One of the worrisome concerns with wakesurf competitions, is that MOST if not all require some type of airline travel to get to. We use a hard case for most of our traveling, but still there is a risk of losing wakesurf boards or having one damaged in transit. At one of the WWCS’s that was held at Clear Lake one of James Walker’s wakesurf boards was damaged heavily by someone stepping on a fin while the wakesurf boards were all set out under a tree. There may have been others damaged, we’re not sure, but it was a rough go during one of the qualifying rounds. Ever since that situation, we always have two boards around, just in case!
As we’ve mentioned before, Stretch surfboards does all of our building, we design and test and then when we get a finalized shape we bring that to Stretch, in fact he has one of our prototypes hidden in his upstairs loft that he uses as a reference for measuring from. His years of experience makes him an invaluable resource. The wakesurf board you see in the picture, though, is quite expensive, this one set us back $1,200. You can see why we only bring Stretch our final proposed shapes!
We’ve got a few things in this picture that are slightly different from the previous board that you saw James riding where James landed that first ever surf style backside big spin. If you look at the tail of the board you’ll see the rather prounounced carbon fiber patch. This was present in the other board also, but we have moved it from underneath the bamboo to on top of the bamboo. That may sound like such a minor change as to be completely insignificant, and most likely it is, but placing the carbon fiber patch on top of the bamboo actually creates a very small sandwich layer and adds some stiffening effect to the tail under James Walker’s rear foot. It also, we believe, helps the bamboo be more reactive to landings from aerials. You’re probably thinking we’re completely obsessed and to be perfectly honest, you’re right we are! We are constantly refining the shape and construction looking for the best combination of materials and arrangement.
We aren’t willing to share the bottom of the wakesurf boards just yet, we’ve made a few changes to the fin placement and bottom contour. We’ll talk about them after the contest season starts when they’ll be public. One thing we’ve done that we can talk about are the Carbon Fiber patches under and around the fin boxes. Vernor Surfboards and Futures fins both had what they called a suspension system and Firewire surfboards also created a node arrangement. All three concepts tied the fin boxes together with rods or carbon fiber. We didn’t do that. However, we did mold some carbon fiber over the bottom of the Futures boxes and extended that along the bottom of the wakesurf boards to help distribute more of the load from the fin to a larger area on the bottom of the wakesurf boards. The molded carbon fiber does NOT connect the two boxes together. It increases the stiffness of the boxes in the foam and gives a feeling of greater responsiveness.
We appreciate you following along here at Flyboy Wakesurf!