Need Advice on Build

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

Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby bgreen » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:31 pm

A couple of comments.

I don't think you can count on weight to drive you through the sections on the type of waves you posted. If you think of a big truck. Put it on a steep hill and take the brake off, it will be flying before long. Try the same scenario on a dead flat piece of road. Nothing will happen. You need a peak or something to launch from to get momentum. If there is no power you need something that planes.

Bouyancy will help you get in earlier. Oddly enough, some low buoyancy wood boards with the right technique can also be motored along. Well conditioned legs with the board out front and good kicking technique can be very efficient.

Your height and weight are factors that haven't been mentioned.

Fins certainly provide hold and provide drive but they only harness the speed that you generate. They don't generate speed on their own.

I wouldn't entirely give up on low buoyancy boards. Look at some of the Tom Wegener alaia.

http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/history/alaia-story
http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/pro ... -surfboard

Depending on your height you could also go wider which will give you more planning area.

The last thing - don't expect miracles. Sometimes it takes a while to work these boards out and it is hard to get a board that works well in all conditions. Riding mush is riding mush. Sometimes I'll catch a lot more waves than anyone else and have the perfect board for the conditions. Other times guys on longer/thicker boards will be paddling all around me picking off the best waves. You also tend to seek out waves that suit your boards. That wedge breaking in near zero water that once had no appeal suddenly becomes a good option. How you surf the wave may also change. Avoid the flats, you will be using the waves energy more than trying to carve.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby TheGrumpyGator » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:56 pm

bgreen wrote:A couple of comments.

I don't think you can count on weight to drive you through the sections on the type of waves you posted. If you think of a big truck. Put it on a steep hill and take the brake off, it will be flying before long. Try the same scenario on a dead flat piece of road. Nothing will happen. You need a peak or something to launch from to get momentum. If there is no power you need something that planes.

Bouyancy will help you get in earlier. Oddly enough, some low buoyancy wood boards with the right technique can also be motored along. Well conditioned legs with the board out front and good kicking technique can be very efficient.

Your height and weight are factors that haven't been mentioned.

Fins certainly provide hold and provide drive but they only harness the speed that you generate. They don't generate speed on their own.

I wouldn't entirely give up on low buoyancy boards. Look at some of the Tom Wegener alaia.

http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/history/alaia-story
http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/pro ... -surfboard

Depending on your height you could also go wider which will give you more planning area.

The last thing - don't expect miracles. Sometimes it takes a while to work these boards out and it is hard to get a board that works well in all conditions. Riding mush is riding mush. Sometimes I'll catch a lot more waves than anyone else and have the perfect board for the conditions. Other times guys on longer/thicker boards will be paddling all around me picking off the best waves. You also tend to seek out waves that suit your boards. That wedge breaking in near zero water that once had no appeal suddenly becomes a good option. How you surf the wave may also change. Avoid the flats, you will be using the waves energy more than trying to carve.


Most of the waves we surf will have peak to one degree or another. The issue I've got on my sponge is getting enough speed to outrun the soup and get into cleaner sections without sliding out. What I've read to date were that paipo are faster than a sponge. I've also read that the weight offered advantages through the soup sections. I might be assuming too much in those advantages.

I'm 5'10" at around 180 pounds. My background is U.S. Navy Maritime Search and Rescue. No bicycle kicking allowed. I wear Makapuu fins. My go-to sponge is 45" x 20.5 and single stringer for more flex and buoyancy. If we are lucky enough to get larger and better formed waves, I'll drop down to 42" or 43". We don't have the waves for aerial maneuvers. I mainly ride to carve down the face to the next section, looking for the longest line possible. If it's big and closeout, I'm all about the drop and then heading for daylight.

A couple of you have mentioned a different technique that I'm used to, board out in front. I'm used to being forward on my sponge.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby TheGrumpyGator » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:35 pm

krusher74 wrote:
TheGrumpyGator wrote:
krusher74 wrote:I built this viewtopic.php?f=4&t=544

to make life easy you want about 25L or more buoyancy


Thank you! Your thread answered my questions. I was torn between 1x2 or 1x3 lumber. Very nice work and :) board.

How has it held up using just epoxy without the cloth?


I sold it a while back (tried some experimenting on the shape an it did not work out for me) the new owner did eventually put a small split in it so he got it glassed. With the right skills and time, you could chamber it a lot more that I did it you want it lighter. 1/8" bottom and 1/4" top with a sponge pad on top would be fine. 1/8" all over it you glassed it.

Sound like your good at the wood board construction already. 8-)



Thank you for your insight. It is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby TheGrumpyGator » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:44 pm

rodndtube wrote:I find that in smaller Florida waves that a beefier (floatier) foam & glass board is needed in the under 6 ft. range. The floatier board was needed primarily in catching waves and making weak sections. There was also a tendency of my "skimboard" designs used with effect in larger or more powerful waves to die on turns in the weaker Florida waves. Some spots are different such as a Sebastian Inlet or RC's wave when conditions are right.

