We've been working hard at putting the tools on-line to help find the right board and the latest iteration is on the site right now. You can see that we've added the brilliant iAmBands skill scale from Sam Lamiroy to help you identify your current skills - which is totally helpful when deciding on sizing and really improves the accuracy of volume decisions. Actually Sam's been super helpful in refining the performance predictions as well and we've managed to capture a lot of his know-how and experience in the latest version of the Chooser.
So many people buy the wrong size board and it really limits their stoke and progress. The fresh approach in the Chooser is our contribution to getting the right board for you (and there's a COMPARE page too - so you can run your current board through the analytics and see how it sits against similar sized boards).
The whole shape selection thing is broadly explained in the Wavelength article below - but the online version is now powered by a refined set of predictor equations that take it to a whole new level of sophistication. In fact we're pretty excited about this work - its enabled us to design and launch our new WINTERIZED board range and there's more in our R&D. Check out the new Chooser on this site - its easier to show than describe and we don't mind admitting its a bit geeky underneath the skin - however, it is a great way to understand the rather large number of boards we have!
Here's the Wavelength article which explains the background to the Chooser (but if you would prefer a human being to a computer to advise you - just drop us a note using the contact tab at the bottom of each page on this site - we will get back to you and do our very best to help):
If you understand surfboard shapes you can get a quiver that maximises your stoke. So, here’s your starter for 10:
Is there an easy way to accurately predict board performance?
Happily, yes. William Froude sorted it for Isambard Kingdom Brunel when they were wondering just how big to make the steam engines for their ships. Good news: his approach works for surfboards too (despite them not being steam powered). Perhaps that is not so surprising if you remember when those dudes were operating . Victorian engineering was at its zenith – there was serious money to be made. Sort the hydrodynamics and you get the super tall silk hat and the big cigar. Naturally, they put a lot of effort into it.
Bad news: here’s the Geeky bit (please pay attention there may be a test).
The ratio of the length to the volume of the board mainly determines the size of wave it is best for. That’s it - really.
Froude’s deceptively simple insight is beautifully captured in his length constant . Not as daunting as it might appear – it is simply how much volume the board packs into the length. The cube rooty thingy and the 0.992 are just about removing the dimensions from the equation (so it works for all sizes) and how salty the water is.
To avoid building a towing tank or getting the groom to drag boards up a river attached to a spring balance, (yes, Froude actually did that – happy days), we worked the sums for lots of surfboards whose performance we knew, fitted a curve and eh voila: Blanksy’s Predictor – which you can use to work out what size waves a shape works best in. This is pretty much how the Royal Navy picked their super quiver that ruled the waves for some serious time (and they would so still be at it today if they could actually afford a quiver).
Lets get physical
To show how useful this is, here are some typical real boards (all with the same volume). Using Blanksy’s Predictor and a pencil you soon get the picture (mmm… totally nice quiver).
Well – you knew that anyway. Or did you? Whatever – you do now.
To save you the tedium of using the equations we’ve put it all on a web-page. Click in your board size and volume and see how it compares to other boards. You can also critique how the scale sits against your preferences HERE.
Is that it!
You might also think about the various lifting surfaces on the board (rails, bottom, tail shape and kick, how the volume is distributed, fin set-ups ... ). They all have an effect. But yes : the basic shape is the biggest performance factor by a long way. It is easy to be rather accurate on this because of the massive effort that has gone into the trying, testing and proving of board shapes over the past 50 years.
Pick your quiver.
Match your board shapes to the waves you want to ride. Long thin boards won’t go well in small weak waves. And stubby boards are a bit of a liability when it gets up to head high. Some shapes work OK in a wider range of heights than others – but the optimum height is where that board likes to be best. To deal with a range of conditions: a quiver is a good investment – just don’t buy all the same shape unless you are really that good that you can notice the difference! Spread your shapes across the scale for the wave sizes you want to ride and, hey presto, you have a quiver.
Start with a board you are riding now (and like) then ask yourself what sort of conditions it works best in for you. Then build around that understanding. If it works well in head high waves then perhaps add a small wave board…
Now you know how to identify the performance of candidates for your quiver. Think simple, less can be more if you choose with care. Think Zen garden – take time to understand. See what you do not need.
Alternatively, just buy some super sexy shapes with great spray jobs – after all, if they feel good maybe they will go good. Well, maybe…..
All very well to find the right SHAPE, but how do I work out the SIZE I need?
