Friday, March 6, 2009

Flex Me Cap'n

I'm always down for a good experiment :)

Photo: Alberzzz

A lot of glass panel flextails are built with what seems (to me) like very little thought about actual function and flex dynamic, and more with 'coolness' in mind.  When a glass panel is used, you're trying to create a variable tail rocker that has an accelerating curve when you lay into it; decreasing your turning radius and creating a really smooth, springy, tight and FAST reaction...
Most glass panel tails I've seen lately are not integrated into the board at all, they are more like a glass lip around the tail, which creates a hinge-type flex, which can actually cavitate and produce a whole lot of drag...THEN spring.  Including the panel into the board itself is essential to making a flextail work well...thats where you begin to integrate the panel into the board's design, instead of creating the panel as an afterthought.

The tail on Nick's 6'3 (in the photo above) is foiled out using the finbox as a central twisting point.  Twist in a board is not usually a good thing, but in this case it is exactly what we are going for, twist creates smooth rocker curves and uses the other side of the board to un-twist it and project you quickly out of a bottom turn, or tighten your arc.  The tail is foiled about 12" from the end of the board, just past the finbox; and thins all the way down to 8 layers of glass at the tips of the tail (watch your ankles!).  


7 comments:

Bell said...

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Esteban Pumpernickel said...

It looks really good. As you mentioned, I was pleasantly surprised to see the flex so much a part of the board. I hope he lets me give it a spin.

Gilda said...

where is the photo credit?

fisheye said...

that is flippin cool. But don't you have to vary the layers of glass or foil percent depending on the surfer's weight and shoe size? I mean, a size 14 is going to put a huge perpendicular stabilizing beam across the stringer.

Nigel S. Peppercock said...

Actually, I wear a size 15.

I'm not going to speak for Ryan, but many of the issues you have addressed have been meticulously taken care of in order to provide the maximum ratio of Nigel-to-board radness. But you are quite right, there are a number of variables concerning these types of tails, just as there are with hulls in general. Fine tuning is inevitable and inexorable.

Also, Ryan - I hope you like Star Wars.

Ryan said...

photo: Albers :)

very interested to see what you scribble on that sucker, nick!

Nigel S. Peppercock said...

And on the fourth day, God looked down upon the earth and said SHAZAM! Although it's a Gull, this one's name is GS3PO. I'll bring it to work tomorrow with the intentions of surfing it afterwards.