Channels

Dec 5, 2010
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Recently got a channel bottom swallow tail, same length as my trusty rounded pin which I'll ride from chest to overhead
beach break (East Coast)
Had a bunch of sessions on it, when it was good, it felt good
If it was an average day, I didn't click on it
Does it make sense to only ride the channel bottom on good days?
Its so rare that everything comes together here, wasting a few hours on the wrong board is frustrating
Question is, is the channel bottom more of a good wave board than say the rounded pin
 
Aug 22, 2008
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Never owned a channel bottom, always wanted one... have heard that the channels only really engage in glassy waves... take this with a grain of salt
 

Duffy LaCoronilla

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Apr 27, 2016
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Work in anything if they are done correctly with fins that work with them .

View attachment 99366

12 -13 years ago - a very different era here

View attachment 99367
I’ve always wondered how much influence on performance channels provide just from the added stiffness (less flex) in the tail area.

Also they create more surface area for a given width vs. no channels.

Thoughts?
 
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chilly1

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Jan 4, 2010
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I’ve always wondered how much influence on performance channels provide just from the added stiffness (less flex) in the tail area.

Also they create more surface area for a given width vs. no channels.

Thoughts?
Good question. I would think there might be some additional flex due to less foam in the tail and more drive with the additional surface area?
 

chilly1

OTF status
Jan 4, 2010
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Recently got a channel bottom swallow tail, same length as my trusty rounded pin which I'll ride from chest to overhead
beach break (East Coast)
Had a bunch of sessions on it, when it was good, it felt good
If it was an average day, I didn't click on it
Does it make sense to only ride the channel bottom on good days?
Its so rare that everything comes together here, wasting a few hours on the wrong board is frustrating
Question is, is the channel bottom more of a good wave board than say the rounded pin
When I see videos of good days E coast it seems like mostly barrels. On the average days are you turning more? I have had a few channel boards that felt stiff but going straight flew. One was glass on fins another I likely should have tried smaller fins to offset the inherent drive of the channels. One of the best boards I ever had was RP with channels but the channels ended at the rail (not through the tail rail) making it fast and smooth turning. Bummer was that it has the original FCS tabs that would pop out even on bottom turns. getting it fixed was nightmare! Anyways you might like more if u try smaller fins
 

Duffy LaCoronilla

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Good question. I would think there might be some additional flex due to less foam in the tail and more drive with the additional surface area?
Less flex. Think corrugated metal vs. a flat sheet. Or better yet take a dollar bill and try to make a bridge out of it when it’s flat.

Now fold it a couple times longways and do the same.
 

chilly1

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Jan 4, 2010
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Less flex. Think corrugated metal vs. a flat sheet. Or better yet take a dollar bill and try to make a bridge out of it when it’s flat.

Now fold it a couple times longways and do the same.


Roger that and I know that's partially why Stretch puts in Love handles on the deck. I wonder if, no theory to offer behind this, channels offer more twist flex (torsional)?
 
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Aruka

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Feb 23, 2010
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Good question. I would think there might be some additional flex due to less foam in the tail and more drive with the additional surface area?
nah I think it would stiffen the tail up like Duffy was saying. the deeper the channels the more pronounced this effect would be. if you've ever handled flat sheet metal vs. corrugated roofing metal this effect is really apparent.

i've only ridden a couple boards with channels and they felt drivey but a little stiff and tracky. running smaller fins helped counter the stiffness but at a loss of drive. they felt best in good, lined up surf. I never really fell in love with the channels but that doesn't mean I'm anti-channel, just never felt worth it considering the overall quality of waves I usually surf.

the only channel bottoms I've tried/owned were thrusters. i could actually see it making sense in a twin to counter the inherent looseness. but then again, I kind of like that about twins.
 

manbearpig

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May 11, 2009
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My everyday thruster was a 6 channel Roberts swallow tail. I think it was the MP3 model? The board worked good in everything, but definitely excelled in good surf as one would expect. I definitely felt it stiffened up the tail which I liked. I try to do most of my surfing on rail and on the face of the wave. Really became apparent when you put in a turn in the pocket.
 
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Dec 27, 2019
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When I see videos of good days E coast it seems like mostly barrels. On the average days are you turning more?
On the average days you're groveling lmao

Jokes aside, it can be barrels or turns depending on the spot and swell. There are a larger variety of setups here than people realize including some points or jetties that can act like points if the sand has been moved into the right spot and the tide is right. But since most spots are beach breaks and most good swells are high significant wave height with a shorter period you do get a lot of pitching fast barrels that often break weirdly close to shore.
 

jkb

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Feb 22, 2005
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My experience is that the deep 6 channel boards feel like they have an extra gear at the top end........like a car with a supercharger. The benefit was most easily felt in those glassy waves with some push where top speed could be achieved.

I didn't get the impression that they wouldn't work in average conditions, just that you weren't seeing the benefits of the design when it was like that.

I feel it does add some rigidity in the back 1/3 of the board in regards to the way the rocker flexes. As far a torsional flex, I would always eventually get cracking along the length of the channels due to torsional flex over time. Some might argue that was shitty glassing, but it literally happened on every deep 6 I ever owned.
 
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oneula

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Jun 3, 2004
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I did the hard 6 route with glass-ons in the 90's mostly from george ku for northshore
fast as sht but a definite preference for clean water. clean faces
when the hard 6 channel tail got stuck in a bunch of whitewater it was like standing a bucking bronco, very hard to control or project. Kind of similar to a rawson 5 fin bonzer mini swallow made for Davey Miller that I picked up used.
I guess that why I eventually settled with the hard edge flat bottoms of GG's 5 fins

I would have never believed it but Peter Poppler convinced me to try his soft 8 channel quads design
Once I tried them I was hooked and I own three of them now.
I stumbled onto Poppler as I was trying to get my own version of one of those Spirit of Akasha single fin channel bottoms parmenter made stephanie. But he had his own ideas. Kind of like when I asked Bushman to make me his version of Curren's Fireball fish in the 90's. Single to double with a soft 8 in the double through the tail as a quad with glass ons
 

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need 4 speed

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Nov 1, 2003
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I find them very beneficial on my twinzers(at least worth the effort)last board, a groveler i put them in from the center of the mains out the back(to add a little grip in better section) my better wave board, I run quite a bit farther forward
 
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Feb 2, 2010
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Felt the same way about my Baby Buggy R4 I had. Great in glassy offshore conditions but would squirt in some weird directions when it got choppy. Sometimes that was fun, sometimes i'd faceplant a bottom turn and ruin a nice wave.

The Gary McNeil Channel is different so far, seems to just be there for hold and speed. Doesn't behave erratically when it hits some chatter.