Finless

This finless craft is an attempt to provide more grip than the usual finless boards that are available today. Grip from rail edges and channels can never compete with grip from concave.

The angle of the under surface of the board where it is pushed into the wave face deepest is what determines most of the grip that any bottom contour can give. I know this is a big statement to make, and of course I’m heavily into concaves so why wouldn’t I say this right? Well I tested the complete opposite to find out what grips the most. I did an experimental board to test the grip that comes from channels at their maximum. I shaped a very rolled bottom board which has very low grip and added ten channels from nose to tail. The roll won easily. The board had less grip on the wave face that even the slightest of single concaves. The channels did nothing at all, but this does not mean channels are useless, they do add a slight increase in grip on the face when applied to a more moderate bottom shape.

So this finless board can grip to be pumped or it can slide, but in a more controlled fashion allowing the surfer to blend smoothly between the grip and the slide, which is the artistic aspect of finless surfboard riding. Surfed flat, and the slide of the centre roll dominates, but put it on rail and the grip of the deep concaves at the rail edge will dominate. In this design you get a more even balance between both opposites.

footnote: When I said that roll has very low grip, I have determined this partly from my own experiments, but also from the historical evolution of bottom shapes that have been tested by our founding designers. When Bob McTavish shaped the heavy Vee bottom design in the late 60’s they added much more grip than the rolled bottom boards being used at the time world wide, and everyone knew that the Vee bottom was better. The mistake that was made, probably by journalists I’m sorry to say, is that the jump in performance was because of the ‘V” shape that results at the stringer where the two side join. This is the most visually obvious aspect but is really just incidental, the flat sections that are created either side of the stringer are where the new levels of grip come in. A flat surface near the rail edge is better than a convex or rolled surface at the rail edge. And in fact this design evolution was the precursor for the concave that was to come in and dominate, 25 years later.

FINLESS DIMENSIONS AND COST

59 19 2 ⅝ 33.3 L  $900

60 20 3 38.6 L  $900

63 21 3 ⅛ 44 L  $950

Email: gw@webbersurfboards.com

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