Therefore, the shape of the surfboard plays a vital role in how you ride it and, more importantly, whether you can progress on it.
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What is Surfboard Volume
In the most general sense, volume is how much space an object occupies.
So, in the case of a parallelepiped, you need to multiply the length by the width by the height to calculate the book.
But, with the determination of the board’s volume, everything is not so simple because curved lines set its contour, and amicably, to calculate the book, you need to take the integral over the surface.
Well, or use the suitable old method of Archimedes, having come up with which he shouted his famous “Eureka!” – lower the board into the water and look at the volume of the displaced liquid.
That is why the importance of a surfboard is traditionally measured in liters, not in cubic meters.
A computer usually calculates the shape of factory boards, so it is not difficult to measure the volume using the software method.
The volume of the average shortboard ranges anywhere from 25-35 liters, fan boards and malibu are about 7 feet long and usually 40-50 liters in volume, and longboards range from 60 to 100 liters.
Why volume is so important
Surfboards come in so many shapes these days that they can be very different in volume given the same length and width.
The board’s volume indicates its buoyancy, which means how well it will keep the surfer on the water.
The larger the book, the more minor the human body is immersed in water when rowing.
Accordingly, the less you are in the water, the better the board glides over the surface and the less it sways and slows down when raking.
It is easier to pick up speed on a large board, which means you can take waves from a flatter section, and in general, you will be able to catch more waves.
And here is a critical point: many people think that what maneuvers the surfer can do depends on the board.
The opposite is true! What tricks the surfer makes determines which board he should ride on.
Each skill level has an optimal ratio of board volume to surfer’s weight. For convenience, this ratio can be expressed as a percentage.
For a surfer weighing 80 kg on a 40-liter board, the balance will be 50%, and for a surfer weighing 40 kg on the same panel, this ratio will be 100%.
For example, Kelly Slater rides on 25-liter boards and weighs 72 kg, so his ratio is 35%, one of the lowest among pro surfers.
If we talk about surfers more familiar and close to us, here are a couple more examples. Nikita Avdeev weighs 71 kg and rides 26 liters on a board (almost like Slater, yeah); the ratio is 36.5%.
Ira Kosobukina weighs 56 kg and rides a shortboard also 26 liters; in her case, the ratio is 46%.
What threatens the wrong choice of board
Again, it is not the board that determines the maneuvers, so it makes no sense to strive for any specific size, be it the volume or the length of the surfboard.
In this sense, experienced coaches advise taking a giant board and making the following argument.
Considering that the surfer does not have much time to practice this or that maneuver – in fact, out of two hours of riding directly on the wave, the rider spends a few minutes – you need to squeeze the maximum out of each attempt.
If the board is too small and any wrong movement leads to a fall, the surfer will either lose waves, get angry or frustrated, or take less risk and stay in the comfort zone.
Both options slow down, and in some cases, even stop progress.
Styrofoam is your friend.
Another problem with small boards is that, in theory, they are easier to rotate, but in reality, they are easier to reverse, which leads to fixing the wrong technique.
It will slow down progress much more than the extra 5-10 liters in the long run.
On a board that is too small, it is more difficult for a surfer to row and pick up speed, the waves have to be taken at the last moment, this is called Late Takeoff, when the lime is already wrapped up – the ratio of starts and falls, in this case, becomes worse.
“Too big” board seems clumsy only to those with good turning technique.
Moreover, learning beautiful amplitude turns is easier on larger boards since they allow you to pick up more speed.
Moreover, if your goal is to ride, you can take whatever board you like, but for training, you should be very serious about choosing aboard when you set the task of learning or improving some maneuvers.
How to choose a board of the right size
In addition, the authors have divided surfers into several levels of progress by what maneuvers the rider has already mastered.
Level 1: Foam. The surfer learns to get on the board and ride without losing balance.
Level 2: Lineup. The surfer catches the green waves and drives straight.
Level 3: The surfer rides along the wave wall in the middle part, can snake (go up and down), tries to turn.
Level 3.5: The surfer uses the entire wave wall, can stick to the top, does cutback.
- The surfer performs amplitude maneuvers.
- The bottom turn is deep enough.
- Gains speedwell.
Level 4+: Pro-surfer level. A combination of classic and progressive maneuvers, snaps, pipes.
The chart shows boards suitable in volume for the individual riding level and surfer’s weight.
It does not mean you cannot ride on smaller volume boards, but the authors advise you to choose a board no less than the proposed weight/volume ratios for progressive training.
For example, let’s say I decide to ride a shortboard.
My weight is 52 kg, and my level on this equipment is 3, which means the recommended ratio is from 65% to 80%, that is, the volume is from 34 to 42 liters.
It should be borne in mind that the salinity of the water also affects the buoyancy of the board.
So, for example, for the Black Sea, 4 liters should be added to the usual volume to achieve the same effect as in the ocean.
Of course, the board’s volume is not the only thing that is important for good skiing and progress, but this parameter should not be underestimated either.
As experienced surfers say, if you choose several similar boards, take the bigger one, you won’t regret it. So I wish you progress and enjoyment. Surf smart!