Sink Or Swim
Displacing the volume myth, surfboard volume calculation examined
Not enough volume in a surfboard can make it hard to catch waves, and also harder to create speed - particularly when the waves are weak. Too much volume and you risk losing feel and maneuverability.
Surfboard volume is a great starting point for board selection. It’s a good reference point to find out that approximately in this range, this particular board should perform well for you. That roughly for this style of surfboard (and for the waves that that board is designed for), this is where the volume should be.
You can use also a surfboard volume calculator like the one at Firewire to get a feel for what area of volume you should be considering and if that is in line with what you are currently riding. Yet volume isn’t the entire story.
The rocker or curvature of the board, also factors into how easy it is to paddle onto a wave or simply paddle the board in general, and how quickly that board will move through water.
More rocker means more friction, and more friction will affect the paddling ability and the speed of a board. But on the flip side, more rocker will help you on steeper parts of the wave and perform tighter more critical moves.
Foil, or the distribution of foam throughout the board, is also important. Knowing where to put the foam through the nose, the center of the board, though the thickness, the rails and the breadth of the tail is one of the darker arts of the shaper.
A board that may have less volume but if the foil is well distributed, it will feel better in the water. So if the foil is right, it will paddle well onto waves, get a lot of speed, so you probably will not need as large a board as you think.
So surfboard volume just isn’t everything, it’s part of the greater whole. So having dispelled some of the myths around surfboard volume go research and try a variety of boards and volumes to help find your sweat spot, but most importantly just keep surfing.
Watch ‘Barrel Jesus’ Mr Craig Anderson talk you through his quiver.
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FROM THE BOARDROOM