Volume vs Planing Area....

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Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby Leven » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:07 pm

Right, might be a slightly odd question but....Volume vs Planing Area (and where the planing area is!)

Which is more important? I've been surfing a lot of different boards over the last year or so (snapped my magic one!), and I'm finding I like a bit of length AND width, but not necessarily the thickness that usually comes with that. (By length I'm talking 6'2/6'3, width 19-20" ish). I've tried a couple of shortboards with a very slightly fuller template, and loved 'em! Conversely, I've also tried a Dumpster diver type (ok in mushy waves) and a couple of POD/Fishes, and hated them!

I know it's horses for courses, but wondered what people's opinions are? Would you rather go shorter, thicker, and fatter not? I know volume is also important, but is there any point having a truck load of foam packed into a 5ft board?!


(As an example, 6'1 x 19 1/4 x 2 3/8 shortboard template with touch of extra width through the nose and tail vs 5'10 x 20 1/2 x 2 3/8 dumpster diver template. I've got both of those type of boards at the moment! And I'm 5'10, 12 stone).
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby surfrat » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:19 pm

generally i dont mind a bit of extra float but as long as the last third of the board is well foiled and thin railed i like them.
tried a 6'2 x 19 x 2 1/2 with fuller rails aimed at being a smaller wave shortboard and hated it.
my current ride is 5'9 x 19 7/8 x 2 3/8 shortboard, slightly fuller outline thru the nose but not really any extra volume and it's rails are lovely and thin with lots of bite and i love the thing. i'm 6'0 and 12.75 stone
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby swiggy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:39 pm

I think it depends on the waves, for me anyway. I like planing area/width in small stuff, bit more thickness in bigger waves. So my small wave board is 6'0 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/4, with fairly full rails in the front half and a fairly wide square tail. Shortboards for good waves are much more pulled in, super thin rails, at the moment I have a 6'1 x 18 1/4 x 2 5/16 and a similar 6'2 but that is beat to shit, probably same overall volume as my small wave board but just narrower all round. 6'8 for big stuff is 18 1/4 x 2 7/16, quite thick for float and paddling speed when you need it with lots of water moving round etc. I'm 5'10 11 stone, so need a bit less foam than you guys. I do want to get a super short and wide board, I used to love my 5'5 round nose fish.

Boards that are too thick suck, they just feel a bit more dead under your feet, which is ok in a semi-gun when a bit of stability etc is good and you have no shortage of speed, but in a normal shortboard I'd rather go wider than thicker to get the right float/volume.
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby surfrat » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:07 pm

so 2 votes for increased planing area over increased volume then?
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby swiggy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:20 pm

surfrat wrote:so 2 votes for increased planing area over increased volume then?


Yeah I guess. As for the 6'2 x 19 x 2 1/2 with fuller rails aimed at being a smaller wave shortboard you hated, that is a lot of foam for someone weighing less than 13 stone. Full rails make a big difference too, I don't like them at all, particularly in the rear half of the board. Full rails up front can make it more forgiving in sloppy waves, but full rails in the back half just generally makes you surf worse, its just generally less responsive, you need to be able to dig the rail in to do any turn more aggressive than a carving cutback or bottom turn, and when you pump etc. the hard rail gets you right up on top of the water, its faster. A full rail has more contact area with the water and increases drag? (maybe this is total crap, I dunno, haven't thought about the "whys" that much, I just have never liked any boards with full rails, although they also tended to be slightly chunkier boards all around which I don't like).

No high performance shortboards have full rails really, theres got to be a reason why..
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby Leven » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:02 pm

Interesting, this. Certainly seems that in the world of stock shortboards at least, planing area is more important than volume/thickness (which I guess would make sense, more sensitive boards to move around etc).

Personally, I don't really like a lot of width right under the chest, I find it makes it harder to get into hollow waves. I prefer the slight "tipping" you get on a narrower nosed shortboard. The 6'1 I mention though is only slightly wider, nowhere near the dumpster/RNF's/etc. and it absolutely flies. Paddles super well, but still narrow enough to get into and under hollow waves. Rounded pin too, so although there is a bit of width, it pulls in nicely at the tail.

