Ok, so the LSS wakesurf board construction R&D test bed isn’t finished yet, but we wanted to demonstrate something. We’re going to ride the LSS Wakesurf construction board without any external lamination. Now it has no traction either, so you aren’t going to see any air reverses! The are a few points we wanted to make. The first is it’s waterproof. Convetional construction using EPS will suck water like a sponge. We intend to ride this board AS IS and the laminate it, probably over the weekend and ride it when it’s fully done. Did that sink in? We can ride it without any external lamination becaue it’s waterproof. No worries about water seeping in when you get a ding, because it doesn’t SUCK water like conventional EPS. Are you a pro where you call up your mommy…eerrr, sponsor and say crank me out a new one! Nope, most of us aren’t so when you get that ding you gotta fix it or you risk ruining your board.
Here she is, all finned up and unlaminated.
Now we aren’t advocating that this new LSS wakesurf board construction can be ridden until you have a heart attack, but if you get a ding…so what? Fix it when you get home, or maybe the week later when you get back from vacation. It will not gain weight like a fat hog destined for slaughter. There’s no place for the water to go, so it doesn’t, go. EPS, the most common form of foam used in wakesurf board construction, is formed by pressing a bunch of small beads together and they melt ‘em. BUT and this is the key, they always stay whole beads, because inside those beads is trapped blowing agent gas. Imagine you have two giant beach balls that are sort of underflated and you press them together, the smunch and flatten out. BUT what happens when you use 3 or more and push them all together? In the corners where they all meet, there is gap isn’t there? It maybe small, but there will always be a small triangle formed at that intersection of three of the beach balls.
Guess what that means with water? Yep, it’s a freaking sponge, isn’t it? It’s the exact physical makeup of a freaking sponge!!!!! We had to laugh at a remark about a board taking on water, the context was some spammish crap, yet again, but the take-away was that the construction was CRAP! Well not crap but why would anyone knowingly put foam that sucks water like a sponge in a wakesurf board? Right? Hey, I have this sponge-like stuff, lets lam’ it, wakesurf it and call it good. Actually a good part of the industry. All manner of manipulation is used to hide the porous make up from water. If you compress the beads small enough, making the foam denser, you can come close to making those gaps small enough that the water has a hard time migrating inside. There are a number of materials that do that also. Balsa, the capillary action acts like a straw to suck water in the grain. We know that from second grade, where we grew plants and used food coloring in water with sticks and stuff and watched it over time pull the dyed water up the length of a stick, or plant, right? Timber is amazing stuff, super lively and the strength to weight is astounding, but…water-tight, it ain’t!
Now skim style boards have been made of closed cell foam since the beginning of time. They wanted the weight. If a skim style board is too light, it tends to spin wildly out of control on tricks like a shuv. At the thinner profiles, between 5/8″ and 3/4″ that required going to a higher density foam. What happens when you go to 2 inches with those high density foams? LLLLOOOOGGGG! They weight a ton, literally in the size and shapes we ride, they would weight 8 to 9 pounds ready to ride. Way too heavy and it would just be an awful fat, ugly, heavy pig of a wakesurf board…although it wouldn’t suck water.
So our LSS wakesurf board construction tossed that out, and relied on the knowledge we’ve gained with the construction of composite sandwiches. Light, stiff and well not quite shorter, but two out of three ain’t bad! The LSS wakesurf board cosntruction test bed wakesurf board weighs 3 pounds 2 ounces at this stage. As mentioned above, there is no traction, that typically adds 1/2 pound and the external lamination is going to add a pound and the hotcoat to finish it up another 1/2 pound or so. We are definately on target with keeping it light. AND you saw the stiffness, it’s more than adequate for the riding without any external lamination.
Ok, ok, ok, so we’ve ranted on long enough about the superior construction, remember the 200 pounds unsupported, well at the ends, it’s not levitating but you get the idea, no support in the middle under the load. What happened with the 2 pound EPS when it wasn’t laminated or supported? Reminds us of the punch line from an old joke, it went forth and multipled into two pieces! Not your most robust construction. We haven’t shown the closed cell foam that most skim style boards are made of, but do you know what they do? They don’t snap, they literally bend like a wet noodle when they aren’t laminated.
What does the LSS wakesurf construction do with that 200 pounds of weight, unsupported and without external lamination. Nothing. Well not nothing, but it doesn’t break, it does bend, it doesn’t suck water. It’s the superior through doing nothing construction!
Right? Who needs stinkin’ external lamination?
Ok, now here is a sneak peek of the LSS wakesurf construction board being ridden, without tractionor external lamination. Now remember, this wakesurf board isn’t finished yet, we’ll do the external lamination, add TRACTION! and grind down the fin boxes flush with the bottom, so we aren’t expecting super high performnace, but if this wakesurf board can be ridden like the pictures below, without being finished, guess what it will be like when it’s DONE! The takeaway is that is strong enough and stiff enough to actually be ridden without any external lamination AT ALL and there are no worries with taking on water.
OK! You’ll have to check back tomorrow for the full set of pictures of and the like, but that should whet your whistle for now for the lss wakesurf board construction. Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it!