The Surfboard Book: How Design Drives Performance

Front Cover
McCagh O'Neill Pty td, 2013 - Sports & Recreation - 152 pages
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 How Design Drives Performance

Have you ever wondered how changing design will effect the performance of a surfboard, wanted to really understand what your shaper, surf shop or mates are talking about when they discuss bottom curve or rocker, or more importantly why a particular surfboard goes really well or struggles to perform in some situations?

The Surfboard Book includes advice stories and design details from some of the most experienced and credible subject experts in the history of the surfboard in Simon Anderson, Dick Brewer, Steve Lis and Bob McTavish: each are known not only as surfboard shapers and designers but as innovators with a combined design experience approaching 200 years.

The Surfboard Book explains:

  • elements of surfboard shape and their effects on performance
  • construction types: from traditional to modern sandwich construction
  • important material properties including environmental issues
  • basic types or classes of surfboard and how they perform
  • how to go about choosing or specifying your next surfboard


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It is extremely difficult to say something positive about this book; to be very kind it has some nice photographs.
Although Lindsay Lord's seminal Naval Architecture of Planning Hulls (1946) is
included in the bibliography, it is doubtful that the author has understood it.
The opening chapter, an attempt to analyse the forces that act on surfboards, is unclear, inaccurate and has many basic errors.
Sentences such as "When catching waves, buoyancy is also the force that helps push the board forward out of the wave face and ahead of the wave, allowing you to catch the wave and start decending down the face" (page 16) simply defy comprehension, and make any serious constructive criticism virtually impossible.
The crude illustrations only compound the confusion which, unfortunately, is consistent throughout the rest of the work.
Note that this does not reflect on the various contributions of Simon, Dick, Steve or Bob.
Given the Sean's environmental concerns (page 81), we might give a prayer for all the trees that died in vain in the production of this book.


Elements of Surfboard Shape
Basic Construction Types Techniques
Styles of Surfboards
Choosing Your Board

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information