Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill
Here's a couple new ones headed for a customer in New York. Both 7'6"s.
Shawn and I have been seeking a photographer that has some experience filming while using a drone. Drones can get some great angles that are fresh and revealing about what a board is doing at any given time when filmed right. It's not as easy as one might think.
Here is a great example of drone photography with Koa Smith riding a full blown barrel for a bit over 2 minutes. Think about how YOUR legs would feel after a ride like this? ......and the paddle back out would make Rincon or Malibu look like a shore break!
Here's a new little demo that wil be heading to CCS (Central Coast Surfboards( in San Luis Obispo. Scott, the new owner, and his crew will ride it first, then release to interested customers. It's 5'6"x20-1/2"x2-1/2" with a high performance foil for lift, popping the top vertically, and easier duck diving.
I will shape up a few more in various sizes including the "secret sauce" I've added in these "new machines". It's now been eight years of taking a basic, sound, but uninspired design and evolving it beyond its mainframe.
At the end of the day, it's the combining of compound curves to net an optimum effect for surfers that keeps me in the game...
Hi Bruce , beautiful picture of a beautiful girl , I am old so my memory is sometimes a little fuzzy , I think I maybe knew that girl or I have seen the pic befor , please tell me where you found that pic , thanks T
Bruce, on your V8 model, you recommend starting with the fin 10"-12" from the tail. Is that from the trailing edge of the fin, or from the tip of the fin?
That measurement is for the trailing edge of the fin. 10" is a minimum & 12" or more is preferred.
If the fin is too far back the board will not pivot carve thru turns. Fins set too far back in surfboards with unforgiving rockers will abruptly pop out of the water causing them to hop or spinout. The generally held notion that moving the fin back lengthens the turn & offers more hold is true if the bottom curve is correct for the fin being used, otherwise you will experience the scenario I mentioned above.
I've had guys approach me with that problem, and they were shocked when I told them to move the fin forward instead of back. I explained to them that the foreward position helped compensate for the board's lack or deficient tail rocker making it a bit more forgiving while achieving what I call "rail set" or the ability to sink the rail into the water for hold while pivot carving.
Fins, and their positioning can make or break you.
"I evolved the design as well as the fin box placement as time went on. I moved fin box placement forward to prevent people from wanting to put the fin in the back of the box so they could stand further back on the tail"....
I originally created the setup where the fin could be positioned in the middle of the box as a starting point. But as time went along, I found guys thinking they should stick the fin in the very back of the box and then they could stand back further back on the surfboard.
I have explained & published numerous times that the V8 V Bottom "IS NOT A LONGBOARD" that control comes from standing closer to center and turning the board more like you would a displacement hull.... which it is not, but the action is similar. I intentionally designed the boards so that a good surfer could fudge his foot position back a little at a time, and as you inch back, the board becomes looser & looser...... eventually you can find a spot back there to do power slides & even controlled spin outs. I kept the ability to spin out as a true homage to the original early day V Bottoms that were dubbed & written off as "spin out queens"..... even "the boards that didn't work".....
..... the boards DID work. G&S picked up Midget's design and reportedly sold thousands of them, primarily to the East Coast USA, where, especially Florida ate them up for small gutless summer waves.
In developing my update version, I thought about and focused on the Foil, Panel Vee, Centerline & Rail Rocker to give this homage some validity & allure. I have referred to it as "A Tale of Two Rockers" and the net result is a surfboard that has tons of straight line trim speed & paddles quite well, like a much longer board than it actually is. At the same time, with the right foot positioning, the board can feel more like a high performance shortboard a couple feet shorter than it actually is. A classic example of this was when widely respected, local Hawaiian, Cyril Huddy got his first V8, an 8'2", and all his brah's saw him paddling it and asked if it was a 10'0"...... they werre shocked it was so much shorter. He told me he had studied and followed what I had been doing with this design, and knew he had to have one. He said "it does paddle like a much longer board, but as you say, I can move back and find a sweet spot to ride it like I ride my 6'2"'s...."
(Note: The spinning out spawned an influx of big, bigger and really big fins almost overnight.... 10", 11", and even foot long fins with lots of flex. What I have found is the more flex the fin has, the bigger you can go. It's like a windsurfer sail "twisting off" spilling energy. Oddly, this knee jerk reaction to fix the spin out problem proved to be beneficial as they transfered over to the short stubbies that closely followed after in our quest to go shorter and shorter. These little stubbies became the first "fin drivers" of the new era.)
