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The Basics of Surfboard Design Paperback – 14 Oct 2008

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 52 pages
  • Publisher: Rembrandt Publishing House (14 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979977118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979977114
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,178,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Bob Smith is the author of "Growing Up Gay, " written with the Funny Gay Males, which was nominated for a Lambda Award. He tours extensively, performing across the country, and has written for numerous television shows, including Roseanne's, Saturday Night Special, and the MTV Video Awards. Smith is set to star in a new gay sketch-comedy series, coproduced by the CBC and Showtime, for which he will write and perform. Raised in Buffalo, New York, he now lives in Los Angeles with his boyfriend, Tom. You can E-mail Bob at bobscomedy@aol.com.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Interesting read but not a practical giude. but a good intro to the fundamental design and layout of a surfboard
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and essential 18 Oct. 2009
By David Warner Mathisen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bob Smith's _Basics of Surfboard Design_ is an excellent and essential book describing the critical elements for creating the most important kind of surfboard: the kind that YOU want to ride, on the waves that YOU like to ride. The author doesn't tell you what to do -- he explains the critical "lines" of a surfboard, and how they work, and lets you take that knowledge and build it into your surfboard (or discuss them with your shaper and have him build them into your surfboard). He goes into information about the physics of a surfboard that I have never seen anywhere on the web or heard anyone discuss in the way that he explains it. You should get this book if you want to know more about the way your surfboard interacts with the water, whether or not you actually shape your own surfboards. This book opened up my brain to start thinking about what was going on between my board and the wave in a more informed way, so I can understand not only what I'm currently riding but also so I can make more informed experiments and decisions with the boards I will ride in the future. Most of all, this book doesn't tell you what to do -- it arms you with the experience and insights of one very thoughtful surfer and shaper who shares the benefits of his experiments and observations, and that will enable you to test out in an intelligent way what works for you, and to think for yourself about your surfboard. That is a priceless gift.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for the basics 6 Aug. 2009
By Hollow Daze - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is great for those unfamiliar with surfing or surfboards. However, being an experienced surfer, I knew most of the information already. Also, the author has his own opinions regarding certain surfboard design issues that vary somewhat from the mainstream (the superiority of vertical fins). Overall, a good starter book on the subject.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 13 Mar. 2012
By ocean t sweet - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This iconoclastic, original, brilliant book is filled with insights based on a lifetime of surfing and observing, and thinking deeply about the physics of waves and the way that water molecules and breaking waves interact with fins, rails, and various tail shapes. Some ideas are radical, some are outside the mainstream, some may not even be 100% correct - they are creative and fascinating, which any committed surfer should deeply appreciate. But it's a very thoughtful book that can inform one's surfing, shaping and desired experiments with different board designs and the way you want to combine the rocker, the rails, the fin placement, the fin shape and the tail shape. This is a wonderful book for a shaper or serious surfer who's really into the design of surfboards and loves to think about all things surf-related and experiment with different design concepts.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Debunks many "established" truths 23 Nov. 2009
By A Happy Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I gotta admit right off the bat - the closest I've ever come to surfing was on a $10 foam boogie board at Coquina Beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I live in the land-locked state of Pennsylvania and trips to the beach are few and far between. But when author Bob Smith asked me to review his book "The Basics of Surfboard Design," he said, "I'm always interested in how well it communicates, so I can improve." Bob, himself, is a pioneer in the surfing community having been "at the forefront of the short-board revolution in Hawaii during the late '60s" with examples of his surfboards appearing on the December 1968 cover of "Master of Surf Photography: Art Brewer."

What I like about Bob's approach is that he debunks many "established" truths that I think would be of interest to surfers, such as:

#1: Many surfers have a lack of interest about how and why a surfboard works.

#2: Surfers ride shorter boards than necessary because shortening the board helps make up for an inferior design.

#3: How many fins should a surfboard have? Ask instead - Where should the fin(s) be placed?

#4: Adding a fin will not increase thrust - it will in fact increase drag, slowing the board.

#5: A vertical fin is more stable and more powerful (size for size) than a swept fin.

#6: To get a good bottom, it is necessary to wet sand the surface with progressively finer paper.

#7: The pointy ends on surfboards should all be cut off - they serve no useful function.

#8: Make sure to tell a shaper: (A) what board you're currently riding (B) what you like & dislike about it (C) your favorite surf spot and (D) what size of waves you like to ride.

Overall, the book is primarily for those who are heavily into surfing and wish to have a custom-designed surfboard. The book is mainly text accompanied by rudimentary drawings. Professional artwork would have more fully illustrated the concepts for better comprehension.

I wish Bob had included photos of surfboards that he designed and comments from surfers who use them. Attributed quotes from those who utilize Bob's knowledge in the field would also have added credibility to his theories.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame on you, Bob 15 Feb. 2014
By RDA - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, this is not a book as much as it is a pamphlet; 52 pages, half filled with child sized font and some scribbles. Sure, He covers the very basics like volume, length, rocker, etc, but only what can be told in one paragraph. The questions outlined on the back are hardly answered. I will give credit to his paragraph on the definitions of speed, maneuverability acceleration and quickness, as well as his warning about the effects of marketing hype.
As a shaper, I understand the secretive nature of surfboard design. It takes thousands of boards to start to develope your own theories and designs; It is a lifelong investment. What gets me is Bob Imhoff both trying to make money selling books on the secrets of surfboard design, and trying to protect his secretive trade by presenting surfboard design through vague metaphors and half-explanations. This is nothing new, just typical old, salty, shaper crap.
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