About the company name
The company naming, all versions of SURF MACHINES came by accident. We are all gather around a restaurant table talking stories after surfing, when Zs phone rang. The caller ID said Surf Machine calling. We're like who is Surf Machine? Z's says that guy who rips.....I couldn't remember his name, so I entered Surf Machine in my contacts. Turns out Surf Machine was Brian Autry, the hardest ripping, best shortboarder, turned hard core SUP surfer, in all the area. Today he is my team rider. So when the company was born, the idea of Surf Machines was a consideration. Combine that with the fact that I was actually a "Machine" Design Engineer for some of my career, and it just made perfect sense.
my design PHILOSOPHY
I offer boards for the performance SUP market . Shortboard SUPs, and High Performance Longboard SUPs. All while making them stable and easy to surf well. I shy away from the mid range commodity SUPs, pumped out by off-shore manufacturers, and by some of the famous surfboard shapers who don't really SUP, but want to cash-in on the hot SUP market. These mid range market boards tend to be clunky designs, made for the mass market. Not what I like to surf, and certainly not what I want to shape for anyone.
About My Construction
- Greenroom epoxy
- Innegra top and rail wrap (No netting used here, a full Innegra cloth layer) What is Innegra? Think of it as a superior, modern, replacement for Kevlar.
- Vacuum bagged
- Dent resistant- Carbon Fiber and Innegra decks
- Futures fin boxes glassed over and "under" with the under layers lapping the bottom. A step above standard installation methods.
- Leash plugs set in corecell, not EPS
- Boards come standard with Premium Futures fins. (No plastic fins used here)
- 1.5 lb EPS blanks
- Precision cut CAD rockers
- Authentic Gore-Tex vents
- Post cured. Baking increases some physical properties of epoxy
- Ultrasonic leak tested
- Handlebar handle design - exclusive feature
- True, dead flat, all day comfort decks
- All resin is tinted (to fight yellowing with age)
- Constant curve rockers for smooth, predictable, user friendly surfing
- Flat bottoms for faster paddle speed, instant acceleration, with a skate-loose surfing style
- Thinner than most, without loss in stability. See diagrams for explanation
why I use flat bottoms for SUP
I have done a lot of testing on flat versus concave bottoms. Building multiple board sizes. Using spot-on identical rockers, with and without concave. I emphasize spot-on identical rockers, because often a shaper will alter their rocker when cutting in the concave. I went to painstaking efforts to ensure my rockers remained identical during back to back comparison testing of bottom features. The results were eye opening. Flat paddled faster. Flat felt more "alive" surfing. Flat accelerated quicker and jumped onto a plane earlier. If you are not planing, you're just coasting. We all want to plane as often as possible. What did concave do better? More directionally predictable and dulling. Great if you are surfing a hyper little prone board, but not great when surfing a big board. You want to choose an alive feel, over a dulling one. So concave is dead to me for SUP use. You may be wondering if any other shapers do flat bottoms. Yes they do. The most famous being Greg Griffin who happens to be known for the fastest boards on the North Shore. Kept in control with his special 5 fin placement.
Below is what legendary shaper Bert Burger (Founder of Sunova and Firewire) had to say about flat versus concave bottoms.
Which is Faster Concave or Flat Bottom
ok ...my opinion is flat is faster ..it's provable ... but why do so many say they notice the increase in speed when putting a concave in ????? because they are attributing the increase in speed to the concave and overlooking the real reason why it's faster...reverse the process and then tell me if it's still faster??? get a standard rockered flat bottom, then cut (thru the middle) in a single concave, adding the concave will make it faster "only because" you have flattened the rocker line, a flatter rocker is faster,,, now which of the following is faster? The above board, or one that is flat with the same rocker as the new rocker line along the stringer of the concave board ...see? Now work in reverse and tell me which one is faster, a flat bottom or the same board not with concave cut into it, but if was possible to add foam build up the rail line to make concave, now you have a flatter rocker and actually added rocker which of course will slow it down..... so to cut it short, the increase in speed is not due to concave, but due to rocker change... also the comment about flex stiffness and concave is absolutely right, if you have flex in your board then tail concave actually becomes a flat bottom when you load the rail. That's why so many pros ride concave coz there boards are glassed so light....
