why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Any discussion on shaping, designing, repairing and riding surfcraft of any type or shape. Also a good place to ask the 'what board should I buy?' question.

Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby seasofcheese » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:24 pm

....if you, as quoted, rounded off the nose on any shortboard, it would have zero effect to performance - and by rounded I mean cutting off the very tip. You're simply cutting off the tip at 2 to 3 inches to make it rounded/squared as opposed to pointed. Late/steep take-offs don't rely the first 2". Pointed noses are just the done thing, and aid the shaper when creating lines. You don't have to increase width anywhere to allow for taking the tip off your board with say an 11" nose, just a saw, some glass and some resin. You only have to ask 'is it worth the bother?'
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby kayu » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:38 pm

usedtobe69 wrote:
kayu wrote:
RossGW wrote:thanks for the reply's guy's these were the kind of reply's I'd hope to get. if we don't need the nose (or pointy end) why do we still have it? I know this is a fashion but surely a lot more people would have cottoned on to what George Greenough has been saying for a few decades now that basically we don't need a point its dangerous and has little function, (unless you are Julian Wilson, watch him tap that last six inches of nose on the wave on almost every air reverse he does).
And yes the Tomo is a major step forward in surfboard design is it here to stay? will it be the next board in a pro surfers quiver? or just a "that was fun now i want to ride my 6'2 x 18 1/2 x 2 1/4 again"?
......there's no such thing as a major step forward in surfboard design...if you prefer a blunt nose , all that is , is your preference , and nothing more .....personally , I prefer a narrow nose , because it reduces weight at one end of the board , similar to most tails......it's also far better for the steeper take-offs on bigger waves , and gives better reaction to the mid rail , running down through the tail............did you ride a skid-lid in a former life? :lol:

Maybe you should ride one tomos wakeboards before slating them, might open your eyes a little bit to what's going on with them.
They're a huge leap from conventional shortboards, I've ridden both, have you ?
I don't like the guy, at all, but the designs are legit.
Read my post....I'm not slating the board.....just nothin new that's all.......and I told you why I prefer pointed noses.......actually , for years when I was a grom (pre-legrope days), most of my boards had no nose after a month or so......I also remember a G&S square tail that snapped off right across the back of the fin base........and it kicked arse !!!!.. :lol: ......in any case , I can't see any great leaps here , but if you dig it who cares...........
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby royal » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:29 pm

the "retro" fish movement of 15 years ago showed me that I didn't need a board like slater to have fun surfing. Then came the experimentation, and here we are with everyone and their 15 cousins riding short, wide, square shortboards...

I've ridden my 5'6" in just about anything I'm dumb enough to paddle out in, and only when there's tons of water moving (or I'm really lazy) do I wish had a bigger board. You have to re-do the rocker to make a rounded nose work, but it's not rocket science either.

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Just scanned my quiver, and with only one exception, not one has a pointy nose.

Now, when you get into the arena of Mavericks, and such, it's a totally different game, where rail line means a little bit more...
learn the rules, so you can break them properly

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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:21 pm

Pointed noses are poor aerodynamically. This makes a difference especially in strong offshores. There's no good reason for them.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby VillageIdiot » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:57 pm

So let me get this straight. Is a pointy nose the result of adding or subtracting foam ?
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Philchapman » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:36 pm

Neither. Just "the norm". If you were to round off an already pointy nose, on an existing board, then that would be subtracting foam. If you were to adapt a shape to make the nose rounder, before glassing, then the answer would still be neither. That would be something else!
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby kayu » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:22 am

Roy Stuart wrote:Pointed noses are poor aerodynamically. This makes a difference especially in strong offshores. There's no good reason for them.
.....and there's no good reason against them.......they are definately better aerodynamically , and are far less effected by strong offshores.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:06 am

kayu wrote:
Roy Stuart wrote:Pointed noses are poor aerodynamically. This makes a difference especially in strong offshores. There's no good reason for them.
.....and there's no good reason against them.......they are definately better aerodynamically , and are far less effected by strong offshores.


Not so.

I'm not talking about the width of the nose but whether or not it ends in a point, like in the last 2 or three inches. The point is detrimental aerodynamically.

Very thin noses are also not ideal aerodynamically due to the large range of angles of attack the nose has to deal with. that's one reason why i prefer to carry the thickness forward.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby kayu » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:36 am

Roy Stuart wrote:
Not so.

So... :wink:
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:30 pm

So please explain how a point on the first 2 or 3 inches improves aerodynamics compared with a rounded nose.

It doesn't!
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Black » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:43 pm

The point eludes you! :-)
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:09 am

Nay the point is to the rear.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby defever » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:35 pm

I really hate Roy's provocative and impolite ways of responding to one's comment, but there must be a reason why he disagrees with the majority of forum user's comments...

So, following up on your comment about poor aerodynamic profile of a pointy nose may I humbly ask for your reasoning in layman's term, please? And does "non-pointy" (rounded like an egg?) nose enhance the board's aerodynamic profile or does it only minimise the problem?

