Authors: Flyboy Wakesurf
So we had a good time over the weekend. The wind has been crazy here in NorCal, that our home lake was mostly all blown out with wind chop and rollers. However, that didn’t stop us from trying something crazy! Actually we were joking this was a true hybrid board 1/2 stupid and 1/2 crazy!
What we wanted to try was creating a “wakesurf board” out of empty water bottles, some wood planks and plastic wrap and no glue of any kind. We have sort of felt that the whole glue dealio has been over-rated in the grand scheme of things, but just wanted to see if we could create a structure that didn’t contain any glue or resin and still surf it.
Well the results are in and we FAILED! We’ll walk you though the process because it was great fun.
We thought the we could develop a bouyant enough structure using about 50 empty 16 oz water bottles, they are super thing and you can easily cruzh them in your hands, but we knew that while air is compressible and water isn’t, the water in our wakes is moving pretty quickly, so there is almost no surface tension but also, since it isn’t contained in a closed system, like a hose or tube, the water moves. Like sand on the ground, step on it and it just gets mushed to the side.
What does that mean exactly in terms of a wakesurf board? Have you ever heard of bottom shapes being created with supposed venturi effects? NOT HAPPENING. The water will fill in any weird bottom shapes, but it isn’t being forced through a smaller opening, it just slides out to the left, right, forward or where ever the least resistance is. Our empty water bottles didn’t compress at all, the structure folded at the nose, but when weight and force was applied to the empty water bottles, they didn’t compress AT ALL. That’s because the water underneath it just gets pushed around until there is enough upward lift to support the structure in a planing mode. Water rushes up and gets deflected and redirected but isn’t being forced into a smaller opening as would be suggested by venturi effects.
Interesting? It really is, and should be a huge eye opener for us when we start looking at bottom shapes and even core materials in a wakesurf board. Air surrounded by ridiculously thin and flexible plastic makes an adequate core! AND remember AIR is compressible, you can actually compress it with your bare hands, while water isn’t basically at all.
So here is the basic design. Each of the bottles was wrapped to another one. Then we used two 4 foot’ish sections of 3mm Basswood to act like stringers. If we had used 1 x 2′s on edge between each column of bottles this would have been surfable! We would also chnage the colums so that they didn’t offer segments horizontally, by staggering each of the bottles by 1/2 the length of a bottle. That would have offered slightly more resistance to folding across the “wakesurf board“.
Notice the quality workmanship and true craftsmanship.
Ok, NOT! When we started to wrap the bottles, it was like herding cats, they all sort of went in their own direction. Even with fours hands trying to hold it together, the structure was not pretty
BUT, be honest, it’s beautiful in it’s own right! This is about as far as we got with it remaining mostly straight. It never came apart, and James was able to body surf it, sort of. The plastic wrap was enough to hold it in place and the empty bottles more than adequate as a core.
Body surfing the empty water bottle wakesurf board behind our Supreme V226!
Isn’t that a hoot! Interestingly enough it never just exploded, which we though was highly likely. Also, the “core” material of empty water bottles never showed any compression forces during our short test period. The plastic wrap would have held the whole structure together long enough to toss the rope, we’re sure but the two 3mm pieces of basswood were inadequate to keep the structure in some form of surfable shape.
We’re down to the wire in our Fly Wakesurf Huge and First Annual Surf Style Giveway, sometime in the next few days a lucky person is going to win an Inland Surfer Flyboy Division James Walker Signature model wakesurf board valued at $950 retail! Be sure to enter for your chance to win!