we could probably start a new thread and quit hijacking this one, but I figure even a hijack is bumping it up, so that's good, right?
... the truth is most people who surf...even the pros....can't handle the information overload associated with all the aspects of surfboard design. Shapers yes, surfers no.
...I find most surfers want to keep things simple in their mind. If they like thrusters with V in the bottom then that's what the're going to ride, no matter how convincing your argument for quads with some concave may be. People are trying to get what they have down and after years of perfecting riding a certain board they are afraid to change anything...some people anyway.
I also think that most surfers don't get that deep into design beyond things like outline, number of fins, width and thickness because most surfers are not able to even notice the subtle differences associated with different bottom contours or fin designs, or tail shape. I think it takes a skilled surfer who has tried many designs to notice theses things.
Billy - that was a good post you put up. I'm just a backyard hack. I have observed also that it is difficult to get people to want to try something different, or to get them to discuss different aspects of surfboard design. Like I mentioned above, the Jan.2002 issue Surfing Mag asked several pro surfers about surfboard design, most knew very little, and didn't seem like they cared all that much. Shoot, I know longtime surfers who really know almost nothing even about how boards are made.
Pro's tend to stick with what has worked for others, and for them. They have so much riding on their performance that they can't afford to goof around with wild unorthodox designs, for the most part. And the average surfer isn't going to get into experimenting with radical design tangents, because of the cost. Surfboards are just too dang expensive for the average surfer to run out and try a mini-simmons, a hull, a step-deck, a bonzer, a quad, a twinzer, a stinger, etc, etc.
So it falls upon us, as shapers, to do what we do. Play around, Think outside the box. Compare notes. Ask questions. Brag on our successes, curse the failures, laugh about the dogs. Post up our pics and blow each other away.
Which is why in a recent issue of TSJ they said the computer is great for refinements, but new designs tend to come from the backyard guys. Which I agree - I don't get too excited saying "let me build that exact same board but with a quarter inch difference in the rocker" - but hey, alter the file, let the cnc machine go at it, I'm all for that, let me know what you find out! But a guy playing around with a standard thruster hpsb file on a computer isn't likely to stumble upon a mini simmons, or an alaia, ya know?
Plus, as has been said, there's the fashion issue. A board that's too radically different, and you get funny looks, wise cracks, etc. So hey, human nature being what it is, most will say No thanks. But to a bunch of shapers, who kinda live within the four walls of the box, it turns us on to break out, or to see others break out.
I only discovered board building a year ago, but from my first board, I just knew this is what I was meant to do. Maybe nothing more ever than a backyard hack, but I suspect I'll be building boards until the day they tuck me in the ground. I'm just glad to have discovered board building, and Swaylocks.
this is like making science out of an artform. difficult, bot not impossible. good luck
btw i tried finishing the survey, but quit after having problems ranking board specs from 1 to 10, most important to least. they all are
I learned long ago that with surveys you just have to suspend your belief in accuracy, and pick a reasonable facsimile. Its like muiltiple question tests - don't over think, just pick an answer, fill in the blanks and go.
I agree about science vs art. I think its kinda like the comment above about computers being great for refinement, but radical new designs coming from the backyard contingency. Only you could rephrase it to say, science is great for refining, the radical new designs come from the artists. For the most part. Your mileage may vary.