We haven’t shared too much of the plan or design of this wakesurfer, so we really should do that now. You saw in the rail material glue up that we used three layers of 1/4″ divinycell to wrap the rails and actually create them! Now the inventive folks out there will be saying to themselves: I could use wood, or cork or whatever else I wanted in the rail build up. That’s the beauty of this method of construction, but also probably the most vexing. What works best? Simple uniformity with all the material being the same density? One strip of wood sandwiched between two pieces of high density foam? Who knows! One thing is certain, that by breaking down the single unit into smaller component parts glued up in a composite, MORE stuff can be tested and perhaps that magic combination created. This sort of build structure is mostly untested so there aren’t many knows, other than just general things like “wood is stiffer than foam” types of things.
Anyway, you get the idea, perhaps the key is a molded carbon fiber rail, or perhaps that carbon fiber rail is hollow, or maybe filled with something? Now that was the tack we took on this build. Surfboards for the most part have always had perimeter weighting and stiffeing with the rail laps, that is the rails would normally have 3 layers of fiberglass while the bottom had 1 layer and the deck 2 layers. They overlap at the rails, which creates some additional stiffness and also weight, this holds true for a wakesurfer too. Now we wanted to extended that some.
Have you ever tried bending a thin walled paper tube, say like plastic straw or maybe the core of a roll of paper towels? It bends fairly easily, doesn’t it? It creates a crease somewhere in the middle of the forces applied. Can that be done with a similarly sized sold rod? It can, but it requires significantly more effort and the failure isn’t a crease, instead it snaps in two! In a production environment, where metal tubes are bent to shape, sand and other fillers are often used INSIDE the tube to prevent the buckling we described in the failed straw example. So in you can imagine our rails, if they were hollow, would be a tube that would be subjected to this buckling failure. We were looking for material that would resist compression during bending and out high density foam has better resistance to some lighter weight woods. We’ve all crushed balsa wood fairly easily. BUT Balsa or maybe basswood could be used, perhaps in a sandwich between foam.
So now we are hoping that we’ll have some perimeter weighting, resistance to bending compression and buckling and also a stiffer framework. We’re not quite sure how to achieve it, yet, but we’d like to have an entire foam filled, carbon fiber perimeter frame for a wakesurf board! Maybe one day!
So for this build, we will be completely shaping the wakesurfer before any type of lamination. So we break out the tools and get to it!
After mowing a bunch of foam we do the final shaping with surfform and sanding blocks. This will even out any of out cuts and bring the boat down to the final dimensions.
All of the Flyboy Wakesurf boards have a tucked rail, so we use our FRED tool to hack out the tucked rail. We’ll blend it with the sanding block, but we need the foam to be shaped prior to the interior laminations that will be coming up next.
We’ll move on to the next step tomorrow where we talk about selaing the blank. We want to do a little more in depth on that topic, so we’ll save it for a separate post.
Thanks so much for following along, we appreciate it. While we have you, the ’12 stock of Flyboy Wakesurf boards is just about gone. We’re pleased to have Towanza.com as one of James Walker’s biggest sponsors and if you are thinking about buying a Flyboy wake surf board this year, there are probably less than 10 that aren’t spoken for this year and very possibly, those may be gone by the time to read this. Thanks to everyone that supported us and the Flyboy division of Inland Surfer!