I am not being sarcastic, just genuinely interested in board shapes...I have another question once Roy (or anyone else?) answers my question above.

Thank you.
Last edited by defever on Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Philchapman » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:17 pm

In the latest issue of The Surfers Journal (21.6) there is an article by George Greenough about board building/dynamics. He comes to the same conclusion, and draws the analogy of putting your hand out of a car window at speed. Hold your hand flat with fingers forward (like a "pointy nose") and move it up and down, and feel the resistance it has to the wind. Then make a fist (like a rounded off nose) and do the same thing. The latter will be less influenced by the wind, and is therefore more efficient aerodynamically. Whether this can be felt on a board surfed by an average surfer in average conditions might be debatable, but I'd imagine there would be some difference felt at the top end of the range speed wise, and especially in strong off-shores. Greenough certainly felt the need to apply a rounded nose to one of his high speed windsurfers, and he could make it any shape he pleased. It makes sense to me that you would need to round off the nose as it blends into the deck and bottom also, to keep even pressure on both sides. That's the idea as I understand it.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby kayu » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:04 pm

Philchapman wrote:In the latest issue of The Surfers Journal (21.6) there is an article by George Greenough about board building/dynamics. He comes to the same conclusion, and draws the analogy of putting your hand out of a car window at speed. Hold your hand flat with fingers forward (like a "pointy nose") and move it up and down, and feel the resistance it has to the wind. Then make a fist (like a rounded off nose) and do the same thing. The latter will be less influenced by the wind, and is therefore more efficient aerodynamically. Whether this can be felt on a board surfed by an average surfer in average conditions might be debatable, but I'd imagine there would be some difference felt at the top end of the range speed wise, and especially in strong off-shores. Greenough certainly felt the need to apply a rounded nose to one of his high speed windsurfers, and he could make it any shape he pleased. It makes sense to me that you would need to round off the nose as it blends into the deck and bottom also, to keep even pressure on both sides. That's the idea as I understand it.
I don't see any relavance here.......no disrespect to George , but he should have stuck a ping pong bat out the window as well to see what happens...........or is he saying a bulb-shaped 3" thick nose is the go ?.......... :-|
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby kayu » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:11 pm

Maybe the olympic javelin team should start choppin 6" off the point....... :P
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Philchapman » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:48 pm

The relevance is that this thread is about surfboard noses, and the shape of them..... Then you and Roy started discussing aerodynamics..... Then I remembered the article I mentioned above, and G.G.'s take on it, and it seemed relevant to me so I thought I would share his thoughts on it, which seemed to me to be the same as Roys. In the article he states that the front end is "blunt and thick for aerodynamic reasons". He was talking about a windsurfer, and how it handled in the air. "The less sticking out in front of you the better and more controllable in the air. More predicable handling means you can push it harder". I'm just open to new ideas and design theories, and enjoy hearing everybodys take on things and how it can relate to surfboard design. If it's backed up by science then even better. http://www.nosecone.com/table.htm That bottom one look familiar?
I think the Ping Pong bat would have had similiar "handling" charactersitics as a flat hand, being roughly similiar shapes and thicknesses. :P
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby dixie » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:52 pm

gonna add my pennys worth here
a physics teacher once showed us the difference different shaped objects of equal weight travelled thru a jar of honey ( to demonstrate basic hydro / aero dynamics

lead weights....

1) shere
2) cube
2)pyramid (piont first)
4) arsley bomb (pear shaped,,wide end leading)

by far the pear shaped bomb( wide point first) was way quicker thru the honey

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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Black » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:20 pm

dixie wrote:goodnight......leave an apple on my desk

A pear would be less likely to blow away in a strong wind, sir! (blunt end first)
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Poo Stance » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:02 pm

You don't need a nose on your surfboard... you need* two!!

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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby kayu » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:54 am

Philchapman wrote:I think the Ping Pong bat would have had similiar "handling" charactersitics as a flat hand, being roughly similiar shapes and thicknesses. :P
That's an interesting link Phil ,but any aerodynamic effects would be dominated by the hydrodynamics of the board by a fair margin...........and ,I think , the ping pong bat would attract maybe twice the resistance of the flat hand simlpy because of the area being roughly twice that of the hand........a pointed nose in a strong offshore moves the effect of the wind further back along the board , because of the upward curve of the boards profile.......light-weight , wide nosed long boards suffer badly in a stiff offshore wind , where as a gun of the same length handles wind far better.......
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby defever » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:18 am

Very interesting, thank you all for sharing your knowledge. Long comment and I may go off tangent from the "nose" topic...

I think Phil's comment about "flat hand vs fist" analogy is a good concept but slightly inappropriate; no difference is made on the volume but a change in the surface area. Perhaps "flat hand vs flat hand WITH an oven glove" (ie adding a bit of foam on a pointy nose to make it round) and "flat hand vs DO NOT TRY AT HOME amputated hand (no fingers, palm only)" (ie shaving the already pointy nose to blunt it) might be more appropriate analogy...no? or was George trying to explain the concept of an airplane wing design (thick on the front and thin at the back)?

