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Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       07-14-2010, 5:23 PM Reply   
I have read a lot, (and watched a lot) but they always talk about "drive" and "speed". Flat bottom boards are fast and long fins have good "drive". What is the difference? Is drive the ability of the board to get up on plane and speed how fast the board is once it is on plane? Or, are they the same thing; just speak?
Old     (tuneman)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-15-2010, 6:24 AM Reply   
Speed describes how fast the board is. Drive is what you do with the board to generate speed. A surf style wakesurfer with lots of big fins will have a lot of potential drive to generate a lot of speed. In other words, you drive the board by carving back and forth and the result is more speed.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       07-15-2010, 9:04 AM Reply   
I don't think there is a clear "generally accepted" definition of drive. Here is a link to a sway's thread where there must be 50 posts talking about what "drive" means. If I remember correctly from that thread, the two most accepted definitions were drive = the quality of acceleration, which MAYBE relates more to the question at hand regarding speed. The other definition being drive = the act of building speed, which can include pumping, falling down the face or bottom turns etc as tuneman suggests.
Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       07-15-2010, 10:26 AM Reply   
WOW! What a thread. Thanks for the link! It really answers a lot of questions, but of course, makes me wonder about others. I'm only about half way through the thread, but this hit me like a ton of bricks: The reason you pump the board, to (let's say) catch up to the sweet spot on the wake, is to create DRIVE. That is energy you have expelled pushing the board onto the wave or onto the edge that sort of creates momentum. The momentum, very roughly stated, creates speed. That is probably way, way over simplified or way way wrong.
Old     (rlsv211)      Join Date: Oct 2009       07-15-2010, 8:03 PM Reply   
So I have posted this a couple of times but maybe I can enhance the issue. I weight 250 pounds. I currently have a IS Swallow and I have the Big Boy fins. I keep looking for ways to make the board I have faster. I demoed several boards at the big guy thing and found a few better than my current board (anything from Walker) a few that were not as good and a few that was about the same. I figured I would end up with a Walker between 5'1" and 5' 3" just because I thought I needed that much flotation and long fins. They are very fast (sometimes too fast) and really fun to ride. I am not that good so I did not push them. Then this week I demoed a 57" or 4'9" Calibrated board. It was as fast or faster than my Swallow and it had one little tiny fin. It was also under an inch thick. So is it the shape and rails that make them fast or is it fins and I guess thickness does not make a huge difference? I'm sure someone with more skills could have noticed a difference but for what I can do the thin board worked great. The short length was also great and I kinda like the loose feeling. Do you need long fins for a fast board? Does thickness mean bigger people?
Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       07-16-2010, 6:56 AM Reply   
Roger, like everything, I am getting way too serious with the shaping stuff. The link to Swaylock's had me entertained for probably 4-5 hours and I now have some shaping software on my computer. Free of course. Will it help me shape a board? No. However, perhaps it'll give me some things to think about, understand the rails and more importantly that the board is 3 dimensional and that the shape is being effected by the forces of the water and the forces of the rider. I can almost see the beauty that the shapers put into the boards. A real board is not just a plank that is just spit out of some mold. It is designed for a certain rider, with a certain style, for a certain wave. The real shaper understands all of these things and hopefully turns out something that will let the rider and board work as one. (Deep huh, Turtle )

Here is what I have been asking: Why are the ocean wave boards so large? (not sure other than they might help when paddling) Why do they have so much rise in the nose? (because the steepness in the wave) How can a board, like the red woody, be the "greatest board for big guys", when all calculations say that it is too small? (not sure, but it must have everything to do with shape, materials, and fin selection)

My friend has a Mayhem ocean board. It is big. Too big for the racks. He has two other boards too. Both are too small for me with the wave he has, but in reality, it is more likely my technique instead of the wave. I rode the Mayhem and it is my favorite board. However, it is very, very slow. I now know it is probably because of the immense rocker it has and the 5" plus rise in the nose. I plan to look at it more carefully tomorrow, but I also believe it is not a flat board on the bottom. I am learning more and more and am learning that the subject of boards, shaping and the forces of the wave are deeper than the ocean.

In all honesty, I got into this because I have always wanted to make a surf board, if even just to sit in the corner, enjoy learning new things and like working with my hands. I also wanted to build the board that I could not justify the expense of. At this point, I have no idea what I plan to build. I go from twin fin, to thruster, to quad, to a board that is almost 3" thick and almost 6' long to just trying to copy the board I am too cheap to buy. Why do I not just tackle that board? Because it has concave channels, which I imagine getting them just a little out turns a good board into that board that just sits in the corner. In other words: junk.

When I build my board, I plan to create a thread like some others have done. From start to finish. I only hope I can get it done before the season is up. Good luck finding your answers, but I am not sure there is a simple answer to any question that has anything to do with surfboards.


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