May 24, 2021

Taking surfboard testing to another level

We have been teasing you lately, about us testing our boards in wave pools. Here we are, digging into it. Let’s talk surfboard technology, wave pool tests and research and development.


RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

The best way to test a surfboard is to feel it under your feet and start playing with it. The best surfboard test is surfing it. Isn’t it? Usually, the outcome of the test strongly depends on parameters you can’t control: wind, current, crowd, …Well, surfing in the ocean confronts you to quite a lot of parameters you can’t control: wind, current, crowd, … the list goes on. A month ago, we released a prototype with new materials and we knew it had something outstanding.  So we connected with the crew at Alaïa Bay in Sion, Switzerland, to get one of our Wyve Team surfers to test the board in the pool. These test sessions are directly linked with our Research and Development Program. Our goal was to bring surfboard testing to an advanced technology infrastructure. Testing a surfboard on a very identical wave, multiple times, is the best way to feel it and get the most complete feedback from the surfer. These conditions were ideal to repeat maneuvers on the same section and deeply understand the board.


THE WAVE POOL

WaveGarden technology at Alaïa Bay has tons of different modes, with different wave types, from beginner to pros and kamikazes. Both of our 2 test sessions were being held during the “Expert Mode”. This expert mode has 3 waves. The first 20 minutes is a 2 foot wave kinda mellow, then a 3 foot powerful wave with a good wall (20 minutes as well), while the remaining of the session is a nice little barreling wave.


THE BOARD

The surfboard that has been tested was a round squash shortboard with the following dimensions: 5’7 18 1/8 2 1/8 22.5L. This board was a combination of an extra-light bio-based structure with a carbon wrap stringer in the glass.



OUTCOME

Here are the feedback from the surfer:

In addition to the feedback, we analyzed the videos of the 30 waves and 67 maneuvers of the surfer. It appears this test session is a condensed source of learning for our R&D team. The way the surfer performed shows a huge step forward for our high-performance shortboards.


If this test was significantly a success, we will keep pushing the limits of what’s possible in surfboard technologies.

We are convinced Wave Pools are a great way to improve surfboard performance but we know that it won’t replace our beloved ocean to practice the sport we love.


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Pictures by @jaybelinqui