At the time of this writing, Midget has come and gone. But the picture of him carving his stringerless 8'0" still remains on my foam dust encrusted shaping room wall, and it continues to inspire me to make this ride for those who wish to sample a little bit of yesterday while rekindling the stoke of a bygone era.
All Hail Big Pink!
This is an EPS/Epoxy V8 V Bottom custom ordered by Chris M. out Montauk NY way..... it's one big puppy at 8'6"x24"x3-1/4"+..... Liters? Oh good lord........... a lot........ he weighs in at 250-260 lbs. but I told him this board will float well for an NFL Linebacker...... hell, make that LineMAN.
The board is...... well, immense in my book, but it's true to the formula and it's gonna turn sweet & out paddle every board around it.
Just what the doctor ordered for a Long Island summer day!
Here’s what I’ve got Bruce. Fin is set 12” up from tail to base. Fin is super flexy, and is approx 11 1/2” tall. Good starting point?
That is one hunk of fin! Yes moving up is mandatory with that much area throughout the run of the fin.
The Greenough Stage IV-A and other high aspect fins have more base and less tip than the fin you have. To be honest, your fin isn't my fave outline for fins this size.
Not to beat you up, you've got what you've got..... that being said, if it were me I would move the fin up so the center of the fin at the base is eactly over the center of the fin box. It will look right, and it will probably surf as good as it can from that position given what the fin is. Just put it smack dab in the center.
Here's a few other fins that, for me, are a bit more eye catching. The Greenough with less base right below the black Greenough Stage IV-A, is his new "high speed fin".
I have no doubt with a little time, you will her sing buddy, make her sing. ;-)
I thought that fin would work good, but on your advice, I’ve got a Greenough 4A 9.75” fin that I’m going to put in centered to the box. Good sized waves today, and I want to make the maiden voyage as successful as possible. I was going to ride my go to board, but too stoked to give this board a whirl, so taking it out.
Here's what I’m going with, it’s 14 3/4” up from tail
Fin at 12” just didn’t fit my eye, so moved it up to 14”. Looks much better, but I’ve never ridden anything like this, and I’m going to have to adapt to a real forward riding position. Whatcha think Bruce?
This angle of the whole board and up a little bit already looks much better. Just move it so it's centered and you are good to go..... then you can inch forward or back to dial in. The fin outline looks better from this angle.
To be honest, I think I mark all the fins with the intent of the right fin being centered in the fin box as a starting point. Just look at the yellow one in the pix I posted.
Really fun time surfing it frontside. Really fast and loose, was surfing it from the front third and liked it. If caught behind a section, I had a hard time driving around it, but board loved an open face.
Surfing it backside, really had my problems though. Spun out several times, or had problems getting caught behind and never able to get to the open face. I’m sure once I get more time on the board, I’ll figure it out.
Paddles super well, and catches everything. Can’t wait to ride it again, I love the challenge
Thanks for the ride report.
They're a different ride to be sure..... I always harp on people not to stand too far back...... behind the trailing edge of the fin is all about quick release of the water flowing off the tail. The actual wheelbase (length) of the board can be measured from the trailing edge of the fin to the nose.
More surfs are in order, in the meantime, here's a blast from the past with George @ the Ranch filming for "Big Wednesday" John Milius' retrospect Hollywood glitz flick on that thing we do.
Here's a couple stock boards I have on hand. I have some interest from the East Coast (Philly area) and have re-checked what Amtrak can do regarding surfboards.
(NOTE: THE BLUE TOMMY BAND ONE SOLD- P/U IN WILMINGTON, DE)
In speaking with them they quoted me one cover price of $105 for a surfboard, packed up to 10 ft.
After discussing things with them further, I can use a good quality board bag which I purchase @ wholesale, pack the board, then slip it inside the bag. From there I set up the paperwork at my local Amtrak Station with the info for them to notify the customer when it arrives at the closest Amtrak station to the customer. The customer then has 4 days to pick it up before they started charging a daily "storage fee". I think the lady I spoke to said it was $1 per day, so no big concern there.
