We had a blast out wakesurfing the Bonzer 5 Thumb. It’s a really fun board and gave us a chance to change things up. More importantly it is such a welcome break from all the same ‘ol, same ‘ol that wakesurfing has become. We really appreciate surfing in the ocean because there are so many different surf craft and each has there own virtues. We hope that you’ll take a minute and think about options you might like to wakesurf behind your boat. In the ocean, longboards are the most popular style of board because you can ride them everywhere and at anytime. Also, singles, quads and twins/twinzers are not the only options like that Bonzer 5. There is so much to explore and enjoy and mastering each will make you a better wakesurfer…and you’ll have more fun!
So speaking of fun, we are back to a build project. You may remember that before the wakesurfing break we were working on a “larger” Flyboy Wakesurf board and we want to update you on the progress. Now, many folks would think that making a larger board is to simply just expand it equally in all directions. Like if we asked you to make a larger square, say from a 2 x 2 to a 3 x 3, you’d just elongate all of the sides and presto a larger square. There is also a factor in there. We know that squares are equal length on all sides, wakesurf boards, not so much. However we can say that if we increase the length by say 4 inches, that is a ratio of something like 0.8%. Not quite 1% but it’s a handy reference as we try and expand the working Flyboy Wakesurf board into a larger model. Is that all there is to it? It would be so great if it was, but no.
The main reason we are undertaking this exercise is that we want to make the performance advantages of the Flyboy Wakesurf board available to a larger segment of the wakesurfing community. That community is composed of TALLER and HEAVIER wakesurfers. Stance becomes an issue for really tall folks. When we say really tall, we are looking at the 6′ plus crowd. When you are in that range, your stance is typically wider, but also your reaction times can be slower. Think about an example. Do you remember playing tetherball as a kid in the school yard? When you first started smacking the ball around the circle how long did it take to go all the way around that larger cicrcle when the chain to the ball was all the way out? Not super long, but it was LONG when your opponent was trying to grab it. Now how long did it take when the chain was mostly wrapped around the pole? It was FAST! wasn’t it? The same holds true for our taller bretheren, you folks are slow!
No not really, but longer limbs will take slightly longer to travel the same arc as shorter limbs, all things being the same. That reaction time might not seem significant, but when you’re landing from an aerial and trying to regain your balance, etc it can be enough to mean the difference between success and failure. Ok we know you’re scratching your head and wondering what the point is. It’s that the design of the board to suit those taller riders MUST take into consideration that slightly slower reaction time. So if we merely expanded the 4’5″ board to a 4’9″ board do you think we’d accomodate that slower reaction time? Most likely not, so one of the things we are going to need to do is make sure that the design accomodates that reaction time consideration.
Ok, wow that was a LOT! But we think it’s useful for you to understand. We wanted you to understand the considerations we include when designing a Flyboy wakesurf board. We know it’s probably information overkill for some, but we just aren’t in the business of making wakesurf boards for newbs, there are tons of manufacturers that do and they do a great job in most instances. Also, there are certainly enough resources out there that can help newbs weight their boat or select between entry level boards. We are focused on YOU, our readers that have a higher skill level and know when you are reading hype. We sure hope that we are giving you more insight into the design and construction of high end and high performance wakesurf boards! The type of information that you would need before making a decision on a performance wakesurf board.
Back to the design elements, we talked about all those slow tall folks How can we accomodate the average wakesurfer that has measurably longer limbs? This crude drawing will hopefully show you the design issue. The rocker, as you know, is the bottom curve of the wakesurf board. The easiest thing to do is just extend the rocker on the existing curve. Does that accomplish what we want? Yeah, so NOT! What we want is to adjust the apex so that we gain a longer area for the riders wider stance, but we also need to give a longer nose so that the rider has more reaction time before that nose is under water. Now you’ll read lots about rocker being the issue and while that is a fact, it’s providing rocker adequate for the slower reaction time. Just remember the design needs to accomodate the rider and when you are reading ONLY about stance width it’s mostly likely someone with more EGO than specific knowledge. Here is a really crude representation of what we want and NEED in the rocker development.
In the middle picture, the short blue lines represent the easiest adjustment and also the WORST thing possible. Makes the board slow and unresponsive. The third example gives the best design, the rocker is longer and more drawn out, but also, it shows a few things we are doing. The apex is MORE forward, but also the nose is longer and also there is also MORE nose rocker. The actual amount of length and rocker are mostly trial and error, but you get the idea. LONGER limbs = SLOWER reaction times, commonly. TALLER riders = wider stance. WIDER stance = apex change needed.
Cool? We really appreciate you taking the time to follow along and we do appreciate sharing the process we go through as we undertake design considerations. We fully believe that once you understand the lengths we go to in design efforts you’ll come to appreciate the Flyboy Wakesurf board even more. AND certainly it will make it much easier to roll-you-eyes at the nonsense that is often the internet.
One last picture to show you that we are actually working on this wakesurf board! We are using a new methodolgy for our cores, taking advantage of the neutral axis. We aren’t going through all of the effort and expense on this quick and dirty build, but we’ll talk about the concept in a future post. So, the next step will be to glue the foam together! Epoxy, gloves, squeegee and stir stick!
We are much further along on this build than we have shown, and we’re sorry to be dragging our feet but there is lots going on! We are hosting the NorCal INT League wakesurf contest on Mossdale Quarry Lakes this Sunday June 24th and we sure hope we’ll see you there. The following week is the second stop of the Centurion Wakesurf series, in Florida at the USA Wakesurf Nationals. That’s sure to be a great time! Please check back over the next week or so and we’ll give you updates and pictures of the goings ons.