ASSYMETRIC SURFBOARDS / KITEBOARDS

                                   

   It makes a lot of sense to me that surfboards should reflect the way we surf, differently from forehand to backhand. Typically a forehand turn is weighted more evenly between front and back foot whereas a backhand turn is much more back foot orientated with less ability to change the pressure applied in mid turn.

Tradition is the main driver of the symmetric shape, along with aesthetics (how it looks) and conditioning plays a part as we all get used to the board and the way it goes. Nothing wrong with that as its kept me busy for my lifetime of shaping surfboards.

However, its a shed load of fun riding boards that are optimised to suit your stance.

Lots of work has been done in the past as well as currently. I,ve made many assymetrical sailboards in the mid eightys which were designed to go left on big Margs faces and as such the long side was on the forehand  bottom turn side . Col Smith (Redhead Beach) was over here and saw the designs which he flipped over to have the long side on his backhand side and short side on the forehand. His reasoning was that the shorter rail line length on the frontside was better for inner tube manouvreing ....his forte.

My revisiting of this concept is more about the pressure release afforded by the cutaway than anything else.This is the real difference that is immediately picked up on from the very first turn. The rail line length difference is secondary to this "pressure release" but gives rise to the fins being staggered , as opposed to being opposite each other.  Prime benefit of this reallignment is more projected area that the wave pushes against as water goes up the face in the riding zone. This push on the fins results in more SPEED generated in turns.

My current boards have the long side on the backhand rail  and the cutaway to the shorter forehand side.  When driving a backhand bottom turn, water is released early through the cutaway, allowing the board to sit tighter in the turn, resulting in better grip, more stability and a tighter turning circle. Then off the top you bang it over with your back foot onto the shorter rail and get more of the same.

Forehand bottom turns on the short side still get the benefit of the cutaway pressure release and super grip as the fins are closer to the tail.The end result being tight, driving turns and speed to burn off the top. This is the area that has surprised me the most. I was sure there would be a compromise with the cutback on the long side .... not so  !! The pressure release from the cuitaway again comes into play allowing the board to come all the way round with speed and agility.

IN SHORT ...SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE YEARS AGO !!!