The Basics of Surfboard Design Paperback – 14 Oct 2008
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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 email@example.com.
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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.
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.