Having fun testing the durability of my foil boards.
The video above shows how a carbon fiber only board compares to an Innegra board in toughness. Toughness is a key feature with SUP, due to all the beatings a board takes from the paddle. To be clear, when I do a carbon fiber board, I include a full Innegra layer “under” the carbon fiber to get the toughness. “This test” does not have Innegra under the carbon fiber. Also note that carbon isn’t really necessary for a tough board. It’s just sexier. So my prone boards are carbon fiber over Innegra, while my SUPs are just Innegra. Both tough boards. Innegra is why my boards don’t need RailsaverPro or any paddle edge guards.
Above you can see various Asian built boards with track failures. The sport is new, so manufacturers are still learning what is “strong enough” to withstand the forces of a foil mounted to a board. The board with a black bottom, has a high density foam insert and a bamboo sandwich skin, yet a large wave in California was still able to rip the tracks out. Therefore, my boards going forward, will have tracks installed in a way to fight pull-out, equal to a tuttle box installation. See photos below for how I am doing this.
My tracks are being installed as shown above. I’m putting divinycell under the Chinook box, reaching through the entire board and bonding to the deck. But the key difference here is, I’m wrapping the whole assembly in carbon fiber, up and over the top of the box, locking it down and stopping pull-out. All done under vacuum bagging for ultimate bond. Notice how the carbon fiber locks into the grooves cut into the side of the Chinook box, enhancing the hold down. This is a bit like having dual tuttle boxes holding your foil in place. Then I add carbon and Innegra to the deck and bottom at installation for even more lock-in. Why not just use Tuttle boxes? Adjustabilty, that’s why! It becomes easy for riders of any weight, to fly any wing in comfort, when you have the adjustable mount.
Tuttle boxes can fail too.
Foil boards are all about flight. At no time do we surf the board, we surf the wings. The following is my take on why foil boards designs are unique.
First up, chines and rail shape.
Design C- the typical surfboard shape. The sexy shaped rails, designed to engage the water! ...helping hold it in the water, not helping it fly. You NEVER surf the rails on a foil board. It also has a double concave bottom to help you plane. In reality, you are never going to plane the board, the wings will lift long before any board planes. So all concaves do is create suction when you kiss the water on touch downs. The worst bottom shape possible. A sticky bottom.
Design B- One of the more common chine designs seen on foilboards today. The idea being, you can carve harder turns and not kiss the rail in the water. But still too much bottom surface area, so it still has a sticky feel on touchdowns.
Design A- This bottom shape bounces off the water like a basketball. The least sticky of all bottom shapes. Being the truest "displacement hull" bottom shape, it naturally has the fastest sub planing paddle speed. Therefore it is the quickest to fly, with less effort. As for SUP use, it is strangely, the most relaxing to stand on. I can't explain why, but in back to back testing, Design B has a higher frequency (nervous) side to side wobble than Design A. Design A allows for the tallest vertical side wall. This vertical side wall is a critical factor in stability over Designs B and C. The vertical side wall helps a short SUP paddle straighter.
Next, tail designs
Tail A- This tail has the most extreme clean water release edge. In testing back to back with Tail C, this tail A was hard work. The clean release didn't help me catch waves. On a positive note, this tail design pumps well.
Tail B- This tail has a slight increase in volume over Tail A, but still tries to provide a clean release. In testing back to back with Tail A, this tail was slightly less work trying to catch waves. This tail design pumps well.
Tail C- This tail is progressively rounded, a bit like extreme rocker. This tail design just naturally provided the best shove from behind by the wave. No trim upsets. The foil stays at the optimal angle of attack. The board just flys away, easy as pie. It feels the most like, a true kick in the ass by the wave, at the perfect trim. Maybe the rounded tail fits the wave better. This tail design pumps just as well as Tails A and B, therefore this tail design is the winner, and my standard tail for SUP foiling.
Tail D- The simple flat off the tail design. The idea being.... quicker planing. The drawback with this one is, when a wave approaches from behind and lifts the tail, it can drive the nose down, if not prepared for it. In doing so, it can mess up the foil angle of attack and delay lift off. Anyone who has tried to surf a true flat tail rocker surfboard will know how tricky this can be. This tail design hurts pumping.
Next up, Rocker!
Rocker B- This is your standard surfboard rocker. Look at all the bottom curve. How is your wing ever going to held at the ideal angle of attack to fly while paddling? It can't, so the surfer has to work harder to get this board to fly.
Rocker A- This board has a flat rocker, so when the surfer paddles, the wing has a much better chance of being trimmed right. This provides for early, and easy lift off. Tail Designs A, B, and C eliminate any negatives of flat rocker.