Philchapman wrote:Aha.... I just "Knew" it had something to do with angular momentum!
http://mag.digitalpc.co.uk/Olive/ODE/ph ... w=ZW50aXR5
The key phrase that stuck out at me was "unconscious masters" in the last paragraph. Thing is, we don't "know" the ins and outs of it intellectually, and if we tried to work it out when surfing we'd fall. Instinct and unconscious processes seem to play a large part in "how" we surf, know how to adjust weight/move our feet to keep in trim, etc. All interesting stuff though!
Even an unconscious surfer can catch a wave, if given an opportune push. But a skilled surfer
apparently taps into a limitless reservoir of energy. Here we argue that the extra energy comes
from hydrodynamic lift – the turning of a flow.
This article starts with a review of the speed and height of surf waves, and compares the energy
budget from wave motion and falling down the wave with the observed GPS speeds of some
surfers. We then describe how hydrodynamic lift of the surfboard can provide extra thrust to
propel a surfer to high speeds in the frame of motion of the wave.
Equation (1) is the famous NavierStokes equation of fluid dynamics. It is the equation
describing the physics of ocean waves. It can be written down, but not so readily solved. The
mathematical challenge is that equation (1) is nonlinear; there are no general simple solutions as
there are in other areas of physics, such as planetary motion.
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