Thursday, 17 January 2013


 SurfBoards Biography
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

    For other meanings see Surfboard (disambiguation).

A stack of boards in Waikiki during a surf competition

A surfboard is an elongated platform used in the sport of surfing. Surfboards are relatively light, but are strong enough to support an individual standing on them while riding a breaking wave. They were invented in ancient Hawaii, where they were known as papa he‘e nalu in the Hawaiian language; they were usually made of wood from local trees, such as koa, and were often over 15 feet (5 m) in length and extremely heavy.[1][2] Major advances over the years include the addition of one or more fins on the bottom rear of the board to improve directional stability, and numerous improvements in materials and shape.

Modern surfboards are made of polyurethane or polystyrene foam covered with layers of fiberglass, cloth and polyester or epoxy resin. The result is a light and strong surfboard that is buoyant and maneuverable. Recent developments in surfboard technology have included the use of carbon fiber. Each year, approximately 400,000 surfboards are manufactured.[3] Longboards, as the name suggests, are longer (often 8 ft/2.4 m or more), and are also thicker and wider, with a more rounded nose than a shortboard, making them stable and buoyant. Shortboards are shorter (5–7 ft/1.5–2.1 m), thinner, and have a more pointed nose. They are not as wide as longboards and are typically more maneuverable. Other variants include guns, longboard guns, olos, fun-boards, fish, eggs, bonzers, quads, tow-boards, and hydrofoils.

    1 Construction
        1.1 Polyurethane (P.U) boards
        1.2 Balsa boards
        1.3 Hollow wooden surfboards
    2 Variations
        2.1 Shortboard
            2.1.1 Egg
            2.1.2 Fish
            2.1.3 Fun board
            2.1.4 Gun
        2.2 Longboard
            2.2.1 Classic Longboards
            2.2.2 Modern Longboards
            2.2.3 Tri-Fin
            2.2.4 The 2+1
            2.2.5 Mini Tanker
            2.2.6 The Malibu
            2.2.7 Olo
            2.2.8 Tandem
            2.2.9 Quad
    3 Parts
        3.1 Bottom
        3.2 Concave
        3.3 Convex
        3.4 Deck
        3.5 Fins
        3.6 Leash
        3.7 Leash cup
        3.8 Nose
        3.9 Rail
        3.10 Rocker
        3.11 Stringer
        3.12 Tail
    4 See also
    5 References

Polyurethane (P.U) boards

Surfboards are usually constructed using polyurethane foam. They are made stronger with one or more small pieces of wood, called a stringer, going down the middle of the board. The foam is molded into a "blank", in the rough shape of a surfboard.[4] Once the blanks have been made they are given to shapers. Shapers then cut, plane, and sand the board to its specifications. Finally, the board is covered in one or more layers of fibreglass cloth and resin. It is during this stage that the fins, or boxes for removable fins, are put on and the leash plug is installed. Another method of making boards is using epoxy resin and prolapse polystyrene foam, instead of polyester resin and polyurethane foam. In recent years, surfboards made out of balsa and a polystyrene core are becoming more popular. Even solid balsa surfboards are available.

Although foam boards are usually shaped by hand, the use of machines to shape them has become more popular over the years. Modern technology has made its way into surfboard production as well. Vacuum forming and modern sandwich construction techniques borrowed from other industries have become more common in the industry. Many surfers have switched to riding sandwich-construction, epoxy boards. These boards have become especially popular with beginner surfers as they provide, in most cases, a cheaper entry-level surfboard as well as a more durable and resistant one.[5]
Balsa boards
Balsa MiniMal.

The history of using balsa as a material for surfboard making goes back to the Hawaiians, but became more popular in the late 1930s. Being light and strong, balsa wood was long considered a perfect material for surfboards. Shapers could not use this fragile wood to make entire surfboards until after WWII, when fiberglass was invented.

Balsa wood boards are lighter, more buoyant and easier to handle. These boards have some disadvantages; they are not as sturdy as solid redwood boards. They are currently favoured by surfers and collectors because they are more durable than a regular surfboard, environmentally friendly and have a beautiful appearance.
Hollow wooden surfboards

Hollow wooden surfboards are made of wood and epoxy, and are a reversion to using wood after the foam became dominant in the 1950s. Hollow wooden surfboards specifically have no foam in their construction. (Boards made with foam and wood are commonly known as compsands or veneer boards.) Various construction methods are used to hollow the inside of the surfboard and lighten the weight of the completed board. Generally a hollow wood surfboard is 30% to 300% heavier than a standard foam and resin surfboard. The main inspiration, apart from beauty, is that this is a more environmentally friendly method which uses fast-growing plantation wood such as Paulownia, Cedar, Spruce, Redwood, and of course Balsa.

