The first group of the Big Boy Flyboy has hit customers and we’ve heard lots of wonderful feedback on the board.
We thought we’d talk about some of the design elements and differentiate this larger Flyboy from how most shapers make bigger boards.
Sadly, the generally accepted way of making a wakesurf larger, a larger size, is to just expand it equally in all dimensions. So let’s just say for example, the shaper wanted to make the next size up 10% larger, they’d explode the smaller size by 10% and viola, there is the next size.
That sounds resonable, right? Well it’s not and we’ll show you why typically a larger model of a particularlly successful board doesn’t work.
You have to go back and ignore the push nonsense. Just remember those snakeoil salesmen are after your money and will say anything to hook you. Push doesn’t exist, gravity and lifting forces are all we have. Remember this picture from yesterday?
That’s a 200 pound person on a 4’5″ long surf style board. It’s the original prototype to the James Walker signature model Flyboy. Every wakesurf board acts like a bucket and like a balance. It captures the lifting forces of the wake and then also the mass of the rider pushing down from gravity. Sort of a double sided bucket. It then balnces those two forces. Well, not the board itself, it’s just an object, but it allows YOU as the rider to balance your weight on top of a stream of lifting forces in the form of a wake. So the gravitational pull DOWNWARD is balanced against the lifting forces of the wake UPWARD and you’re able to stay in trim. Here is a wonderful piece of original Flyboy Wakesurf artwork, that we want you to take a quick look at.
See?! We told you it was amazing! So just a quick description. The red object is you AND your wakesurf board, the blue curved line is your port side surf wake and the black arrows pointing up represent the water flow UP from the wake. There is a little step like thing in the wake. THAT is the water that is lifting the bottom of your wakesurf board and keeping you balanced.
Now remember, there ain’t no such thing as float. Without the lifting forces from the wake, you and the wakesurf board would sink. Also, all of the forces from the wake are upward’ish. That’s how you wakesurf, on a step in the wake. As you get onto the wak, your board sinks downward, until it captures enough lifting forces such that it stops sinking and there is a balance. Viola, you’re wakesurfing!
Let’s pose a question. Let’s presume you are a relatively skilled wakesurfer and can toss the rope and stay in trim on your wake. Now assume we have two board. They are identical in all respects, except one board is 1 inch wider than the other. Somehow they are miraculously the same weight, same length, same everything except width. What do you think will happen to that extra 1 inch of width? Will all of it get buried in the wake? Or will just 1/2″ of it get buried in the wake, such that the step we drew above would be 1/2″ deeper? This isn’t a trick question, the 1″ extra width is kept uniform, so it’s 1/2″ on each side.
None of it goes into the wake, right? Are you confused? Lets go back up to that picture of the 200 pound rider.
Ok, so the rider is balanced on the board, but the vast majority of the board is free of the wake. Only the portion of the board that captures enough lifting forces to offset the gravitational pull downward is in the wake. The rest is basically hanging out in the air! So adding an extra inch of width, when nothing else has changed, would in effect not be used and all of that extra 1 inch just hangs out in the air. The rider woulkd have to shimmy a little closer to the wake to stay balanced. How many times have you told a newbie to shimmy a little closer to the wake because the board is riding at a weird angle? There you go! We are using the wakesurf board as this funny bucket, capturing JUST enough lifting forces to balance or offset our weight and the gravitational pull at any one moment in time.
Now as riders get heavier they need MORE lifting forces. Typically that comes from a longer board, because more of the surface area can be used to capture the lifting forces. OR more of the surface area of an existing board is used. Have you ever put on a few pounds and found your wakesurf board doesn’t respond like it used to? More of the surface area is engaged in the wake, creating drag and so it feels sluggish compared to before you added the extra few pounds.
What you want is this balance, so that the larger board still rides with the same relative amount of the bottom surface area in the wake. The larger the amount of the wake that is needed to support the rider and board, they less reactive the board will be. More drag, more of it sort of buried in the wake. What allows us to toss a board around is that it’s not in the water!
Still questioning this whole concept? We’ll issue you a challenge. Take your current wakesurf board and without changing the are that you are riding on the wake, bury more of the inside rail on the wake. So for example, if you currently have like 4 inches of the rail into the wake, change that so that fully half of your board or say 10″ is buried into the face of the wake and stay that way.
You can’t. Most likely what will happen is the board will flip the inside rail upward (with the lifting forces!) and you’ll fall off to the outside.
There is a formula that we worked out when working on the flyboy, that allowed us to create these ranges of weight. The BigBoy Flyboy will allow you to surf a 300 pounder, but it’s not pretty. But for folks that are beyond the james walker signature model, the BigBoy Flyboy will ride for those folks like the signature model does for smaller/lighter folks.
AND it’s not just an exploded James Walker Signature Flyboy.
That’s enough of a fluid dynamics lesson for the day, we’ll come back to this as we continue our discussion of the changes in the ’14 James Walker signature Flyboy Wakesurf board.
Thanks so much for following along and not making fun of our incredible artwork!