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A Paipo Interview with Jeff Chamberlain

Mega Platter and the continuing paipo experimentation adventure

Addendum to a Paipo Interview with Jeff Chamberlain
December 2013 - Los Osos, California (USA)
Update by Rod Rodgers
Photos courtesy of Jeff Chamberlain

Jeff has been paving the way forward and pushing the outer limits in paipo design... pushing those limits longer and far wider and might as well say deeper, as well, with volumes of prone riding craft comparable to those of modern day longboards. His experimentation continues.

Jeff filled us in on how the newest design tweaks to the Mega Platter have been evolving.
Just took delivery of a new L41 quad bellyboard/paipo/prone surfing tool — same basic genre as my previous efforts. The designer of these boards uses a computer so it's very easy to continue to progress along a chosen design paradigm... with the computer you know that what you WANT to get changed will, but the rest of it will stay the same.

The basic board:
  • 6'3" x 29 inches x 3-3/8 inches (tail measurement of 23-1/2 inches and a nose measurement of 24-1/4 inches),
  • EPS foam with epoxy glassing (by the Stretch glass factory in Santa Cruz, California),
  • Futures Vernor Quad Fin system,
  • Rubber deck pad (which really makes the board thicker and floatier), and
  • Volume is somewhere between 71 and 75 liters of floatation as measured by the computer program it was designed on.
I hate wax so had Kneelo Cove (*Costa Mesa, CA) fashion up a custom rubber traction pad for the deck. KC builds a lot of the pads for the world wide kneelo crowd, and I love getting the traction without having to smear the petrochemical goo on the deck to achieve it.

On this board, I requested the following changes:
  • Make the two huge concaves a bit deeper (*to hopefully rev up the 'engine' that drives this board...),
  • Take out half the tail rocker (*to try and increase straight line trim speed...),
  • Move the fin cluster forward (*to loosen the board up), and
  • Increase the vee in the middle of the board which is actually the "ridge" between the two big concaves (*to make going 'rail to rail' easier on this 29" wide board...).
Question 9. Your newest boards in 2013 appear to be moving more towards deeper double concaves and quad fin set-ups. What has prompted these changes? Any other changes underway such as materials, rails, rockers? Are you  tailoring your boards for different types of waves?
I think at this point, I’ve got the template, shape, and thickness down to what I want, and so the logical next steps are to experiment with the "engine" of the board, the deep concaves, and see if there’s anything I can do to produce more lift or speed. The other area I’m looking at is experimenting moving the fin cluster forward a bit. Most kneeboards that you see these days have their fin clusters way far up on the boards, and that makes sense to me; they turn from so much further up than a standup surfer. And really, that whole concept is very much what I’m doing by laying down on the board, so it only makes sense to mimic their success and see if moving my fins up produces the same kinds of benefits.

On my last board, I did reduce the tail rocker a bit to see if that would help speed up any straight line trim, but I think you need to leave a little there for turnability. All of this stuff is beginning to get pretty subtle, and some of it I’m doing almost out of a logical progression kind of mandate, I’m not sure some of the small stuff is going to be able to be felt. And I’m honest enough to admit that. But it’s all super interesting to me and worth trying out, bit by bit. The construction I’m very happy with, which is EPS with epoxy glassing and a custom rubber traction pad covering the entire deck. I’ve hated wax for years and with these traction pads, it’s nice to be able to finally shed that part of the petrochemical paradigm.

The Board: Land Views

It's all pretty brand new for me. I got some great waves the first session on it, and it's running good, but it'll be a bit until I can really suss it out. But with these changes being relatively "small" in nature, I expect it'll ride "mostly" the same, which is always a confidence builder.

The Board: In the Water

Feel free to send me suggestions, comments and additional information to: The Paipo Interviews

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Last updated on: 12/24/13