Boards for River or flow rider type of waves

There’s a new wave pool near my brother’s house and we plan on riding it (again), but it’s so different from ocean waves. The pool seems to have quite a bit more water flowing under the board than the waves I ride, but it sure would be fun to get it figured out.
Wondering what the people out there riding river waves and flow rider type of waves use. I’m not sure if flat rocker or heavy rocker would be better.
Also width, the standing flowrider like wave they have doesn’t require paddling in, you start in a standing position on the wave and push off the wall to begin riding. I’m thinking very short and narrow will be best, but I don’t know.
I plan to take a board with a lot of rocker and a board with little rocker, both are 5-10, but they are regular boards and are wide (21" or so). Then once I’m sure what rocker works best, I hope to make a narrow board just for the pool.
Anyone out there with experience on standing waves? Is less rocker or more rocker better? Narrow (18" or less) or normal widths?

My “guess” would be flatter tail rocker.
I’m thinking Lindsay Lord planing surface in the mid-section.


I looked up what the flow riders use and it has a bit of rocker. The main thing I saw is that the boards are short, thin, narrow, and finless.
I have a firewire Omni style of outline I plan on using, just trying to decide on the width. I’m either going to go as narrow as 16 inches or as wide as 18. 18 inches wide might feel right since my brother and I both ride wide boards these days, but I think 16 inches would work better. The board will be under 5 feet long, so I don’t think I’ll be able to use it as a surfboard for ocean waves.

Watched a few clips of flowriders. I have a couple of 16 inch wide EPS Alaias I never glassed. They will be a good starting point since the flow boards are narrow and thin. A lot easier than stripping and reshaping an old board.

Surfing river waves need a full quiver as each wave is unique and can change hourly depending on if a wave is snow melt/rain runoff or dam controlled. Some waves are fast and powerful, some are fat and slow. But the most require a board that’s as short as possible as you’re trying to fit into a tighter pocket.

Quite a few guys are riding Lib Tech Whirlpools, Puddle Jumpers and even skimboards with fins. A ton are riding these as they are local: Wave Farmer – Badfish SUP

I think an Alaia would be a good place to start.

It would be fairly easy to test thin foam shapes with thin wood decks. — thick enough to shape in some bottom contour if you want (1” thick?). At 16” wide, I would try a 40” long flat mid section (parallel rails?) first. At 18” wide, I would try a 45” long flat mid-section.

Seems like UK members on a FB bellyboard/Paipo group say the basic, traditional bellyboard there is 12” x 48” wood ply with parallel rails, round nose and square tail.
Something like this.

Thanks for the help. I’ll look at what Libtech has these days. My brother bought a couple of very short (5’ 3" -Firewire Corniches, and I have a couple of 5’ 10"s (my shortest) with flat rocker and heavy rocker that we want to try.
I had a chance to paddle a Kayak down the Rogue River in 1988, and we played at a couple of standing waves, but that was with a kayak. One thing I didn’t like about river waves is the chance of hitting your head on a rock when you wipeout.
We’ll be riding a Flowrider type wavepool so we won’t be paddling at all. I’m in the process of making a Flowrider type of board. Looks like a blend of snowboard and skateboard. Going with 48" x 12" x 3/4" thick, but they are usually closer to 40" long.
Depending on how well that works, I will either go shorter, wider, narrower, etc. Even though most people just use a regular board or a softboard, I think a flowrider specific board would better.
One problem I notice from video of me riding the wave, is that I stand further up on the board, I’m an old school single fin surfer, so going super short (for me) should help to keep my foot planted on the tail.
Once again, thanks for the input!

Went online and looked at Flowriders. There are quite a few videos that are very helpful. There are videos that explain how to build your own board, so I’m using one of those to base my board.
I took one of the EPS Alaias and cut it to 48" x 12". It was less than an inch thick, but I’m going with it. I also had a full deck lamination from an old XPS that I stripped and repaired, so I cut out a section and used it for a skin on one side. I used our old rocker bed method of bending the foam as I laminate the skin. Thinking about adding a narrow band of XPS or cork along the edge.
The flow boards use a simple smooth curve with about 2.5" of rocker. Mine is probably about 2" and it has more of a surfboard rocker since I used a short surfboard as the rocker bed.
With the recycled preshaped foam and glass skin, the board should be finished quickly, but I still have lots of things I can screw up.

