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  • Weight thread

    This is courtesy of woodylogic and his WL 6'8" SuperFish copy thread. Basically started with me asking why he was so critical of his frame weight.

    Now, I am looking for comments, ideas, preferences, techniques, and anything else weight related to our lovely wooden boards.

  • #2
    I guess I should also go first. Personally weight is and will continue to be a secondary goal for my boards. I have almost always surfed on big old beaters, 25 lbs or more. The few newer lightweight boards I've surf always felt a little flimsy, not that they ever broke. When I started making wood boards I went with what I knew and my creations have always been a bit on the hefty side. I did make two almost identical boards for my buddy and me. The only major difference was mine had a bunch of lightening holes in the frame. It made around a 2 lbs difference. To me that amount of weight savings isn't worth the time it took to drill and cut out. I've also started using hardwoods for my decks to get more of a wow look over straight balsa or paulownia, which just adds weight.

    If I needed my boards to be lighter to add performance I would probably just lose the weight myself.

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    • #3
      I would say it depends a lot a lot on how your surfing abilities are and what waves you are riding. I like boards with high volume, they make paddling a lot easier for me, but high volume does not necessarily mean high weight. But if its too light, a high volume board feels a little bit corky, but even this is just a question of feel, once you get used to it, it works too, because the body weight and the dynamics are a much higher influence. Finally we have a shape and a volume, which define the surfing abilities of the board. 2 pounds more or less do not have a big influence if you add the riders weight. The total weight determines how deep the board will sink at a given speed. If the board weighs 10lbs and the rider 165lbs you have a total weight of 175, if the same board weighs 2 lbs more you got a totall of 177, which is only about 1% more total weight.
      Since my surfing is rather poor, the 1% does not count for me. the major reason for me for lighter boards is, that they are easier to carry. Once in the water I do not feel the weight differences, but I'm talking about differences from 9 to 13 lbs. I never had a heavier board. A 25lbs board may behave more differently...
      If everything goes wrong the heavier board means more danger of course. If the board hits you, lighter is better, but I would prefer a little heavier and a round nose against to be hit by a sharp nose (and lighter board...)
      As a conclusion, I build my boards as light as possible, but do not care for 1 or 2 lbs in the area up to 13lbs (Length up to 8'...)
      Last edited by Olddude; 04-09-2018, 07:22 AM.
      The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by phillipjohnw View Post
        I've also started using hardwoods for my decks to get more of a wow look over straight balsa or paulownia, which just adds weight.
        .
        I used veneer for my last project. I found that veneering (I used it first time) is not too difficult and will build upcoming boards with veneered balsa decks. (I do not get reasonable paulownia here). combining balsa and veneer gives you the best of both worlds. A light wooden laminate plus a "wow"-look. In the past I used 6-8mm balsa for deck and this could be easily replaced by a 2-4mmbalsa and 1mm veneer. (If building a compsand, you may even get thinner and lighter). With appropriate rib spacing about 5oz of glass will result in a light and sturdy deck...

        The best surfer is the one with the biggest smile on his face...

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