New Surfboard types and designs are introduced all of the time by creative innovators, but they seldom seem to catch on. Surfers in general do not like change. Most surfers follow the top professional surfers and try to surf their boards, with little success in most cases. If the new surfboard type is a little different, it is considered “not cool”. Surfers will ask, who’s surfing it?
Most of the new types and designs in surfboards are the shapes of the tail, nose and bottoms of the surfboards. Some of the shapes of the surfboard tails are the fish, swallow, thumb, bat, crescent, squash, and pointed. Are these really new shapes? At one time they were original, but now they really are not.
Many of the “new” surfboards surfed by the professionals are designed specifically for them and the waves they will be surfing in the contest. They are high performance surfboards designed for the best surfers in the world. The regular surfers are not capable of surfing them with any success. It would be like a golfer trying to hit a golf ball with Tiger Woods driver, very difficult and probably impossible.
However, there are some very good new and innovative surfboard types and designs. One of the leading innovators in the surfing industry is Tom Morey the inventor of the Morey Boogie. Morey has introduced many “new” surfboard types, designs and innovations. He has always been known as a highly respected leader in surfing product designs, from fin boxes, to fins, anti slip products know as Slipcheck and El Gripo, the WaterSkate surfboard, air-lubricated surfboards, his soft and hard performance Swizzle longboard with Afterburner rear rails, “the ONE!” a finless, combination skimboard, bodyboard, surfboard, and most recently his shortboard called the Heater. There are many more, but in this article I will mention just these few.
A lot of Morey’s surfboard designs are his way of improving on already existing designs. Morey says, “I never set out to ‘invent’ something. Instead, I simply keep my eyes and ears open and ever motivated to ‘get it right’, apply what material, design or process I find might work better.” His 1972 WaterSkate was a follow on of George Greenough’s concave deck kneeboard. Tom applied George’s concept to a stand-up board, increased the thickness of the rails to both equalize the volume and increase what he calls “wave-face bounce response time.” The concave deck made it possible for the rider’s feet to be better positioned. This new WATERSKATE design surfboard was a huge hit. It worked great!
So what’s new in the 2013 version? Recently he has improved his older 1972 version of the WaterSkate by modifying the rear rails and by adding the well proven speed enhancement and turning ability of his Heater rails with their magic top to bottom- side cut angle, a reverse of the rails he put on his Morey Boogie Board. The 2013 board comes in sizes from 5′ 6″ to 7′ 0″.
Another new surfboard design, innovated in the early 1990’s was Morey’s longboard he calls the Swizzle. He is still making these boards, which come in lengths from 7′ 0″ to 10′ 0″ and longer. This is a custom fiber glassed surfboard that features a shape with the nose of his Peck Penetrator, the body with wider areas in the chest and hip areas, the center section of the board being just inside of parallel. Morey calls the shape parabolic. The rear rails feature the Afterburner vacuum rails on a 45 degree inward angle from top to bottom similar to a boogie board rail. The Afterburners decrease the suction on the rear of the surfboard, increasing the speed of paddling and running down line on a wave. The vacuum rear rails engage the water and help pull the surfboard around when making a turn.
Morey has another exciting new innovative surfboard designed mini-short board he calls “the ONE!”. This board is a combination surfboard, skimboard and boogie board. The little board is 4′ 6″ long with minimum nose rocker, Afterburner rear rails, a pointed nose and squash tail, with a flat bottom. This little board is great for shoreline fun, but some of the better surfers take it out into significantly larger sized waves and surf it like a surfboard. There is one major exception to the ONE!, there are no fins on the board so the rider can do spins on the face of the wave. Because there are no fins causing drag, the board is extremely fast. Another great feature of the board is that it is made of soft friendly materials; a slick skin on the bottom and on the deck with foam boogie board rounded soft foam rails. The deck can be waxed or have traction pads added for riding. Surfers think the board is a blast!
Morey’s latest new surfboard type and design is a line of shortboards he calls the Heater. The reason it is called the Heater is because of the rear rails which are a reverse of the Afterburner rear rail described in the prior paragraphs. This rail has a hard bottom edge and is angled up from the bottom at 45 degrees. The rail reduces the drag and suction of the water flowing over the rear 1/3 of the surfboard and gives the board lots of bite and drive from the bottom hard edge when making a turn. The board also features more foam in the forward 1/3 of the surfboard giving it more float and making it possible to paddle into the wave earlier. Another advantage of the extra foam makes it possible for the surfer to make sections that were not possible to make on a thinner smaller surfboard. The reduction of suction and drag and the added foam makes the Heater extremely fast, makes catching waves easier, and gives the surfer a feeling of fun and success. Surfers of all skill levels like the Heater.
In future articles, I will talk about other new surfboard types and designs along with new surfing products. Remember stay in the water and Surf Life!