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I went to the FlowRider website.
They say their Flowboard has “minimal rocker.”
I believe the more rocker you add, the slower your board will be.
“For me,” I would experiment with nose kick, tail kick and a mostly flat mid-section.
When I got that dialed in, I would add my tail channel.

I don’t think rocker works the same on the flowboards as it does in ocean wave boards, but I won’t know until we try an assortment of boards with different rockers.
I do think that the skateboard/snowboard size makes sense. I also know that as the wave size and speed increase I use boards with more rocker to handle that speed increase.

I used a surfboard nose rocker. I think the rocker looks OK, but I decided to make both ends the same and press the nose rocker into both sides. I layed strings of fiberglass (like fin roving) along the rails to hopefully lock the rocker in. I think having a surfboard rocker (more nose than tail) would be OK, but if this works out well, I can sell it to one of the guys that work at the park. Those guys would be doing the flips and spins, so they would probably want a symmetrical rocker
One of the videos I saw had a guy using 2.5" blocks and bending in the rocker on a 40" long board. I probably have about 2".

We’ll be taking an assortment of boards from 5’ to 5’ 10", and the new flowboard. It will be interesting to see how they work.

Most people here just ride their surfboard, or the softboards they provide. I don’t know if they have flowrider boards at the wave park.

Saw that video using blocks to add rocker.
If you have vacbag capabilities you could use a single-piece foam mold to press a board out of 1/16” sheets of wood veneer or sheets of 1/8” Baltic Birch. This method is used by DIY skateboard builders.

My brother bought one of those skateboard kits, hasn’t used it yet.
I bought several of the extra large vacuum bags for clothes storage after seeing that kit. It comes with a hand pump, but I don’t think the bags are 48" long. I was thinking that I just needed the pump and the connector, I could cut the pump connector out and make a larger bag using those parts. The next board I do will be about 40" so I might be able to use those bags. If not I have a full surfboard vacuum bag system, and have done many boards with it. It’s a bit of a hassle to set up, and there’s a small leak somewhere in the plumbing, so it runs constantly instead of turning on and off. I haven’t been doing more than a board a year with that, so I haven’t bothered taking it apart and redoing the connections.

I’m thinking of doing a simple multi layer plywood bent over blocks version that I saw on youtube, it seems like the easiest way.

These foam versions may be a waste of time, but I have all the components, so I thought I’d try it. I also am wondering whether a surfboard rocker (more nose rocker, less tail rocker will be fine. My brother and I won’t be doing flips and spinning the board so it might work well enough.

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I got to surf the river wave in Bend Oregon last year. My first time in a river set up. Took a lot to get the “drive” stance and weighting down. All on the back foot mostly. The preferred equipment was under 5’10” and even under 4’. Width wasn’t excessive. There are quite a few companies making river boards in Europe, my favorite is Wuux. Look a lot like the first short boards during the transition era. There is a web page somewhere about river surfing.

Thank you for the info, I will look them up. I made a 12" x 48" board with and surfboard type of rocker ( more rocker in the nose), and a 42" board with a symmetrical rocker. I don’t know if the park will let us use them.

Check out Chris Ruddy Surfboards he is making the boards you are looking for .

Interesting to look at Chris Ruddy’s site. He says he lived in Military Housing in Ewa Beach in 1976 and that’s where he got the surf bug.
I grew up in Ewa Beach, but our family was on the far west end of Ewa Beach at a place called Shark Country. The Military Housing was called Iroquois Point and I knew that area well. It’s a couple miles east on the far east side of Ewa Beach. My father was retired from the US ARMY, and we used to go to Iroquois Pt for gas and occasionally stop at the minimart type of food store.
I graduated from high school in 1976, and moved to “town” about 1982, but my family is still out there in the home I grew up in back in the 60s. Our beach front homes were torn down after Haseko bought out all the land to build what is called Ocean Point. The beachfront houses were on leased land and mostly weekend houses. Our house was inland about a mile in the tsunami safe zone.
Ewa Beach has always had a lot of very good surfers, shapers and glassers. A couple were part of the original Lightning Bolt builders. I made my first board around (shaped and glassed) about 1978 and only did 2 before I stopped. Started up again in 2005, but I only make boards for myself or family.