplaning enough that he can sort of zip across that water that isn’t propelling him forward.
Ok, one last clip, this is of James doing a little bottom turn snap combination. He powers down the face of the wake out into the flats and then turns back up towards the wake and snaps the tail of the board to shoot some spray forward towards the boat. Now we’ve cut and spliced a few segments together and we really suck at video presentations and play acting. So, hopefully, it’s ok enough that you can see what we are trying to convey.
So here is that video, it’s broken up into three segments, if you will. The first is the move altogether at normal speed. Then we break out the part of the trick just after the snap and the spray so that you can see the water pattern as it moves up the wake, and we reverse it so that you get a really clear idea of the water flow from below James’ board, up and what looks to be past him. The final section is just to clarify what happens with all that spray as it sort of gets behind James in the video, where it’s somewhat obscured by James and his movement. Anyway, as you watch it, watch for the spray pattern on the face of the wake, where we wakesurf. OH! And we slowed down and repeated sections, we’re not sure about the video quality, but hopefully you get the idea of the water flow patterns from it.
For our mobile enabled friends, here is a link to that water flow video, if the embed above doesn’t work for you!
Were you able to see the spray patterns? They looked to be sort of traveling in this curved patterned up and away from the rider, didn’t it? It’s a really nice graceful curve in what might be described as a clockwise rotation. At the very end, you have probably seen the gouge we make in the wake face when we are riding. That gouge also seems to travel UP and away from the rider. It would be impossible to create that gouge from behind, wouldn’t it?
Ok, so is that water actually flowing backwards? We know for certain it isn’t flowing forward at all. That’s a good thing isn’t it? What would happen if there was water flow forward and we did something like that snap where we screwed the face of the wake up? It would be a mess forever, wouldn’t it? If the water flow was at or about the same speed of the boat, that messed up face would just stay with us until we stopped doing anything and gravity sort of settled the water back down. Thank God that doesn’t happen! But is that water pattern actually flowing past James, backwards? It’s not is it? It looks that way, but what it’s doing, is just moving UP and James is moving past the spray pattern. It’s sort of an illusion. The water on the face of the wake, doesn’t really move laterally or along the boats path, at least in any “material” sense. In fact, it makes the spray pattern actually look like it’s moving away from the rider, doesn’t it? Towards the opposite side of the wake!
It’s just the shape of the ramp, isn’t it? That curve from the flats up to the lip. That spray pattern is following the curve of the ramp, up towards the lip and then once it reaches the top, it basically just stops. Well, it flows down into the depression made by the board, that gouge, but after James gets out of the way, you can see it is still up at the lip and away from the boat. That’s again, what it looks like, it’s actually not moving away, it’s stationary as the wake we form moves past it. Anyway, the point being that there isn’t any flow forward and things don’t always look like what they seem to be!
If there were flow forward, what would that actually look like? Assuming at or about the speed of travel of the boat, that spray pattern would sort of look stationary on the face until it settled down, wouldn’t it? Like a rider in trim. If the flow was going faster than the boats speed, like what would be necessary to sustain a rider with strictly water flow forward. The spray pattern would seem to be cascading forward, maybe eventually colliding with the prop wash and creating a huge splash upward! Thankfully, it just goes up. Well except once the lip breaks over, at that point it’s just a chaotic mess and anyone’s 2 cents worth is as relevant as the next.
Ok, so that is all for today! We’ll talk more about how our boards sort of hydroplane on this weird step in the wake, and how that’s possible, at some point in the future. Also, why we sort of all have the same basic width in our boards and why that is!
Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.