We had the opportunity to test the bucket board and we’ll call it wakesurfing it, even if the most we got was maybe 1 minute at a time. One of the issues that we had was that any change in the angle of attack or positioning of the board in relation to the wake, such as sliding down the face, required the rider to change a position and it wasn’t possible.
We shaped the board so that it could be ridden in trim, but in so doing, also craeted a board that could only be ridden effectively in one position! Not very effective as we are constatantly changing in relation to the wake. BUT that did give us a really interesting conclusion. The length of your wakesurf board is principally for adjustment on the wake, not for increased weight of the rider. If you have a board that seems to be almost right for you, but you’re having difficulty staying with the wake, don’t go longer, go wider.
Now we know that is counter to what the community describes and also that said community iss filled with aggregators of information that have never shaped, tested, ridden or built, only observed a very limited subset of available shapes and those same folks. A longer board will provide you more area to hydroplane on, but a quicker way to achieve the same thing is wider. We want to show a quick picture from the day we were wakesurfing the bucket board.
3’5″ is all that’s needed and beyond that, some part of the board will be out of the water. Now we aren’t recommending you go 3’5″, but let’s say that you are almost there, you can ride it most of the time but occassionally have difficulty with recovery. Try wider first before going longer. That is if you like the way it rides, etc. Now there is an interesting situation for taller riders that are lighter in weight and we’ll make an argument that two riders of the same height, but one is significantly lighter than the other. For example one weighs 120 pounds and the other weighs 160 pounds. The lighter weight rider will be better served by a longer board.
Another observation is that 5 pound boards are ridiculously overweight. This board, without really trying, weighs in at 1 pound 6 ounces and a sub 1 pound board is doable if we build it like it’s a flat panel and stiffen it accordingly. We want to share the one picture of the 200 pound rider getting up.
Remember the ridiculous concave on the bottom of this board? What would that look like when the rider is getting up? Like a bucket scooping water and without any momentum forward, that’s just filling and plowing through the water. It should have broken getting up a 200 pound rider, right? That was your instict wasn’t it? C’mon you can be honest! Actually we feared that too. The point being that without significant effort, we developed a 1 pound 6 ounce board that can withstand getting a 200 pound rider up from a dead start. The most significant forces will be applied at that point and once on the surface, there are significantly less forces being applied. So 1 pound 6 ounces versus 5 is pretty significant. There is no need to manufacture at a 5 to 6 pound level, you’re not even trying at that point! We’re guilty here too, so we’ll take that.
Thickness is a matter of personal preference only. We aren’t saying that you’re a wimp if you ride a 2 inch thick board, only that it isn’t necessary. This bucket board was 1/2 ” thick. Thicker rails sort of modulate the wakesurf boards ability to turn. Thinner equates to more responsive and there is a point of diminishing returns. So long as we recognize that it’s rider preference and not required to maintain the structural integrity of a wakesurf board. This bucket board had a single layer of 6 oz carbon fiber on both the top and bottom and both were free lapped to the opposite side. Two inch thick board aren’t needed. Now that isn’t to say that any construction will allow for that. If the builder is using 2 oz eglass, the core will need to be thicker in order to compenste for the lack of structural integrity of the skin, but we have the composite materials necessary to go extremely thin and light.
Another observation is that surface contours offer all manner of stiffness and that is one of the principal benefits of using them, as oppossed to creating any sort of “jet stream” with water flow. The more BOARD there is in the water flow the more power and speed that board will have. AS LONG AS, it can still hydroplane. Hydroplaning is the key to speed and manuverability and that really is affected by a number of factors. Wetted surface area is certain one, speed of water flow is another, etc. BUT leaving that discussion, deep concaves, or really any manner of deep surface contour will increas the rigidity of a flat panel, or our wakesurf boards. As you saw in the pictures above, the extensive concave in the bucket board offered more than adequate stiffness mostly by virture of the radical concave. Now, this sort of shape wouldn’t be appropriate for the bottom of a wakesurf baord, but it certain is on the deck side where we can use it for foot control.
We can affect greater stiffness and lower weight with deck side contours, not unlike flat panel shaping on car doors. Foot wells and deck concaves can increase increase the stiffness of a wakesurf board and if planned for, can reduce the required reinforcements. That is a significant change in thinking as shapers approach wakesurf board design. This can be deck channels, deck concaves or any manner of contour that changes the shape of the flat panel.
One last picture. Rope is slack, so rider is wakesurfing. Nose of the board is out of the water, so effectively about 3′ of rail line is in the water.
Hydroplaning is our most critical design element. It’s interesting that for wakesurf boats we want the opposite. The most effective wakesurf boat is probably a trawler. Big, equally weighted throws a massive wake on both sides without trying and will never plane at 12 mph. We want the total opposite for our wakesurf boards when wakesurfing. Planes QUICKLY, in fact immediately and stays on plane with almost no effort and at low speeds. It needs to blend the ability to capture adequate amounts of water flow and then, throw it off! 🙂 That will be the design challenge!
For our mobile device followers we had to switch from the dudamobile efforts as that turned out to be CRAP. It wasn’t able to effectively tell there was an underlying website and would send mobile users to the non-mobile enabled rendering. So it did NOTHING and introduced another step into doing NOTHING! 🙂
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