The current methods descended from the 1930s Tom Blake paddleboarding method, which favors a central stringer, with individually shaped transverse ribs, covered with a skin and lastly, rails which are then shaped. A modern interpretation of Tom Blakes work is the perimeter stringer method used by some manufacturers, utilizing laminated rails as stringers, which are connected with a series of plywood ribs. This skeleton is subsequently sheathed with 5mm-thick wood strips, creating a fast hollow board with better flex properties.

The parallel profile system developed by Roy Stewart is developed from cold molded (double diagonal) boat building, and uses at least four layers laminated over a male mold into a curved blank, including enough wood for rails, which are then shaped. The chambering method follows a system whereby planks of paulownia are selected and the rocker of the board is cut into each. The planks are then chambered to reduce weight, and then are bonded together to form a hollow, or "chambered" blank which is then shaped.

Many types of boards are made using any of the different construction methods, the variation of type dependent in some cases on the use for which the board is designed.

Since the late 1960s, when Gordon Clark found the optimum formulation of urethane foam, many of the surfboards in common use have been of the shortboard variety between 6 feet and 7 feet in length, with a pointed nose and a rounded or squarish tail, typically with three skegs (fins) but sometimes with two or as many as five. Surfers generally find a shortboard very quick to maneuver compared with other types of surfboards, but because of a lack of flotation due to the smaller size, harder to catch waves with, often requiring steeper, larger and more powerful waves and very late takeoffs, where the surfer catches the wave at the critical moment before it breaks.

A bonzer is a variety of surfboard created by the Campbell Brothers with three or five fins with double concave channels. The manufacturer claims that these channels create a venturi effect which guides the water off of the surface of the board through a narrowed passage.[6]

Modern hybrid boards are usually 6 feet to 8 feet 6 inches (1.8–2.3 m) in length with a more rounded profile and tail shape. Surfed in smaller waves with any fin set up. They are more about having fun than high performance or tricks. They can be easier to ride for beginning surfers and generally perform well in surfing conditions where the more traditional long and short boards might not.[7]
Balsa Fish.

Usually a short stubby board under 6 feet (1.8 m) in length developed from kneeboards in the 1970s by Steve Lis. Other prominent Fish shapers include Rich Pavel, Skip Frye, Larry Mabile and Steve Brom. Primarily a twin fin set up with a swallow tail shape and popular in smaller waves, the Fish enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the early 2000s after legendary surfer Tom Curren rode one during an ASP event at Hossegor. Note, any type of board (such as shortboard or mini-longboard) can have a fish tail, and these are commonly referred to as a "fish", but they lack the other properties of a traditional, or "retro", fish as listed here.
Fun board

The funboard combines elements of both shortboards and longboards and are generally midsized, usually 7 to 8 feet (2.1 to 2.4 m). The funboard's design allows waves to be caught more easily than a shortboard, yet with a shape that makes it more maneuverable than a longboard; hence it is a popular type of surfboard, especially among beginners, or those transitioning from longboarding to the more difficult shortboarding. This makes it the best design in most people's view due to the combination of the speed of a longboard and the maneuverability of a shortboard.[8]

Big wave boards of length 7 to 12 feet (2.1 to 3.7 m). Thin, needle-like template with single, quad (4 fin), or thruster (3 fin) fin set up. It usually looks like a shortboard but at a longboard size. Used at such big waves spots as Waimea Bay and Mavericks.
A longboard.
Duke Kahanamoku and longboard, 1920
Balsa Longboard.

The longboard, not to be confused with the skateboard variation of Longboarding, is primarily a single finned surfboard with large rounded nose and length of 9 to 12 feet (2.7 to 3.7 m). Noseriders are a class of longboards which enable the rider to walk to the tip and nose ride. Also called a "Mal", which is a shortened version of Malibu, one of, if not the most popular longboard wave.

