Blue Plate Special

What works and what doesn't. Share design ideas, references and contacts for paipo board builders.
skiff
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Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:29 pm

This is my first post with photos so we'll see how this goes.... wanted to post up some photos of my new prone device. Dims are 6-3 x 29" wide. Requires a special blank from US Blanks with spacers on either side of the stringer. I've had a series of custom bellyboards over the last fifteen years, and I'm convinced that it's this extra width that creates all the horsepower and delivers the insane performance characteristics.
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prone 2.jpg
At rest, West Coast, Vancouver Island

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:32 pm

The board is regular PU foam with standard polyester glassing. I've had this same template now for several boards, and I've found that this particular Greenough single fin really works best. The bottom has a slight single concave in the rear third, and the forward 2/3rds are pretty rolled, much like a hull or Liddle type of bottom contour? I've had twin fins, and they are actually 'faster' in a straight line trim (and turn looser), but there's something about this board that just 'fits' the pocket better, and rolls over on edge to turn in a way that is very pleasing.
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prone 1.jpg
Went with the garbage can nose template

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:36 pm

Went with a super long box to allow a lot of experimentation, but where it's at in this photo really seems to be the best fit?
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prone 4.jpg
the fin is 9.75"

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:38 pm

Rides insane, couldn't be happier.
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skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:39 pm

The Greenough fin really seems to help with projection on the turns.
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George really discovered something with his paddle fin

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:42 pm

Now that I've got the board.................it's all about just finding the appropriate venues.
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prone 3.jpg

SJB
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by SJB » Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:35 am

Very interesting.
1. Am I getting the dimensions correct at 6' long.....3" thick.....29" width?
2. Did you make it yourself?
3. Is that Moro rock I see in the photo?
4. If you come South PM me....I am in Santa Barbara and have some Ventura buddies that ride Austins and such......
typically between SB and Ventura depending on swell direction.

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Uncle Grumpy
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by Uncle Grumpy » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:35 am

Dims are 6-3 x 29" wide

Bet that's some fun to duck dive. :D
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skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:31 pm

A buddy of mine shaped it, a John Mellor here locally. Had it glassed by Aaron at Central Coast Fiberglass. Below are a shot of the last two iterations of this same concept. To answer the above, I rarely travel below SB, yes that is Morro Rock, and if I cared about duckdiving, I'd have built a hand plane. I sacrificed all design concepts on the alter of ridability, and this thing flat gets up and screams. I know it's quite a design winger from your typical, 60's era Jacks Bellyboard type template, but after all these years and boards built by some great shapers, I've found the bigger template provides much more of everything that I'm looking for, so I'm out exploring along this edge.
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prone 6.jpg
On the right, 5-0 by 24; on the left, 5-6 x 26, two design experiments along the trail...

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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:34 pm

In the beginning, I was having boards shaped that were more along the Velo vibe............sticking with boards that I called my '5x2's' (*5-0 x 24" wide). They worked fine, and were a huge performance jump from the small bellyboards that used to inhabit the shorebreaks of our youth?
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prone 5.png
5-0 by 24" wide, EPS/epoxy
prone 5.png (365.51 KiB) Viewed 5704 times

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:24 pm

In the end, it's been a fun and challenging trail, working up various design components and trying each to see which would accomplish what I was trying to do? So few guys (let alone shapers...) are into pursuing this particular type of thing, so on many levels it's been a solitary exploration? But it's all been fun. Whatever you want to ride, I say get out there and create your own magic carpet.

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Uncle Grumpy
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by Uncle Grumpy » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:08 pm

Skiff,
Many of our US based core have met and/or surfed with Sr. Mellor during our Plaskett meet up a couple years back.
http://rodndtube.com/surf/rpts/2009/200 ... ipos.shtml
" Ya shoulda been there!" One of your boards in 7th shot?
John is definitely not afraid to try something new or different when it comes to surfboards!
I'd also bet your chunky pocket rocket works very well in the juicy Central Coast surf.
Welcome aboard.
Last edited by Uncle Grumpy on Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Paipo surfer in repose,
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skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:12 pm

Here's a buddy riding it on a nice snappy little beachbreak day at an uknown location..... the length and width seems to work for all sorts of various sized riders, and is a benefit that seems to translate across the board?
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BradX.jpg
turn and burn, width = horsepower

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:19 pm

U.G.
Yeah, John is a fantastic guy who's into trying all manner of things, I'm lucky to have him so close by to experiment with. I remember that 'Gathering' up at Plaskett that he went to, I was out of town or would have attended (*I was married up on that ridge, and have been camping there for over 30+ years).
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At work under the UV, old school

