HPSB board weight is MORE important than volume

rowjimmytour

Phil Edwards status
Feb 7, 2009
5,833
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Rbeach
Most of us aren't scientists and have to do the best with what's in our minds when we're bored at work.

The thought exploration I was hoping to see from this thread was just a different thing to think about when ordering boards. So here's another way to think about it: Would you rather have a board be off by a pound or two or off by a few liters? Both are possible when ordering boards, and I wager weight would have a much higher impact on the performance of the board and how happy you are with the outcome.
Disagree because if you can paddle said board into wave you well have no board to fling around regardless of weight.
 
Oct 8, 2019
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fair enough my dude, I can dig it. i was just trying to participate, maybe come at it from a different angle, hah.
Thanks for that! I like that we're starting to look at our boards and equipment more closely. Whether that is good for surfing... i'm not sure, but to me the fun is in always looking for improvement and discussions like this help push it along.
 
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potato-nator

Michael Peterson status
Nov 10, 2015
2,875
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Comparing one variable to another with no context seems fairly meaningless but I did a little thought experiment and decided that I disagree with the premise, as vague as it is.

Say you're ordering a board and the only choice you have is to pick the volume or the weight of the board, everything else is left up to the shaper.

Personally, I'm going volume.

volume for me too.weight is good for chop or substantial swells but volume kinda
personalizes it for me.
 
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kool-aid

Michael Peterson status
Aug 28, 2003
2,032
115
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San Francisco
Volume is way more important that weight.

Low weight is great on small waves but doesn't actually help when it gets a bit bigger.

On ultra clean, glassy days it can be nice on a gun. But any wind and chop and you'll be wishing you had a big chonk of PU.
 
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SharkBoy

Miki Dora status
Oct 22, 2004
3,784
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I think we might be misunderstanding the weight thing as lighter is always more optimal and not necessarily what is the optimal weight of a board (given the conditions it's shaped for)

Having pro light boards can increase response, and I think are generally better for performance, but with too light boards, you can lose some drive and momentum.
Having an optimal weight for a board is an interesting idea, and may have more substance to it than you'd think.
Put it this way, if you have the same volume (same blank or type of foam) and same glassing schedule on a several shapes, wouldn't those boards all weigh the same?

you know how you can feel a board off the rack and just instinctively know it will work?
 

rowjimmytour

Phil Edwards status
Feb 7, 2009
5,833
182
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Rbeach
Volume is way more important that weight.

Low weight is great on small waves but doesn't actually help when it gets a bit bigger.

On ultra clean, glassy days it can be nice on a gun. But any wind and chop and you'll be wishing you had a big chonk of PU.
Kool-aid I just went heavy CFT with my 2x4 step up and feels like same weight as pu/pe same glass job to me compared to my pu/epoxy but may just be me used to stretch cft medium which most of quiver is.
 

SharkBoy

Miki Dora status
Oct 22, 2004
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surface area more inportant
I can see it now. Someone who discovered surfing in their adulthood stumbles onto the erbb, then the Design Forum, lurks on here for a while and ends up at a well regarded shaper while ordering a board in cubic inches of surface area because his last one had about an 1/8th too much
 

Mr J

Gerry Lopez status
Aug 18, 2003
1,008
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...
Put it this way, if you have the same volume (same blank or type of foam) and same glassing schedule on a several shapes, wouldn't those boards all weigh the same?

you know how you can feel a board off the rack and just instinctively know it will work?
no this is the problem, they wouldn't necessarily come in at the same weight even on identical shapes. Polyurethane blanks do have some variation. Saturating the glass with precisely the right amount is not an exact art either.

However, your last suggestion about just picking up a board from the rack and feeling the weight is going to be good enough for 99% of surfers.
 

SharkBoy

Miki Dora status
Oct 22, 2004
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no this is the problem, they wouldn't necessarily come in at the same weight even on identical shapes. Polyurethane blanks do have some variation. Saturating the glass with precisely the right amount is not an exact art either.

However, your last suggestion about just picking up a board from the rack and feeling the weight is going to be good enough for 99% of surfers.

yeah I hear, ya, but my scenario was hypothetical.
Same blank, Same glass same volume should equate to equal weight.
The fact that there is some discrepancy might give merit to the OP as that means there is room to dial it in, with a specific weight being that guideline.
 

bordeaux

OTF status
Aug 23, 2008
292
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If your board was 10% off from normal, say 1/2 to 3/4 lb in weight or 2.5 to 4 liters in volume, you don't think the volume difference would be more noticeable?
 
Jan 14, 2020
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If your board was 10% off from normal, say 1/2 to 3/4 lb in weight or 2.5 to 4 liters in volume, you don't think the volume difference would be more noticeable?
Volume would be more noticeable IMO. Has more of a direct influence on flotation. 8 or 12 ounces is really nothing, my advice would be to push harder or surf more powerful waves.
 
Jul 11, 2018
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I think buoyancy is what we all really care about. Manufacturers giving us volume numbers only helps us guesstimate the buoyancy. For the non math nerds buoyancy is the upward force opposing weight. So in other words a lighter board aka more buoyant, given the same volume as another board that is heavier, will of course be easier to paddle and feel more nimble under the feet. So yeah, manufacturers should abandon volume and just give us the buoyancy number instead. Then to take it one step further to help the customer, give the buoyancy number including surfer weight and the depth at which they will sit in the water while paddling, and how much speed is needed to get them up and start surfing.
 
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Then to take it one step further to help the customer, give the buoyancy number including surfer weight and the depth at which they will sit in the water while paddling, and how much speed is needed to get them up and start surfing.
Too much mental masturbation, not everyone has the same ability and paddle power. How would you calculate “buoyancy” anyway? Nipple deep, sternum high while sitting? This is also not the same as lying prone and paddling which “volume” is useful for. Just something else for “surfers” to whine about
 
Jul 11, 2018
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Too much mental masturbation, not everyone has the same ability and paddle power. How would you calculate “buoyancy” anyway? Nipple deep, sternum high while sitting? This is also not the same as lying prone and paddling which “volume” is useful for. Just something else for “surfers” to whine about
Yeah, I see what you mean. If you assume the board is totally submerged while paddling, then you can estimate buoyancy. Let's say the board is 32L and totally submerged while paddling you would have 321N of upward force or 72lbs of water displaced. So the surfer plus board would to have weigh more than 72lbs to sink the board for duck diving. Or you can think of it as if you want to duck dive 32L you need to bench press 72Lbs every time to sink under the wave assuming the human is neutrally buoyant. Go up to 42L, now you have to press 95lbs every time. I don't know how good shape you are in, but after about 20 reps of 100Lbs bench my arms are getting sore. On the flip side to surf you have to plane on top of the wave, so if you weigh 200lbs a 32L board will give you 32ON of extra up force to help you surf, vs 42L will give you 420N of extra up force. I don't know the planing formula, that math is too complicated, you have drag and all kinds of variables to factor.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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Too many variables to have any significance. How deep do you want to duck dive? Using the foot or being lazy and just the knee? Totally different motion than the bench press, more of a pike/chaturanga with a tricep press. Boards also float on top of the water, their submerged state is basically meaningless until you bury the rail.