Is that a sick name, or what? Reverse camber springer! Some background on what we are talking about and then we’ll discuss the theorethical implementation. First up is a picture of what we are talking about. The reverse camber springer is the red line in the picture. The blue outline would represent a wake surfer. No grief about our third grade level graphic skills!
Ok so that will take some explanation. Back to history again. The concept of a springer is generally credited to Bert Burger and his Sunnova or Firewire brand efforts. The springer, typically, is a section of balsa that was inserted into the surfboard around the neutral axis, and then when the board was flexed, it would resist that flex and “pop” back into it’s orginal shape. The springer would thus add more “spring” to airs and bottom turns. The implementation, though, we believe isn’t optimal. Wood, is a great material but isn’t uniform. So one stick is different than the next and has different densities and flex rates. Typically what can happen is one board is magic and another not so much. Composites, made from things like carbon fiber, aren’t organic and so can be readily duplicated. Create one structure and use the same components and all of the others made that same way will behave identically. If you’ve followed us for any length of time you know we are big proponents of composite structures.
AND we hate wood.
Wood also has some restrictions when attempting to create a structure that curves or bends, in fact anything that isn’t flat and straight. Not that it’s impossible, just that it’s harder.
Now you may have seen a wake surfer or two with carbon tape on the bottom. The concept was popularized by Kelly Slater and we don’t think it does much. Carbon is very stiff and can aide in resisting bending forces, but in our opinion when it is placed on the bottom of a board, curved with the rocker, it doesn’t prevent bending or tension forces, instead it just flexes into a tighter arc. If your board has it and you love it, good for you! We just don’t think it’s the optimal placement. We love the idea, just not THAT implementation.
So what would be a better implementation? We are thinking that a reverse camber arrangement will react to both compression forces on the deck and from tension forces on the bottom, while a tape on just the bottom can ONLY react to tension forces, so at best it is only resisting half of the forces imposed on a wakesurf board, if that. If you’ll refer back to the picture you can see that the springer is curved in a shape that is opposite to the rocker of the wake surfer. The curve at the top, close to the deck is the apex and it is designed to resist compression loads, Very similar to a leaf spring of a car. But notice the curve at the ends, which are now close to the bottom of the wake surf board, they are curved, slightly, against the rocker and as such are shaped and positioned to resist the tension forces imposed on the bottom.
So by using our composite sandwich construction techniques, as well as a composite springer we can design and implement a springer in such a manner that it is highly effective at resisting loads at both the deck and bottom and are oriented to best resist those loads. Will it work? We hope so, but it could very well prove to be too stiff or too soft. It’s definately uncharted territory. However, we are wanting to test the potential for engineering internal components that can enhance the ride of our wake surfer or possibly allow a new wakesurf trick.
Thanks so much for following along, we’ll be starting the construction of this new R&D wake surfer in the next few posts and we sure hope you’ll follow along.