What's the right volume ?

    Virtually all the design variables involved in the shaping of a surfboard are dependent on the surfer, the waves he intends to ride, and how he intends to ride these waves. The volume or displacement of a shape is no exception. The volume of a surfboard is a product of it's overall length, and varied width and thickness.

First consideration is the height and weight of the surfer. 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 un-weight their boards' rails.

Next consideration is the speed, power, and size of the waves the surfer intends to ride. At low speed in a gutless 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.

Last consideration is how the surfer intends to ride waves. The more demanding and critical the maneuvers a surfer wants to perform, the less tolerance there is in varying from correct volume. The less critical simpler maneuvers a surfer may want to perform allow more tolerance in varying from ideal volume. It's important to note, however, that more precise volume will enhance any surfer's experience in the surf.

These factors considered, there remains the most 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 get enough board in the water through your turns. If you don't have enough volume in your board you'll always be able to sink a rail for control through turns, but the rails will overload and you won't have any speed coming out of your turns. If, however, you've got a correct amount of volume well distributed in your board you'll be able to weight and un-weight the rails of your board controlling and generating speed out of your turns.

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