Trace #1

6’4"x18.5"x2.25", The bottom configuration is a somewhat complex ~ rolled and paneled entry to single concave midsection to a triple faceted tail section which were real tricky to sand.

The rails are a little more knifey than one usually sees on shortboards.

Clark super light blank

Greg Loerh’s Resin Research Epoxy

freelaped single 4oz direct size bottom, 4oz deck with 4oz 3/4 length deck patch with direct size E Glass. Leash loop hidding under the stomp pad.

Hot coated with the Greg’s epoxy. Sealed with 3 coats StayClear water base acrylic.

This is the first board that I’ve taken from the blank to the finished product completely. All the mistakes and triumphs of construction are my own.

John Mel (Freeline Design Surfboards) and Ralph Headrick (New Beginnings Glass works) here in Santa Cruz gave me many tips and answered numermous questions while I was in process.

Having the opportunity to watch Michel Junod, Steve & Kalu Coletta, along John and Ralph work made all the difference. I’m looking forward to their critiques on the finished product.

Swaylockians have played an instrumental part in my undertaking the project and I’m indebted to the many craftsman that frequent this site.

Thanks to all. It was a wonderful learning experience.

If you’re ever in Santa Cruz and you want to take it for a spin look me up.

I wonder how it’ll surf.

I welcome all comments, criticism and a questions.

Mahalo, Rich

p.s. Next will be a 7’6"x21.25" round tail with a lines in both the nose and tail.

nice board, i like the second picture where one can see the single concave it turned out great… I’ve never surfed anything with a tail quite like that , any reason for choosing it? maybe i’ll be better off to think later today… 3 AM i’m tired now… but nice board… and thats just not my exausted eyes talking.

Hey Rich,

Proud Papa! Looks real good, I’ll be right up to surf it.

Very Nice! A like those fins…function and art.

So the combo of knify rails and cutout fins…was was your goal there?

More rail based surfing?


Just a note on configuration:

The single concave runs from the end of nose rocker all the way through the center of the board into the tail to give the board lift so a good trim speed can be achieved. The facets along the edge of the tail section are there to release the board quickly from rail to rail. The rails run 70/30 in the nose to 55/45 in the mid section and hardened into the tail rocker. Modern performance boards spend most of their time on a rail so I wanted to give the board lots of bite. The tail configuration is my own compromise between a squash and a swallow tail. M10 does something similar but it’s much thicker and the arc is cut much more deeply into the board. The cutaway fins are of my favorite template (Mental) and are concaved on the high pressure side a double foiled leading edge and an eased trailing egde. They are IMHO more speed sensitive than anything else out there and I’ll put them up against anything out there for downline speed. The cluster is separated a little more than standard by dropping the center fin further back in the fin box to compensate for the looser nature of the cutaway template.

There’s lots more to say but I’ll save it 'till a few hotshots and groms give it a spin.

Mahalo, Rich


Looks like a damn fine board Rich.

Sounds light, how much does she weigh in at?

Those fins go sweet I bet, surfing that thing hard off the tail like a madman.

Very nice.

Nice shape job.

What else would I expect from a craftsman within the industry?

Lotta fin, and box should allow for changes for looser feel.

yea nice rich…

i agree with you on what you said about the speed of the fins with the concave on the high pressure side,and the slightly stiffer sets to compensate for the cutaway…i have made exactly the same observations…

i think ive found a theory to explain why the concave fins with a tucked edge on the high pressure side have less drag…

but to confirm it , i still have to build a few more different sets with out the cutaway base ,that cut away base also gives a substantial advantage to minimising drag, so i want to test which is more effective …

coz theoreticly even tho the concave decreases drag it should also decease lift ,which would need to be compensated by a larger profile …

i know i can fully work it with another 3 sets of different fins…

so as long as no other complications arise or unexpected performance quirks …

i think you and tom will like it , plus i wanted to run my flex test results past tom as well , so i think we should be having some good chats in the near future…



Although the fins on this board may look a little large the over all surface area of the fin is considerably smaller than a 4.60" Future template. The fins look bigger because they are more high aspect than the fins in 99 percent in thruster clusters. They’re closer in surface area to a Future 4.25" template. A lot of surfers just roll there eyes at them simply because they don’t look like anything they’re used to seeing. As we know their are many more followers than leaders in the world. It has been my experience that as fins take on a higher aspect, with all other things being equal, they work better as speed increases. The fins I’m making for single fin tow-in are about as high aspect as one can imagine.

As far as the cutaway template is concerned, I have contended for over 30 years that these fins are more maneuverable, speed sensitive and faster down line than full based fins.

Consider that if there is less surface area where the fin is in contact with the board there has to be less turbulence there. Creating turbulence is something that happens when we drive a board into a turn but we want it minumized when the board/fin combination is triming because it slows us down. The quieter we leave the water the faster we go and the more control we have. As far as the concaved high pressure side of the fin is concerned, there is no doubt that it gives more lift and for some strange reason in the foils that I’m using anyway it feels smoother in a straight line, which may have something to do with the two surfaces of the fin being somewhat a mirror of each other. One thing is sure; it is far more responsive in the turns than anything else I’ve ridden to date. In my rail fin foils I try and make the concave as symetrical as possible using what I’ll call my secret process that also twists the fin slightly in the direction of laminar flow. (Oops, am I allowed to have secrets?) There are many more foiling details of course but I’ll save 'em for another time. It’ll be interesting to try this board with a variety of fins. No doubt I’ll learn a few things.

Gone Surfin’, Rich


I’m with you on high aspect as opposed to fish wood fins for surfboards. I’m a windsurfer also, and my everyday board has a 11.75 deep fin that has a base chord of 4". Anything lower aspect is considered pure drag, and slow.

(Halcyon): “The quieter we leave the water the faster we go and the more control we have.”

Geez, Rich… sounds like you`re talkin about surf mats!

In space and time those coastal indians/abboriginals sitting about the blue campfire tapping the checkerboards of symbols communicating experiential observations to more closely commune with the aquaeous membrane…a unique time when limited materials expanded outward beyond the limits of the yellow campfire leaving regional woods behind to rot on the beach the spirit of the aina /gaia to languish quietly to one side as the identity of the tecknology strides oblivious to such constraints as knots and grain …truly an interesting time to live on the continuium …ambrose… another fine board and genuine effort good job lad …looks like the coletta deck curve influence