We’ve been working on a new construction technique, that we have dubbed LSS Wakesurf board construction and that stands for Lighter, Stiffer and Shorter. You may remember when we were discussing the hollow carbon fiber wakesurf board, we reflected on other sporting equipment. Not specifically associated with wakesurfing, instead sports like skiing. The evolution of equipment in other sports has always been towards lighter, stiffer and shorter. We’d guess over the life of wakesurfing that has been true also. From the original days when folks would line surf on huge longboards to what we ride today, that is definately going in the LSS wakesurf board construction direction.
We’ve been experimenting with a number of different components and adhesives, along with some laminating techniques to try and develop a “blank” that was stiff enough to be surfed without any external lamination. Now we’ve done this before, but that unlaminated blank was pretty floppy. Much stiffer and stronger than an old school center stringered unlaminated blank, but we wanted MORE. We wanted to really be able to surf and we mean REALLY surf the blank. Stay tuned for that. Again, the focus was on Lighter, Stiffer, Shorter. Here is a picture of the unlaminated blank, supporting about 200 pounds. It is unsupported under Jeff Walker, just at the ends.
Shapers and blank manufacturers will be impressed, but consumers probably don’t have a good field of reference, so we’d like you to check back later in the week as we do this same test on other materials used as blanks. Same test, no external lamination and we’ll attempt to have a 200 pound person stand on the material while being supported only at the ends. Same basic dimensons as this blank. That is we won’t try it on a 4 foot thick piece of material or one 4 foot wide. Can you guess the outcome? Stay tuned!
One common material is a two pound density EPS, not styrofoam, remember? We haven’t completed those tests, but our guess is that the unlaminated 2 pound EPS will bend until it snaps well before the 200 pound load is applied. We’re trying to locate a center stringered EPS blank to perform this same test on, we don’t see to have one in the shop, so we may have to order one up just for fun! We’ll also pull that older composite sandwich blank, which is what we would call old school for teh Flyboy Wakesurf labs It is the base from which all first and second generation Flyboy’s were made. We hope that survives! If it gets close to snapping, we’ll probably not take the test to it’s logical conclusion, we want to retain that model for reference purposes. We should point out that original unlaminated model did have a carbon fiber wrapped rail and this LSS does not have that feature.
As another reference, this blank current weighs 3 pounds, fairly common in terms of blanks. What is interesting for this new LSS construction technique is that it can support the 200 pounds, or the equivalent of each pound supporting in the area of 66 pounds. We all know and marvel at the strength of the common ant that can support 10 times it’s own weight, this LSS construction has 6 times that strength or 60 times it’s own weight. Not that we mean to indicate this is a modern marvel of engineering, things like bridges routinely hold 1,000 times their own weight, but unlaminated surfboard blanks don’t! What we’d also like to note here is that it could very well be that we’ve overbuilt the blank. So if we are over-stiff or over-strong we can down-size to a lighter or smaller structure and still remain strong enough for wakesurfing.
Here is a short unedited clip of loading the unlaminated LSS blank with the 200 pounds. Pay attention to the “pop” the blank displays when it’s being unloaded.
That was fun! Did you see the snap back at the end? When the weight was removed, the blank seemed to snap back to shape? POP! We’ll see what it rides like once it’s all covered in an external lamination.
Here is an old wakesurfing picture on the old school composite sandwich construction we reference above.
Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it and we’ll have more of the details of this construction technique as we complete some of our testing.