My floatier foam and glass boards were generally thicker (2.5 to 2.75") and wider (only a half inch wider), but also had thickness rail to rail instead of a "dome" top. 50 x 20.5 x 2.5 thicker board was so much different thatn 50 x 20 x 2 "dome top" board with the same plan shape, rocker and 3-fin profile.


That's kind of where I was headed in my thought process. It's why fish surfboards are so popular in Florida. I use my 45" sponge most often, but its not the most nimble board I have. It just gets me into more waves.I'm assuming the boards that worked for you in Florida were flatter on the bottom and less rocker for more buoyancy and planing surface?
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Papa Paepo o » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:20 am

Person weight could also be the factor of width and length of wood board. 250lbs person should be riding a 46"- 48" (H) x 19" - 20" width(Nose), 24" - 30" width (tail) x 3/8" thickness. This is a up-side down guitar-pick style.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby bgreen » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:02 am

The weight/momentum advantage would predominantly be in relation to fibreglass unless you have a weighty wood board. In small weak small waves this isn't going to a significant factor. I've ridden this simple board in all manner of waves, big and small - it slips along. It doesn't rely on weight, just lack of drag. It's made of paulownia.

P1030314 (600 x 450).jpg
P1030314 (600 x 450).jpg (51.66 KiB) Viewed 338 times


P1030339 (640 x 480).jpg
P1030339 (640 x 480).jpg (107.96 KiB) Viewed 338 times


Post up what your current board looks like. I wouldn't give up on trying something simpler than a chambered board.

Experiment with the top third of the wave. There is still a learning curve with these boards.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby rodndtube » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:44 am

TheGrumpyGator wrote:
rodndtube wrote:I find that in smaller Florida waves that a beefier (floatier) foam & glass board is needed in the under 6 ft. range. The floatier board was needed primarily in catching waves and making weak sections. There was also a tendency of my "skimboard" designs used with effect in larger or more powerful waves to die on turns in the weaker Florida waves. Some spots are different such as a Sebastian Inlet or RC's wave when conditions are right.

My floatier foam and glass boards were generally thicker (2.5 to 2.75") and wider (only a half inch wider), but also had thickness rail to rail instead of a "dome" top. 50 x 20.5 x 2.5 thicker board was so much different thatn 50 x 20 x 2 "dome top" board with the same plan shape, rocker and 3-fin profile.


That's kind of where I was headed in my thought process. It's why fish surfboards are so popular in Florida. I use my 45" sponge most often, but its not the most nimble board I have. It just gets me into more waves.I'm assuming the boards that worked for you in Florida were flatter on the bottom and less rocker for more buoyancy and planing surface?


Yes, the fish shapes allow for a wider profile and tail with twin pin tails and the fins on the outside... very different than the prototypical potato chip short board.

Yes, my Austin paipos have flat bottoms and not a lot of rocker, a little in the nose and relatively little rocker in the tail.

The heavy boards with minimal nose rocker seem to be very good for slicing through smaller wave chop. All thought it does not seem intuitive, board weight is apparently different than body weight in water/board interactions. Likewise, my body weight has ranged from 180-220 lb and yet the board I need for catching FL waves is as described above.

For the board out-in-front approach, peruse some of the videos for Cornwall in the Paipos in the Media section at:
https://mypaipoboards.org/#PAIPOS_IN_THE_MEDIA
I use my Xylem wood board on some of those small junky FL days and during a very choppy, windy 3 ft day in Hatteras last month. The Xylem actually has a convex top and bottom in the ancient Hawaiian-style of boards. The board measures 48-5/8 x 18-3/8 x 13/16 inches, made of Paulownia and finished with a dark Tung Oil. No glass or resin.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby zensuni » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:16 pm

I wish I had a wood board that would work as a prone "longboard" in small mushy waves, but I haven't found one yet.
Perhaps an alaia inspired board like this ?
https://youtu.be/lw0vSU8Do-M

Maybe one day I'll try a very long plywood board based on the same shape.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby rodndtube » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:05 pm

It works for many people... on this forum atlantasurfer and uncle grumpy come to mind. Many others as well. Of course, that wave in the YouTube was also holding up a good distance as well!
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby zensuni » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:01 pm

rodndtube wrote:It works for many people... on this forum atlantasurfer and uncle grumpy come to mind. Many others as well. Of course, that wave in the YouTube was also holding up a good distance as well!


Indeed the wave is holding up a good distance :D
Having a closer look on the video, it seems that the front half of the board is barely touching the water, so I'm not sure that the board needs to be that long.
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