Any contour in the bottom of a board ultimately will divert or change the direction of water in some way ....change the flow of water and you use energy...the cost of that energy is loss of speed ....if you have energy to burn, you can put in a concave for a particular feel ...but if you don't have energy to waste and your surfing soft waves ,,,, flat bottoms are way faster and its provable mathematically...
how fast is flat?
Here is a photo showing the bottom of Antoine Albeau's windsurfer. He is the worlds fastest windsurfer at 61 mph. Winning the last 4 world racing titles on these boards.
i don't do customs
Sort of, anyway....
Here is what I mean by that. I only build slight variations on my proven and tested standard models. Only my magic boards stay in production. The templates for the average boards, get destroyed. I'm not shaping boards to take your money. I do it for the love of building boards, so I can just say no to anything I haven't tried, tested, and tweaked to reach my standards for a magic model.
I've done just about every length board down to 7'3. I have landed on 3 sweet spots for board lengths.
- 7'7-7'8 is the ideal shortboard SUP length. It feels like a true shortboard SUP, yet doesn't loose all range like shorter SUPs do. Your footwork will feel just right at this length, and your speed is unmatched on the water.
- 8'5 is my middle size. Great for heavier surfers, or surfers that just don't have the water time to get down to a 7'8. Boards in the 8s will never match boards in the 7s for speed, but not everyone can ride boards in the 7s, so I have given this board as much speed as possible for its length. With my speed panel bottom it's a fun board.
- 9'2 is my nose riding high performance longboard SUP. The perfect compliment to the 7'8 shortboard for a complete quiver.
Rockers can best be described using these three buzzwords, Progressive, Staged, and Constant Curve. The rocker number (for example, 2.75") only tells a person half the story. How it gets to 2.75" is just as important. How it gets there is often described as Progressive, Staged, or Constant Curve. Default shaper software sticks you with Progressive rocker curves. I've tested lots of curves. Constant Curve is by far, my favorite. I am not alone in my love for Constant Curves. Harold Iggy (Naish), Jimmy Lewis, and Stretch are Constant Curve guys, so I'm in good company. Constant Curve gives the board a very predictable surfing feel. Easy surfing, no dead spots, surf from anywhere on the board when combined with the right template.
PUNCTURE RESISTANT DECK AND rails
No need to fear the paddle knocking a hole in your nose, rail, or anywhere on the top side, with my Innegra construction.
Having fun testing my foil board construction. Full Innegra cloth covered in carbon fiber.
sledge hammer proof finbox
I test finbox installations because SUP's are built from lighter weight EPS than prone surfboards, so finboxes end up being weaker when installed in a SUP. But not my SUPs. I go the extra mile to ensure mine are stronger than the fin.
my handle design
Here is an image showing my custom made, all carbon fiber handle cut in half so you can see inside it. This handle cannot leak like other handles due to it having a full flange all around the handle. I glass under the handle, and over the flange. Completely wrapping it. This makes it an integral part of the deck lamination. The bond is also superior to other handles because it is carbon fiber epoxy construction. Like materials bond better. Plastic handles used by everyone else, just don't bond nearly as well and can be prone to shearing the glass away from the plastic when you step too close to the handle.
Being a retired mechanical engineer, I have always been into discovering why things work. Rockers, board construction, etc, I always had to know what was under my feet and why it worked. So I was well prepared for my second career (hobby) as a shaper and board builder.
Dwight & Jacky Fisher a.k.a Mr and Mrs NC Paddle Surfer
Dwight goes by DW on the Standup Zone SUP forum