Plus the wind doesn't hit frontal to the nose, it accumulates from the bottom up towards the face of the wave, eventually hitting the underside of the nose when taking off (same idea as you'd feel more wind when at the top of a cliff than at the bottom); how would this have an effect on the board? Surely if you have more foam sticking out of water (ie underside of the nose exposed to the wind), the more resistance there is... referring back to Kayu's comment on longboard vs gun.

The honey analogy is also interesting, thank you Dixie. My physics teacher didn't teach us that Bernoulli's principle? also applies to viscous element/water... but we're not trying to dive underwater, so...?? Or would this concept apply to rails when carving?

And how are the above issues differ on an ordinary pointy shortboard to a "toothpick" shaped gun board?

Having said all this, as phil mentioned, how much of us ordinary surfers will notice the difference (or who would be out surfing on a 40mph Gale force offshore wind...).
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby seasofcheese » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:05 am

I don't know how Aerodynamics came into this. My point early on was that you could take a short board, cut the nose off 3" down, and still surf it that same. The tip is just
the meeting point of the outline, it's not critical. I have no idea how little/much the effect on aerodynamics would be - noticable on a shortboard? but do know you'd have a
less pointy board...maybe less dangerous.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby defever » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:49 am

I got carried away and hijacked the thread, many apologies.

So the pointy nose is there for the ease of shaping a board? No science/engineering technology behind it? No consideration of safety?
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Philchapman » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:24 pm

It seems to me that the pointy nose is still there as a result of the whole refining of boards that went on during the `shortboard revolution', and it has become the accepted norm. The idea was to see how short, thin, narrow, etc. you could go, and still improve the function of the board, which at the time was moving towards tighter/more aggressive turns, and deeper tuberides. Take away as much foam as possible, and see what's left. It seems to me that like any extreme, things are swinging back more towards the middle ground, especially for us "average" surfers, who need a bit more volume in our boards.

I really don't think the aerodynamic aspects are of too much importance to most people. No two waves are ever the same, different people are going to be surfing differently, in different wind conditions, and making different body shapes as they surf..... I doubt very much that we'll ever see "speed suits" being used to improve performance! (Hey, there's the next marketing tactic for wetsuits...... "speedoprene"!!! Hmmm...think I might copyright that name). :lol:

If it seems like I'm advocating rounded noses it's for safety reasons above anything else. There's (at least) two differing ideas going on in this thread.... Taking a pointy nose and rounding it off to make it safer.... and changing the nose shape from further back to make a comparatively shorter, wider nosed board. Personally I've got confused enough with the flat hand/fist/ping pong/oven glove/amputated fingers analogies, and think that without exact numbers for volume/width/thickness/forces involved etc., we're all kinda talking bollocks! In surfing, those comparisons are never going to be made under exacting enough conditions to come up with any definitive answers. So, we're back to riding what you prefer! Hooray for choice!
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:08 pm

I've been advocating and using the idea of rounded noses with thicker softer rails for better aerodynamic qualities since 1994... it's nice to see that Greenough and the surfer's Journal are finally starting to catch up.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:18 pm

defever wrote:
So, following up on your comment about poor aerodynamic profile of a pointy nose may I humbly ask for your reasoning in layman's term, please? And does "non-pointy" (rounded like an egg?) nose enhance the board's aerodynamic profile or does it only minimise the problem?

I am not being sarcastic, just genuinely interested in board shapes...I have another question once Roy (or anyone else?) answers my question above.

Thank you.


Instead of air flow being a problem it can at times be utilised for lift.

The nose experiences large changes in angle of air flow attack and should be designed accordingly.. a pointed nose and even more importantly a thin sharp railed nose is the wrong way to go as such noses stall at low angles of attack.

The stalling on takeoff is what leads to the syndrome where long boards 'parachute' down the face into oblivion on strong offshore days.

Keep in mind also that even on a calm day the speed of the board can create significant air flow.

In addition, nose rocker is relevant to the presentation angle of nose area as a wing.

.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:25 pm

kayu wrote:
Philchapman wrote:

light-weight , wide nosed long boards suffer badly in a stiff offshore wind , where as a gun of the same length handles wind far better.......



One of the main issues with boards with large amounts of nose area in offshore winds on takeoff is the thickness of the nose.

Thin noses stall easily, make them round and thick like the leading edge of a foil and all is well... that's one of the many reasons why I use a parallel profile and constant rail section, and it's given me a huge advantage over the past 17 years.

Another issue is rocker and planshape... these are what control the aerodyamic presentation angle of the nose... and the standard longboard shapes are abysmal in that regard, offering poor control -and a poor ability to change the angle of nose attack on takeoff.

Often I've found in strong offshores that my board is the only one able to make the drop and get down the line, as the longboards stall the nose and parachute down while the shortboards can't get in to the wave early enough to make it.
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:31 pm

Ok, this shows how the nose is being presented at an effective angle for low drag and lift.

Image
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Re: why do I need a nose on my surfboard?

Postby Roy Stuart » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:35 pm

Another example:

Image
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