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FOILS and PROFILES
The Distribution of Volume
|Foil / Profile Overview
The profile or foil refers to the distribution of thickness of the surfboard. Surfboards are foiled nose to tail and rail to rail. The profiles or foils of surfboards vary with the many classes of surfboards. The profile or foil nose to tail facilitates several performance features of the surfboard - forward movement, momentum and inertia, initiating maneuvers, control of the rails and tail of the surfboard, and support of the surfer's displacement and technique. The rail to rail foil facilitates many of the same performance features and others as well - transitions from rail to rail, initiating maneuvers, control and support of the surfer's displacement and technique through maneuvers.
The profile or foil of the modern shortboard is pretty unique. The singular function and low volume nature of the design leaves few options. Variations are dependent on a surfer's displacement and technique. Profiles and foils are moderately thicker throughout with thickness carrying more volume through the nose and tail for bigger or more powerful surfers and, conversely, moderately thinner throughout carrying less volume through the nose and tail for smaller or more "light footed" surfers.
The profile, nose to tail along the length of the board, has the thickness concentrated from 12" to 18" in front of the wide point to the side fins. The nose and tail are relatively thin - the nose more so than the tail. The transition from thin nose, to the concentration of foam under the surfer, to the thin tail must be very smooth to maximize the board's performance.
The profile is crisp and thin in the nose and entry, gains thickness as it approaches the wide point, carries it's thickness through the wide point, has a very subtle foil to a crisp moderate thin profile approaching the fins, and carries the moderately thin foil at the fins through the tail. The thinner entry allows the board to transition with ease onto rail when properly displaced by the surfer. The moderate thickness at the wide point supports the surfer on rail. The moderately thin profile near the fins provides control and facilitates acceleration. Carrying thickness of the profile at the fins through the fins maintains and carries the speed developed from turns. Generally, profiles will be 1/8" to 1/4" thinner 12 inches from the nose than 12" from the tail - 1/16" to 1/8" thinner 24 inches from the nose than 24 inches from the tail.
The profiles and foils of contemporary shortboards consistently evolve. The last few years shortboard profiles and foils have shifted volume moderately forward with the thickness in the nose at 12" and 24" equal to and often slightly thicker than the tail at 12" and 24" - note the following link.
Link to October 2020 essay regarding profiles, foils, and performance
Semi Gun Foils
The foil / profile of Semi Guns is shifted forward compared to the foil in shortboards and moderately more pronounced from the wide point to the tail. This offers greater control and projection through the critical turns required in larger and thicker waves. Surfers have the option of going slightly, moderately, or substantially thicker with the semi gun's profile depending on their technique, style, skill, and fitness.
XXL Gun Foils
The foil / profile of the XXL big wave gun has a singular function. Like it's little brother, the Semi Gun, the profile has the thickness shifted forward. A full yet well foiled nose gains thickness through the wide point, then tapers with a smooth reduction of volume through the tail. Most of the volume is concentrated at and and slightly forward from the wide point corresponding to the concentration of surface area in the outline. The forward mass has a pendulum effect pulling the board down the face in take off and down the line out of the turns.
Mid Length & Egg Foils
The foil or distribution of thickness of Mid Length & Egg designs is balanced from nose to tail. The primary foil, nose to tail along the length of the board, has the thickness concentrated from 12 to 15 inches behind the nose through the wide point to 15 to 18 inches from the tail. The nose and tail are thinner - the nose more so than the tail. The transition from thinner nose, to the concentration of foam from the wide point to the fin area, to the thinner tail must be very smooth to maximize the board's performance.
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