So we want to challenge your thinking some. If you are in the 200 pound range, what length wake surfer do you need? Are you thinking close to 5 feet? Maybe 4’11″ or so?
Take a look at this picture.
Now some details. That’s Jeff Walker and with the wet PFD that’s probably 200 pounds of rider weight. The wake is behind a ’11 Supreme V226. We don’t weight illegally, so that’s around 2,000 pounds of ballast including people. It’s one of the best wakes of any boat out there. AND the board is a 48″ Victoria factor.
Yep, 48″ long.
One more picture so that you can see it’s being surfed, not just sort of trimming in place.
So are you thinking WTH? Our Supreme wake is great but certainly not the biggest or monstorous. We wouldn’t suggest that if you’re in the 200 pound range that you run out and get a 4 foot board, but it does go to efficiency of design. Like our V226, we don’t need 4,000 pounds of ballast, because the boat is very efficient at making a wake. A boat that requires 2 tons simply isn’t well designed for wakesurfing. The same can be said of a wakesurf board. This little Victoria is very efficient for developing glide and capturing the lifting forces on the wake.
BUT there is something else and that really caught our eye. The efficiency of this design includes the rails of the wake surfer. The Victoria, like most any skim style wake surfer has hard or sharp rails all the way around, and the deck side is beveled so that there is no water attachment along the length of the rail.
Many a surf style wake surfer have soft or rounded rails forward. The is one differece between the skimboard with really no fins and a surf style wake surfer with fins, which introduces a considerable amount of drag. In looking at the shape of the board, there is not all that much wetted surface area. It’s a pintail and certainly not ALOT of surface area in the tail. A surf style wake surfer tends to have a wider tail to increase looseness, but this skimmer without that width or tail area, is ridiculously loose. The theory would be that extra tail width somehow counter acts the “hold” associated with the fins.
What we would like you to consider is that there is substantially more hold associated with the rails than with the fins.
Blasphemy!!!!! No, we are thinking that the greatest single element that can increase drag, hold or that can conversely effect release is the shape of the rails. We don’t want to suggest that is the only thing of concern, but after riding that tiny skimmer, it reinforced the impact of rails on the efficiency of a wake surfer. The soft round rails will concentrate hold as water will wrap curved surfaces and we have to remember the water flow is UP. So water flowing upward will release off of a sharp rail quickly and cleanly. But also, what about the shape of the rail from the bottom to the deck. The cross section of that rail, if you will. If it is rounded, the water will grab and create hold because water wraps curved surfaces That MAY be what you want. But that hold is drag and also slows the board down. What if the rail is vertical? water still attaches to that surface and will also create drag. So what shape are we looking for here that eliminates drag?
The rail shape would need to curve inward toward the deck, so that no part of it extends into the path of the water flow. This is important, again we are getting back to NO PUSH but the flow of the water is UP or lifting. Now here is the one issue, sharp rails reduce hold and drag that’s what helps them be faster, but what does that make the ride like? CRAZY SQUIERRELY LOOSE. Typical skimboard right? If you are on a surf style wake surfer you most likely have become accoustomed to the hold of the rails and when you lose that it’s a very different ride. Driving into the wake then becomes very different. There is a tendency for the rail to slide out, because there is less hold. BUT do you know what that suggests? Rails shape changes that give us a better area of grip and better area of release. A typical surf style wake surfer will have a soft or rounded rail forward, blending to a harder or sharper rail at the tail. That’s not the most optimum, is it?
We want hold and grip where the the forward section of the rail connects with the wake face in hard rail surfing, but at the tip? So not needed, past the front foot, heading back towards the tail, probably not there either? So what comes to mind is a weird sharp-soft-sharp sort of rail shape! Obviously more R&D and wakesurfing is in order!
Thanks so much for following along and we really appreciate your time!