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Uncle Grumpy
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by Uncle Grumpy » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:46 pm

the length and width seems to work for all sorts of various sized riders, and is a benefit that seems to translate across the board?
Too funny.
Just to illustrate how anything works, and it's all about the feel, I have the same sort of things to say about my daily ride, which could not be farther away design wise. :D

As my old dad would day, "there's an ass for every saddle"....... ;)

5'6" X15"
104795IMGP343810186-med[1].jpg
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by spudnut » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:58 pm

Skiff,

Morro Bay is our get away spot we go up to a few times a year. My son and I love surfing up there. Next time we are up that way, maybe you can join us for a session or two! My latest board is 50" x 20" marine ply. It is amazing all of the different designs that can work well.

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:18 pm

Too true. U.G, our fathers had indeed learned a few things along the way; the problem was always letting it sink in..... Let's face it, this is a glorious time to be a surfer. In no other time period have so many varied designs and approaches been supported..............and validated. These are truly the good old days, I'm completely convinced of that. I've often thought about trying to translate some of what I've been working on into an alaia type thing; and it's high on my priority list? But whether it's a small, up tight and personal type of bellyboard fit for the inside track, or a paipo grande up at my end of the spectrum, it's all good, and if it creates a smile on your face, it's all valid.

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:25 pm

Spudnut,

I'd love to surf with you guys. Get ahold of me next time you're up, and we'll make it happen.
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Cuttlefish
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by Cuttlefish » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:41 am

Here's me with my first paipo being 4'2" X 22 1/2" X 3" and thinking ok these dims should work. Don't want to go too extreme compared to what seems to be the norm and here's your 6'3" X 29" wooaahh!
How thick is it?
Isn't it difficult to paddle with that width?
I'm asking as I prone paddled a sup around on the river and it was 30"s wide and felt pretty difficult to get my arms across and deep enough to get a good solid stroke if I recall correctly.
You're talking about how it suits the ride characteristics you're after what are these?
I'm simply curious as the shot of the 5'2" X 24" has me thinking of kneeboards and how they'd go as a paipo.
My paipo has it's fins right back on the tail and it turns very well though I don't have a benchmark in other paipos.
Really interested in how well it paddles and catches waves as the little 4'2" is a rewarding but tiring little beast to paddle.
Cheers,
Pete.
Only a rat can win the rat race.

skiff
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Re: Blue Plate Special

Unread post by skiff » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:31 am

Cuttlefish,

Where I'm going with these types of prone surfing devices really requires almost a complete re-thinking of what has perhaps become the 'standard' in bellyboard design. To answer your questions specifically-

*How thick? I'm guessing 3", or thereabouts. More like a traditional fish (*we used a fish blank with spacers from US Blanks).

*Hard to paddle? No, very easy. Although, after experimenting with lots of diff ways to paddle, what I've settled on is; I kick with my arms straight out in front of me, and at my fingertips is the board. I don't try to lay up on it and paddle it like a regular board, though lord knows it probably has more foam volume than say, your typical Channel Islands 6-2 thruster? It's far more comfortable to just stretch out fully and kick around (I use Da Fin fins exclusively) in the fully elongated position. If you watch any old Greenough movies that show him paddling...........that's how he paddled those sub surface spoons he was riding. And even though my boards have way more float than those, it's still the best way to get around the lineup, and I ride a lot of pointbreaks so I'm used to long, extended paddles back out to the takeoff spot.

*Ride Charactaristics? What I was looking for was to create the fastest board possible, a board that caught waves easily, that planed over dead spots, and that had some carry through. The small boards for me stopped almost instantly once you came out of the pocket, much like a mat tends to do? That wasn't working for me. I wanted to take these things beyond the shorebreak into some real surf. There is so much flat area that a ton of horsepower gets created and the boards have fantastical glide.

*'Wave Catching? With my smaller boards, I found that the takeoffs were really more about positioning yourself right under the lip for takeoff, with every takeoff being quick and steep? With the bigger planshapes, I can now paddle 'in' from outside a bit, and it functions far more like a traditional surfboard.

I looked to the SUP world for lots of this inspiration. Go back ten years, and anyone with a surfboard with a width over 21.5' was considered some kind of un-knowing kook? 'What is that barge, an aircraft carrier?' But once SUP began to develop at light speed, the guys at the forefront proved that you can rip in Hawaiian surf on boards that are 35" wide. Once that occurred, that last 'untouchable' board dimension (width) was enlightened, and now it's anything goes? It was THAT kind of open-mindedness that I wanted to experiment with on the prone surfing level, and I've found that these fuller planshapes offer all good and no bad.
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Gliding through the shorie

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