Longboards (also known as Malibu boards) range 8 to 14 feet (2.4 to 4.3 m) long, or 3 feet (0.91 m) taller than the rider in overall length. Its advantage is its substantial buoyancy and planing surface, which enables most surfers using it to ride waves generally deemed too small to propel a shortboard, as well as anything else. Longboards are universally common among both beginners and skilled surfers alike. The main reason why longboards are more suitable for beginners is because of the board's size and frequency of catching waves. In the proper conditions, a skilled surfer can ride a wave standing on the nose of a longboard, and put his toes over the nose's edge. By literally putting his "toes on the nose" the surfer can "hang ten".
Classic Longboards

Longboards are the original, and very first variety of board used in standup surfing. Ever since the sixth-century the ancient Hawaiians have used 8-to-30-foot (2.4 to 9.1 m) solid wooden boards when practicing their ancient art of Hoe he'e nalu. Surfing was brought to the Hawaiian Islands by Polynesians and has since become popular worldwide. The ancient boards were carved and fashioned out of solid wood, reaching lengths of 10 to 14 feet (3.0 to 4.3 m) long and weighing as much as 150 pounds (68 kg). Both men and women, royalty and commoners surfed. But the longest of boards (the Olo) was reserved for royalty.[9] During the 19th century, some extreme western missionaries actively discouraged surfing, viewing it as sinful. Surfing almost died out completely. In recent times replicas have been made of Olo's and alaia's by experienced surfers and shapers wishing to explore the roots of the sport.

By the early 20th century, only a handful of people surfed, mostly at Waikiki. But there, it started to grow again. Beginning in 1912, Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian Olympic swimmer in the early 1900s, brought surfing to mainland United States and Australia. Because of this, Duke is considered the "Father of Modern Surfing". From that point on, surfing became an integral part of the California beach lifestyle. In Malibu (in Los Angeles county), the beach was so popular amongst the early surfers that it lent its name to the type of longboard, the Malibu Surfboard. In the 1920s boards made of plywood or planking called Hollowboards came into use. These were typically 15 to 20 feet (4.6 to 6.1 m) in length and very light. During the 1950s, the surf trend took off dramatically as it obtained a substantial amount of popularity as a sport.[10] The design and material of longboards in the 1950s changed from using solid wood, to balsa wood. The length of the boards still remained the same at an average of 10.5 feet, and had then become widely produced.[11]

It was not until the late 50s and early 60s when the surfboard design had closely evolved into today's modern longboard. The introduction of polyurethane foam and fiberglass became the technological leap in design. In the 1960s, the longboard continued to remain popular as its material changed from balsa wood to fiberglass and polyurethane foam. In the 1960s, the introduction of the shortboard, averaging 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m), allowed surfers to make tighter turns, quicker maneuvers, and achieve faster speeds, thus radically changing the way people surfed. This "shortboard revolution" nearly made longboards obsolete for all practical purposes. But in the early 1990s, the longboard returned, integrating a number of the design features invented during the shortboard revolution. Surfers rediscovered the grace and poise – the "glide" – of the longboard, and the fun of classic maneuvers that are not possible on a shortboard. In some circles the battle between longboards and shortboards continues. But many surfers live by a philosophy of finding the joy of surfing a mix of boards and surfing styles to suit the waves of the day.
Modern Longboards

The modern longboard has undergone many changes since its earlier models in the past. Today's longboard is much lighter than its predecessors. Its polyurethane foam and fiberglass design allows less drag on waves. Today's longboards are typically 9 to 10 feet (2.7 to 3.0 m) long, although some ride boards up to 12 feet (3.7 m) in length. Additionally, there is a revival of stand-up paddle-based surfing with boards up to 14 feet (4.3 m) in length (for stability). The classic single-fin longboard retains much of its classic design including a single fin, weight, and considerable buoyancy.[12] A longboard with a single fin allows the board to pivot turn in order to remain in the curl of the wave. Due to recent advances in technology, the longboard has expanded its family into different variations of the classic longboard.




  1. I liked the content on this site. Would like to visit again.

    Balsa Surfboard
    Balsa Wood

  2. Wow !!! Amazing pictures.
    The good surfboard for the learner is a Malibu. Why? Because the bigger, thicker mals are stress-free to catch waves with and are more constant to stand up on. The perfect board is at least 9' long and is prepared by foam. Foamiest, as they are often called, are the perfect board to start on and are used in surf schools to learn on. A pop-out is a surfboard that is prepared on a production line and is a inexpensive alternative to a custom-made fiberglass surfboard. The pop-out is made of foam roofed with thick fibreglass and is almost indestructible - great for running right up to the beach! The pop-out is a good learner choice because of its price and the fact that it floats really well.