Ok, it’s not really a darkslide wakesurfing in the classic sense, as there is no real bottom to the wakesurf board that we are wakesurfing in this post. Long time followers may remember the molded top shell to a wakesurf board. Well we brought that back out, so you can rest assured it’s still in one piece. Now to refresh your memories, it’s laminate stack is 1) 6 oz carbon fiber 2) 3mm honeycomb and 3) 6 oz carbon fiber. It’s pretty resilient if not all that stiff. Here is a picture of the wakesurf board, if you will, just before James sinks it.
Now what we did was slow the boat way down, to something like 10.2 or thereabouts, the shell was stupid slow what with an inverse rocker and basically a convex bottom shape.
We want to show you the next picture, it’s before James dropped the rope, but it’s a great view of what’s happening with the water flow.
Take note first off with all the chaoctic flow off the bottom of the board while James Walker is wakesurfing it, the water is going EVERYWHERE isn’t it? Now we know this board is stupid slow and we can also see that there is water being thrown to the left and right and forward and backward. It’s probably pretty safe to say that chaotic water flow like that isn’t representative of efficency and hence down-the-line speed. Actually that’s an assumption, also, that speed comes from more efficient water flow. So let’s just assume that for the time being, that effectively channeling the water flow up the wake and then out the back of the wakesurfer will be the most effecient manner of channeling the water flow AND that efficeinecy will translate into more down-the-line speed.
There is another thing though and this may not be apparent to many. A board that is fast down-the-line, tends to resist turning. Imagine your car doing 100 mph, it’s turning radius is not going to be all that tight, because of the momentum going forward. It will naturally resist turning from any given path. Let’s also break down what is causing the chaotic flow. One is the convex bottom. As water comes rushing up the wake, it hits that bottom like the bottom of a spoon and the water just goes everywhere. Obviously a concave shape would prevent some of that, filling like a shallow bucket. But that begs the questions. How much concave? What shape? Is a static concave the best shape in all orientations? Is a static rocker the best alternative in all situations? We can almost intuitively answer that the bottom shape would probably be the best of it could change to adapt to the wake and the orientation of the wakesurfer on that wake.
We can almost visualize as the board is going vertical that the concave probably wouldn’t need to be all that deep compared to say a bottom turn out in the flats. And that bottom turn, probably would be best served if the curvature was more pronounced on the inside rail that was in the water and the outside of the concave basically could be any shape because it’s out of the water.
AND that is the topic of this discussion, a variable concave bottom, or maybe what’s better is to call it a morphing bottom shape, because in effect rocker can be effected also. So rather than the current staic or fixed bottom shapes, we are wondering if a bottom shape that could conform to the water flow would be more efficient and thereby develop greater down-the-line speed, but also with the ability to change shape, allow for quicker turning.
We’re not sure that it’s even possible, but we are in the planning stages to see if we can develop a wakesurf board with a bottom that can morph into shapes that would best channel and most efficiently move water flow down the length of the board, in all or at least a broad range of conditions.
At least better than this:
That was fun! Ok one last thing a short unedited clip to show you the darkslide and also how the “board” sort of twisted and turned into a shapes the water forced.
Thanks so much for following along and hopefully we’ll talk about this morphing bottom wakesurf board more as time goes on.