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What's the right volume ?

  Virtually all the design variables involved in the design of a surfboard are dependent on the surfer, the waves they ride, and how they approach riding those waves. The volume or displacement of a shape is no exception. The volume of a surfboard is a product of it's length, width, and thickness. The correct volume for any surfboard will provide a surfer with their best opportunities to enjoy their surfing.

The first consideration for correct volume is the surfer. Specifically, their size - height and weight and their surfing style and technique. Obviously a larger surfer requires more volume than a smaller surfer. Further, powerful surfers require more volume than light footed surfers as they will load their boards with greater apparent weight as they weight and unweight their boards' rails.

The next consideration is the waves. The speed, power, and size of the waves the surfer intends to ride. At lower speeds in a gutless or marginal small wave most surfers can control a bit more volume. In a fast powerful wave most surfers require adequete volume to catch the wave, but not too much volume to keep the board in the water at speed. Varying the distribution of volume is a huge asset in all conditions, but it's critical and essential in a fast and powerful wave.

The final consideration is how the surfer approaches riding waves. The more demanding and critical thee maneuvers a surfer wants to perform, the less tolerance there is in varying from correct volume. The less critical maneuvers a surfer wants to perform allow more tolerance in varying from ideal volume. It's important to note, however, that precise volume will enhance any surfer's surfing experience.

These factors considered, there remains the basic Theory of Volume which applies to all situations. If you've got too much volume in your board you'll probably go real fast as you'll always be planing around on top of the water. But, you'll lack control because you simply won't be able to hold your rail in the water through your turns. If you don't have enough volume in your board you'll always be able to engage a rail to maintain control through turns, but the rails will overload and you won't have any acceleration or speed coming out of your turns. If you have the correct amount of volume, well foiled and distributed through your board, you'll be able to accelerate out of your turns, develop and sustain speed when engaging your rails through your turns, and maintain that speed in and out of the various sections of waves.

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