After figuring my wholesale, bag cost, packing materials, & Amtrak fee, that puts a "factory direct" price to the customer @ $795 for either one of these boards.
I think that's a pretty good value considering it includes a good quality bag, fins, shipping across country for a fun, easy riding go to surfboard.
That is brilliant. Never would have thought about a train.
What are the dims on those?
Thanks Greg. I used to send a LOT of sailboards during the 80's from Santa Barbara to the Bay area (Oakland Station), Portland & Seattle for the Columbia River Gorge guys. It was a good deal back then, and with the rapidly escalting prices I've experienced with Fed Ex (even tho' I ge a 45% discount for volume) & trucking companies.
Fuel cost are impacting the shipping part of my business..... so I decided to revisit Amtrak, and it has proven a viable option, esp. when I need to get a longboard across country.
The boards pictured are standard issue at 7'6"x23-1/4"x3-1/8" & 1/4"......... lots of volume, float well to 275 lbs. and even that is a conservative stat.
My V8 V Bottoms continue to have a growing cult following. The one pictured here is for Al N. who used to live in Ventura but now resides in NJ. He's building a quiver of boards from me and this is his first V8....... it is 6'6"x22-3/4"x3-1/4" for those sluggish littles waves that hit the Jersey shore.
The last pic depicts a light blue resin tint V8 as well....
Here's a new stick for one of my Aussie customers that already has a 7'6" Plain Jane & 8'4" "V8" V bottom. Ross B. owns a construction company and is a big guy at 6'4" and strong build. He ordered an 8'0" Plain Jane and has a mate that wants his 7'6". Since Zak in Melbourne didn't restock the 20 some boards that sold out, I still don't have a supply connection in OZ, and definitely would entertain inquiries. There is a good lot of interest for my boards downunder.
This one is 8'0'x23-.5"x3.5" and is what we call a "Volan Special". The deck is 6 oz. Volan with 4 oz E and 6 oz Volan bottom. Top & Bottom tail patches of 6 oz Volan as well, with wider old school cut laps. Definitely a strong board. Sanded Finish, 3-4-5 Futures fin box option.
I'm doing a multi layer bubble wrap job then putting it into a good quality board bag before dropping it at Amtrak Santa Barbara, where it will go out on the Pacific Starlight to Portland for $85. Insurance is $1 per $100 insurance, so I'll spend $10 bucks for $1K's worth. The travel info shows a few transfers, one in Bakersfield & another in somewhere called Martinez CA (never heard of it) before making Portland 26 hrs & change later. I was told that Amtrak is very familiar with surfboards these days, and htey are handled like luggage, NOT put down as a platform to throw other passenger's luggage on top of. In fact, they are commonly Top Load. On transfers, they are removed along with other luggage and immmediately stowed into a locked storage room until they can be placed on the next train. Amtrak tries to put them on a same day train, but that can't always happen, so it is best to factor in a day or two because of this. There are no tracking numbers. The East Coast stations regularly take 4-8 days, which isn't bad considering that Fed Ex Commercial or Home Deliveries take 4-5 days and cost twice as much if not more.
I was a bit conocerned when they told me the Pacific Surfliner doesn't take surfboards over 7 ft. but then they told me this 8 footer can go on Starlight which accepts up to 108" (9 ft.).
Enjoy. This is a strong board with all the Volan, and it needs to last considering the exchange rate between $USD and $AUD. Handshaped out of a 8'6" blank for extra float.
These Balsa boards have sold and are headed to Florida via Amtrak.
They will leave first of week from SBA to MIA (Miami). I've got to drop one vent into the 6'3" MiniMAX one then pack them up and send them to their new home, a customer that already owns a nice group of foam sleds from me.
There is a 6'9" five fin left (pictured with bottom showing up) that remains from this group, then all gone. One shaper I know from NZ wants it but current exchange rate is tough ($1USD=$1.50NZD) plus about $347 USD shipping and 15% GST.
I am sending an 8'6" Foam F.O.Y. to a customer that will p/u in Auckland......gave him a great deal so we could make this happen. Still, somebody really has to want one of my boards to pay that kind of moolah!
Bruce, those balsas look beautiful. Is that a stain or some other wood inlay on the dark areas?
all the best