Good question, Grasshopper, that is the subject of the next article in the series. Once you know the shape you are looking for AND you know the volume you need to float your boat, then choosing exactly the right board for your quiver is a breeze.
Totally awesome weekend – the BUCS comp ran for 3 days at Fistral. We were totally stoked to meet so many people at our POP-UP Tent. So just wanted to say thanks for hanging at our POP-Up and hope you liked the boards.
The BUCS is the worlds biggest surf contest and is impervious to the wind, rain, totally gnarly conditions and some epic hangovers. Most people travelled big distances to be here. What can we say – we're feeling sort of emotional really – our little company is about For The Crew – getting the right gear – boards that work for us and boards that work for the Crew. Felt like a big affirmation of what we are about. Can you imagine how good it felt that Rhys won the mens individual on a Clayton Dredger! (and a big shout out to him for a gutsy final heat and that awesome right – he worked super hard for that – well impressed). But just as impressed by the other 400+ competitors plus everybody who came along to to have such a lot of fun in such difficult conditions.
We even had lots of entries into our strangely titled #ALLABOUTYEW competition (it had seemed a good title over a few beers the night before!) – but yep the competition is up and running. YEW! Keep them coming – there’s prizes!
We had such a good time that we’ve decided to offer some big discounts for Students on our boards and fins. Just sign up for the CREW at the bottom of the page and we’ll send you details of the discounts and a code so you can get some good gear at a ridiculous price. (and we promise not to spam you to distraction – because we don’t like spam so why would you?)
Oh – and we had a few boards dinged by the wind – just cosmetic – so we’re selling them off cheap as soon as I unpack them – check out our INSTANT HAPPINESS page in the next day or so for some amazing wind-dinged bargains– we’ll box them up and send them over in 3 working days.
We wanted to make boards to catch more waves, surf longer and have more fun in Cold Water. It was back to first principles to learn how to do this. We call the process we developed: Winterizing a board. We're very pleased with the results of this innovation from Endeavour.
And this is how we did it.
WE USED BEARD POWER
So that we could see further, we stood on the shoulders of three beardy Greats:
From Archimedes we learned that you need a bit extra board volume in cold water – this deals with both the power sapping influence of extra thick wet-suits and also the effect of cold on your metabolism.
From Darwin we learned that evolution is the most powerful force in nature. Natural selection has applied for over 50 years to glass and foam boards resulting in some awesome board shapes optimised for different waves and their construction method – these are the result of massive trial and error - a very expensive but sophisticated way of finding the best shapes for surfboards. So we realised the best way to proceed would be to start from some designs at the peak of the evolutionary chain and modify them. We used our analytics to classify 350 surfboards and correlate the shapes to their performance as a starting point for this next evolutionary step.
Our final bearded intellectual colossus is William Froude – Victorian mathematician – colleague of Isambard Kingdom Brunel – West Country man and inventor of among other things of the discipline of Naval Architecture. His extraordinary work on the powering of ships was good enough to design the Royal Navy. So we asked – “Hey, does it work for surfboards?”. Yep, we can gleefully report – it works real well.
How we Winterize boards:
- Tweak the shape for just the right amount of extra volume in all those little secret spots - but keep the length the same
- Re-calculate the performance to make sure it still flies.
- Shape, glass and add COLD WATER.
We’ve been spending all these lovely summer days holed up working to get Clayton on board –so we’re stoked to announce today that we have a big new name in the Shaper Crew.
What’s to say about Clayton that you don’t already know – well he’s a pretty smart guy and his boards are distinctly edgy. What we really like is how he’s really thought through his designs and just how good these boards are. The basis of his work is a deep understanding how to surf well – both himself and through his extensive coaching work. Simplicity of design is hard to do and something we totally admire.
To complement Clayton’s boards, we’ve developed a new set of on-line CONFIGURATORS to help our customers specify exactly the board they want
and in addition we’ve been listening to the CREW and all these boards can be made to custom dimensions as well as using the tried and tested stock lengths. Just tell us what you want and we’ll make it so.
Welcome on board Clayton.
(and now maybe we can get out of here and get some waves).
Surfers Against Sewage is organising a community protest at Godrevy tomorrow (Saturday 26th on the Beach by the red river for 1-30 - parking is probably gonna be hard so get there early). Details are at GODREVY SAS PROTEST . So if you are in Kernow tomorrow we think its a good one to get down there in your wet-suit and protest at the relentless raw sewage outflows that have become such a regular feature in one of the most beautiful spots on the planet.
A little short showing the journey a shiny new custom goes on from ordering to being delivered, waxed and surfed.