My 5'10 Dumpster type board is my slack wave board, under 3ft board etc, and if it's clean and that size it's just incredibly smooth to surf, but it doesn't like barrels too much....or the surfer riding it can't get it into them!

I've also got a 6'3 x 20 x 2 3/8....loads of surface area, much more of a hybrid type board. Haven't surfed it yet though.....got it cheap on eBay!
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby swiggy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:21 pm

I think thickness only makes any difference in paddling. When you are up and riding you are planing on the top of the water, there isn't really any advantage to having a thicker board. It is just dead weight that makes the board feel more clunky under your feet, I dunno how big a difference this makes but you are also changing the point about which you are applying force to the board when you pivot during a turn..
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby surfrat » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:29 pm

that 6'2 i had must've been originally made for a bigger person...its the only explanation of such a weird board.
i don't mind foam under the front foot in smaller or fatter waves, having ridden a variety of fishes and fishy hybrids, as it allows you to push on the gas pedal a bit....BUT and it's a big but, this makes you normal shortboard surfing way worse as you end up being too front footed.
better to have a wider all round board to get you planing early then drive off the back foot using rails and fins.....at least thats what i think i'm doing :oops:
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby Ferral » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:39 am

swiggy wrote:I think thickness only makes any difference in paddling. When you are up and riding you are planing on the top of the water, there isn't really any advantage to having a thicker board. It is just dead weight that makes the board feel more clunky under your feet.


Full agreement. I'd rather paddle a touch harder. even in tiny weakish waves if theres a bit of curve in the wave to monopolise you dont need volume while actually surfing. Its only when the waves lose shape that you need volume to stop you sinking.
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby Archy_is_God » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:46 am

Good thread.

There seems to be a fixation of late on the volumes measured in litres that have appeared next to board dims. People have appeared to jump on this in a vain effort to compare how different boards are going to react for them....

This is fine if you have actually ridden a certain model and have an idea on how it goes, but it is a mistake to simply assume that a board with more volume will paddle better than one with less; the litre figure quoted tells you nothing about how the volume is distibuted or how the volume will react with rockers, bottom shape, rails, planshape etc...

An extreme example: a beachball will undoubtedly have more volume than a traditional wooden Alaia, but the Alaia will still be easier to catch a wave on!

Dan Thomson's boards are a good example of how planing area can be used most effectively in a small package.
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby Black » Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:35 pm

This is precisely why I considered getting the Resin8 scoop as it made sense to me as a concept - why have a load of foam in the middle of the deck that doesn't do much? Never tried one in the end but it seemed quite a few didn't really like theirs. The boards I've got on best with are relatively lower volume, I don't like thick rails either. Other factors affect the paddlability quite dramatically as Archy says but don't ask me exactly how though.
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby Ferral » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:27 pm

I reckon rockers a bigger culprit than volume for paddleability. I remember when I started surfing in the early-mid nineties some of those highly rockered boards were just dogs to paddle...
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby Leven » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:03 pm

Funny you mention that about rocker....I've got a 6'2 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/4, what I'd call a stock shortboard shape, and it's really hard to paddle! Only realised when I compared it to what I'm spending most time on at the moment, the reason it's so hard is because it's like a flaming banana!! On the floor on it's bottom, I reckon there's a 1/3 of it touching the ground!
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby royal » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:39 pm

i'm a big fan of planing area, versus volume. You need a certain amount, of course, and conditions require more/less depending. But in general, I find that a straighter outline, and balanced rocker do more than just a fat slab of foam.

while they were never bloated, over the years, they have all moved down towards more sleek, foiled out versions:
Image

and my current go to board is a 5'9"x19"x2 1/2" foiled out 80s twin fin..
Image
Image

straighter outlines definitely make up for less volume, to a degree. Trick is to maintain the go anywhere ability of the curve...
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby kayu » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:29 am

Split the difference....volume can help you paddle and catch waves easier , but that's less important after you actually catch the wave.........the effect of extra planing area changes with speed, and is less dependant on the extra volume.....
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Re: Volume vs Planing Area....

Postby more » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:22 am

for me, its about getting the right balance of not only volume and planing area but every other design feature for the individuals needs...but there are so many variables it gets mind boggling...experience and knowledge are the keys to getting it right for the individuals specific needs....
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