Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big Black Nothing, The Details


So, here we are.  It's done, and it's called Big Black Nothing.

I'm figuring out where to start, because 1) I don't know who exactly is reading this, and 2) I just plain don't know where to start.  Through lots of hairbrained thoughts, two hour long talks over pepperoni and garlic pizza, countless emails and a few sleepless nights, I put together what I think is a fantastic surfboard...The idea itself went through probably 5 different stages and morphed in my brain for the past two years or more, and only has seemed like a possibility since I built my first flex spoon a few months ago.


The idea revolves around the basic principal that Greenough and others followed and continue to follow every day, twist + snap = projection.  Our flex fins do it every time we twitch our toes, glass panel flex tails do it when you lay into a bottom turn, and flex spoons do it without you even thinking about it.  



The board is as follows; a shortened Hullibut template, with the tail template ballooned out (think: as the tail twists, the template changes and pulls in), and the nose narrowed a tiny bit.  Basically an elongated velo style template.  Then, take the foam distribution of a Flex Spoon (where the rails contain the volume and act, depending on how they are foiled, as torsion bars to control flex), and add a neutrally shaped volume to the center of the board, allowing the whole board to twist, nose to tail, like a Spoon.  The volume of foam in the center does add stiffness, but I believe that is a good thing; when you're on a 5' kneeboard, your center of gravity is very low and you don't have much leverage, therefore the flex should be quite soft.  When you've got 6'10 of board, and the load is applied to one specific region of the board (under your feet), the flex should be much stiffer so as not to wash out when you give it some juice.


The rocker was flattened to accommodate the flex, and the materials were changed drastically to reduce the weight that the added glass would give, as well as produce more float to counteract the volume that has been carved out.  
 
(showing the deck contour after the deck lamination)

The board is a 2lb EPS core, with varied layers of 6oz E, 6.2 oz Carbon twill, 9 oz S-glass, and Epoxy resin...and a vacuum bag.  Laminated materials work best when they have the proper resin ratio, that is to say that too much resin is heavy and brittle, too little will have air bubbles and will not be strong.  A vacuum bag is a contraption used most commonly in molding, where the bag is sealed around the wet-laminated "part" (board), and the atmosphere is sucked out of the bag, pulling the excess resin out of the carbon/glass, and giving an air-tight bond to the foam.  



I realize this much of the content may not be read, because this will only be interesting to a few people...but if you read this far, leave a comment, i wanna see who made it!
This board is by NO means perfect in terms of build, this is the first time I've used the full eps/carbon/vacbag trifecta, it was intense, mind numbingly complicated, and incredibly wonderful...the product is light, strong, and extremely complex.  I'm excited for the next two experiments (same build style, different shapes).


A ride report/initial impression should be today at the low tide...so far the coolest thing is when cars drive by the whole board vibrates like a guitar body...

25 comments:

Michael said...

it looks like this board is about to commit murder...SO SICK!!! Can't wait to see/hear how it works

pushingtide said...

That's some love shaped in that nothing. Cool job PC.

pope said...

Sick board. Love the details.

ridgeback said...

are you kidding ryan? how could we not be interested in this? that thing is like the space shuttle.

Mikie said...

Looks very intresting the combination of materials, design and functional thoughts. Want to know how it rides and see photos of action!

The Boss said...

I want to hear how it unloads.

Ian said...

Killer. The quest for the stand up Velo continues.
Lets see some footage!

Le Vyusher said...

mmm. I want some G&P Pizza after a go on that baby. Looks just right man! Congrats.

pranaglider said...

The stand up Velo is the Holy Grail of surfboard design.

shit said...

Wow.
Ride report please!

R.T. said...

the building process is a good read. looking forward to hearing how the ride feels!

warm jet said...

can't wait.

DP said...

appreciate those details of the process and your hypothesis by all means.

Chum said...

I made it. And now I want to hear the results. Talk dirty to me.

Quiver said...

It looks great to me. I've got a flex-spoon that is a clark blank with a layer of carbon plus some fiberglass. I don't know the exact build details because I got it third hand. My first trip out I was caught behind the lip and did a rail grab drive into the whitewater to punch through. The rail broke right where I grabbed it. Other than that the board went great.

Since then I repaired it and added many layers of glass to it, expecting to grind it down to tune it. I would love to hear details of what kind of flex I should be tuning towards.

George said...

I keep an eye on everythng you do. This one is really pushing the boundaries. I'll be interested in seeing where you take the application from here.

BTW, how does it paddle?

Flying said...

can you add more photos of the shaping and glassing process ?

i can't wait to see the evolved prototypes !

Southern California Surf Forecast Blog said...

Too bad your board wasn't at Sacred Craft this past weekend. It may have won Best In Show!
If it surfs well would you make one to sell?
If so, please let me know. Cheers!

Arjan said...

This is the stuff why I keep coming back to your blog. Blown away, such a cool board. Most innovative board I saw in a long while.

Rui said...

Ryan,

That's one of the most impressive surfboards I've seen. The amount of work and research you put on that it's incredible.

I've read it all but want to know much more and want to learn more about its construction.

Take Care

Catfiend said...

I am definitely interested in hearing how that rides. very awesome and interesting board design.

Ole said...

This looks like an interesting idea. Perhaps you want to start messing with some asymmetric layups on either side of the board for some twist-bend coupling? I am interested in how this ting rides.

Joshua S said...

you blow my mind again. i wonder how that would work as a timber?

lbas said...

bright ideas make the world go 'round

Eef said...

wow!! you made a standup flex spoon!! Awesome! How does it ride,and paddle? Can we see some footage please?

Eef
monsterboards.org