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Surfboard

Mario Azurza and Aritz Aranburu with the high-tech surfboard

In an activity that for many of its participants is akin to a religion, the merging of surfing and technology might seem a bit like blasphemy. But while surfing is still about lifestyle for many of us, these days it's also a competitive sport offering huge amounts of prize money, so it's no surprise to see the emergence of boards packing more than just polyurethane within their fiberglass shells. With the aim of "turning feelings into facts and figures", research company Tecnalia and Spanish surfboard manufacturer Pukas have teamed up to create a surfboard that packs a gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS compass, pressure sensors and strain gauges to measure the flex of the board – but no headlights.  Read More

The science-of-surfboards team, left-to-right: Mechanical engineering undergraduates Victo...

Four mechanical engineering undergraduates from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), have installed a computer and eight velocity sensors on a surfboard, in effort to create the ultimate surfing experience. While the students ride the board across the waves, the sensors register the speed at which the board skims along the water, then send that data to the computer, which proceeds to transmit it wirelessly to a laptop on the beach. The computer also saves the data on an internal memory card. The students built the board for their senior design project, but also as a part of Ph.D. student Benjamin Thompson’s science-of-surfboards project, in which he hopes to design the "perfect" board.  Read More

The Night Stalker surfboard features headlights for surfing at night

Bill Stewart has been shaping and selling surfboards since the late 70’s and, like most surfers, it seems that Bill thinks there just aren’t enough daylight hours to enjoy his wave riding past time. To rectify this he’s created a one-of-a-kind board complete with headlights designed specifically for surfing at night. Dubbed the Night Stalker, Stewart’s creation is the first ever shortboard to pack LEDs embedded in the side fins and two 700 lumen headlights contained with the board’s transparent plexiglass nose to form a pair of surfboard headlights.  Read More

The Krunk Fin System - removable fins that don't rely on you remembering where you left yo...

According to Gerhard Tevini from Krunk Surfing in Austria, surfers know the scenario all too well – the fins of your surfboard have to be screwed off when traveling or on the way to the waves. You hear the surf conditions are ideal so you race to the beach only to discover that you can’t find your screwdriver to attach your fins. Everyone else is in the water enjoying the best surf in a long time while you sit on the beach. So Tevini – with his engineering background – set about creating the Krunk Fin System (KFS), a tool-less system for attaching fins to a board.  Read More

Nick Notara's collapsible surfboard concept

June 2, 2008 Things that travel well on water are usually equally as cumbersome on dry land. We've seen collapsible solutions for larger craft like catamarans but what about the humble surfboard? Although modern designs are much less of a hassle to transport than the long boards of old, wrestling six feett of fiberglass into the back of the wagon, tying it to the roof, or even negotiating airports can still present quite a challenge. An inflatable surfboard is one solution, another is this collapsible concept design from Nick Notara - it's a surfboard that breaks down into two pieces for transportation purposes whilst retaining its structural integrity via the use of a carbon fiber backbone and two self centering, constant loading pin joints.  Read More

The 25 mph electric hydrofoil surfboard

March 10, 2007 A hydrofoil is a boat with wing-like foils mounted on struts below the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils develop enough lift for the boat to become foilborne - i.e. to raise the hull up and out of the water. This results in a great reduction in drag and a corresponding increase in speed and has resulted in some of man’s more interesting water conveyances. The advent of the world’s first human powered hydrofoil catalysed a lot of activity in the area and one of several new manufacturers of human-powered hydrofoils, inventist, took the knowledge it had gained in developing the Aquaskipper and developed the Hydroglide, a surfboard with quick-charge, high-torque electric motor and a hydrofoil underneath. It’s still in the development stages but showing remarkable prowess with a top speed of 25 mph. That’s faster than the human-powered hydrofoil record, so it’s no slouch. The Ni-MH rechargeable battery has an average run time of two hours and takes just an hour to charge. Steering of the Hydroglide is accomplished with a steering bar and as the videos show, you can lie down or stand up.  Read More

environmentally friendly foam for surfboard blanks

July 7, 2006 Sandia National Laboratories prides itself on provifind technology solutions to the most challenging problems that threaten peace and freedom for our nation and the globe. It’s accordingly highly appropriate that it has developed an environmentally friendly foam that may also be the answer to surf industry crisis. TufFoam was originally conceived by Sandia materials scientists for NNSA as an encapsulant material to protect sensitive electronic and mechanical structures from harsh weapons environments. It is a water-blown, closed-cell, rigid polyurethane foam that features formulations as low as 2 lbs.-per-cubic foot density. But beyond its use as a structural material, the foam likely has other applications. Clark Foam, the leading manufacturer of foam for surfboard construction, unexpectedly closed its doors late last year because of the impact of ever-tightening environmental regulations on the manufacturing of their polyurethane surfboard blanks. The move led to near-panic, particularly in California, by manufacturers and sellers of surfboards who fear they will not be able to find the high strength-to-weight ratio surfboard blanks necessary to make the boards. Surf historian Matt Warshaw, in an article in the Santa Barbara NewsPress, said “it’s the equivalent of removing lumber from the housing industry.”  Read More

T-BOARD hand-held surfboards rethink bodysurfing

November 16, 2004 Surfboard design has been miniaturised with the T-BOARD Surf & Swim bodysurfing device, which straps onto one or both hands to create a wider hydroplaning surface and increase bodysurfing speed. The T-BOARD is designed for use on any kind of wave from 0 to 6 feet high and offers freedom of movement as a swimming aid or in swimming freestyle. The T-BOARD features surfboard-like curves, an over-raised handle and a tri-fin system to give more speed, control and security out on the water. Holding and steering with both hands gives total control, and the T-BOARD is not fixed to your hands so you can just push it aside during critical moments like when the wave closes-out.  Read More

Hit the waves with an ultra light inflatable surfboard

Surf's up anywhere with the ULI (Ultra Lite Inflatable) range of surf and bodyboards from the ULI Corp of San Diego. Created by Jim Weir, an avid surfer for over 50 years, the ULI (pronounced ooo-lee) solves key problems faced by professional and amateur surfers alike. Many hard flotation devices can be a hassle to transport and aren't allowed in swimming beaches for fear of injury. The ULI board is fully functional, lightweight, perfectly safe for all ages and, best of all - it simply deflates and rolls up into your backpack when the surfing is done!  Read More

Jet-powered surfboard to go on sale

The Powerski Jetboard prototype featured in Gizmo magazine during 2002 is finally ready to go into mass production. The Jetboard is a combination surfboard/JetSki incorporating a 25 x 43 x 16 cm high, two-stroke, water-cooled, 45hp engine and an axial flow jet pump into a (slightly larger than average) surfboard form-factor to deliver a stand-up ride over flat water at speeds up to 65kmh.  Read More

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