“forty one two” Mk III – ready for glassing

I picked up the the cut blank earlier this week … here’s a pic of it straight off the machine:

mkIII - cut blank - deck up







and this one, showing the concave between the fins. This is again, the cut finish straight off the machine.

mkIII - cut blank showing concave between fins







… and, here’s the finished blank, showing the same concave.

mkIII - finished blank showing concave between finsFor those of you watching, you’ll notice each board has a different coloured logo. This one has a red one …







Forty One Two – mk III … design tweaks

med rail tweakOK, so you’ve probably read about my design issues with the next shortboard …  see my ramblings down the page.

My goal is to work this one out, then experiment from the base design, and to be honest, while the last few boards are getting “there”, it’s not quiet there yet. Each one is getting better. I could have saved myself some time and cost if I’d just trusted that the AKU shaper software was true ‘what you see is what you get’ …

So now, I’ve taken then Forty One Two – mkII and tweaked it some more … mainly the rails in the mid section, which you can see in the pic here. I’ve also backed off some of the concaves, just a smidge, and I worked out how to get rid if the ‘keel’ type ridge that was being created by the double concave.

So, I think I’m about there … tweaks done, time to get it machine cut. Thinking I might go with a standard blank this time, for some added compression resistance. I’m also going to talk to the new glasser, and see what they say about adding a heel patch, or just go a different cloth. I’ll keep you posted.

Let’s see how this one goes!

I am getting just a tad excited …

PS: How’s the rail measure points at the 1/2″, 1″ and 2″ mark in off the rail … one of the new features in the upgrade AKU Shaper software. Made it super easy for a newbie like me to tweak the rails, and know exactly how much I’ve adjusted them compared to the original file.

NOTE: Big thanks and shout out to to Nick Carroll for his comments, input and suggestions made over in the Real Surf forums … you can read the discussion over there here: http://forum.realsurf.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=24350

Performance vs Wave Quality

confused dudeThinking about the tweaks I’m doing to my next design, and some recent waves / experience with the current board, I’m now at the dilemma of whether I am designing the board for better performance, or whether I should ‘tone it back a bit’ so it handles average waves better. Making my own is giving me this luxury, and issue … using the computer design, machine cut process I know I can produce the board I want (and for the record, I know full well there is no way I could do that mowing the foam myself).

The current board, the forty one two – mkII, as you’ll have read in the ride report has some quirks. The update though, is now that the deck is compressing, the performance is changing, and improving … add in some great waves lately, and it has been a real buzz. Very happy with it …

So, now I’m rethinking how far I push the tweaks.

Do I go for lower rail volume, which will more than likely make it struggle in less quality waves (which is the norm, well 80% of the time anyway), or do I leave them a but “softer” so the board performs better across a selection of waves?

The bottom contour has me also second guessing. The double into deeper double … all inside a single into deeper single, is working … and I’ve worked out how to get rid of the ‘keel’ impact, but keeping the same depth in design. But, again, not sure if I should back off the depth of the double under my front foot a bit, to give it more all round ability?

What’s your take on double under your front foot? What’s it do? Why have it?

Would love to hear any and all thoughts.



PS: How many of you are using the new version of AKU Shaper? I love the way in the new version your current design stays as a shadow, so you can see the impact of your changes without the need to ghost a board. Being able to move the lights up and down in ‘the bay’ is pretty cool too, as is the quality of the image render. $7 per month, so a backyarder … sure, it adds to the cost of the few boards I’d make, but it is pretty neat software, and I think worth the $ (wonder if they’ll give me a discount for this write up?)

Ride Report – design flaws

Forty One Two - MkII 031Been riding the Forty One Two – MkII for a few weeks now, and with the latest run of swell I’ve had a variety of waves to get a ‘feel’ for the board.

So, let’s recap, this boards has all it’s bottom contours straight from the AKU design and machine cut.

I went with a single concave, with double inside, and as you can see from the pic here, the double runs a fair way up the board … it’s not just through the fins, and with that, I feel this is the key element that impacts how this board handles.

It get’s up a goes …

BUT, it has this  tendency to be unsettled when I weight the front foot. FWIW, I am not a goofy …

It ‘feels’ like it “rocks” on the double, and when I look at it, there is a slight ‘keel’ under my front foot … which is what I think I  feel … when it’s got some speed, and I’m surfing off the tail, I can not feel that ‘rocking’ … it’s only when at a lower speed and driving a bottom turn from the front foot, or even just getting set as the wave starts, as I get to my feet and get into the wave … basically, anytime weigh is more front foot.

There is also a lack of “drive” at lower speed, mainly in smaller waves … it feels like the water flow across the bottom of the board is being ‘broken up’ by the double too far up the board, and so the water flow is not hitting the fins as “smoothly” as possible?

Now, the funny thing is that this subtly keel, was totally visible in the AKU design in the 3d render … and when the board was cut, I was tempted to take it out, but I did not want to flatten the rocker too much, nor take out too much volume. I really must learn to go with the feel and intuition.

So, long story short version the board works. It floats, turns, and can be “surfed” … it’s not a keeper, but it’s part of the evolution.

The next one, the mkIII will have slightly lower volumed rails in the med section … tail and nose are fine, just needs a tweak through the mid section, and I’ll take out the ‘double concave’ through the mid section too … volume should come out about the same then …

Oh, yeah, fwiw, the next one will NOT be a ‘lite’ blank … having done all the others from lite blanks, I really do not like the feel … too light in better waves and a bit less “stiff’ so the flex is different. Will be interesting to see how the MkIII in a standard blank goes, with a quality outsourced glassing job.

I’ll keep you posted.

Is it a “professional” glass job?

Picked up the new board, the ‘forty one two – mkII’ from the glassing service today.

Maybe I was expecting too much?

Which begs the question … What was I expecting?

Well, to be honest, I thought I would get a ‘showroom’ condition board back. You know the look and feel, just like you find in any surfboard shop … smooth, nice blend of the laps, no cloth showing and no dry spots.

Am I asking too much?

Rough behind fins Dry Spots


Woohoo … new board’s ready


The Forty One Two – MkII is glassed and ready to be picked up.

Just gotta check when she was laminated … I’d like to give her a couple of weeks ‘cure’ time before I surf it.


Depression = Crack?

I’ve alluded to the damage a few times, but not had the time to put up these pic’s.

So, let’s recap … the forty one two is the board with deck depression, and as I’ve found it was cut from a ‘lite’ blank.

As you’d expect, once the deck compresses and the glass has to contour to new places it had not previously … somethings gotta give. I mean, after all it’s not a totally fluid or flexible material once it’s set. These have all been repaired … twice, and have all cracked again. As you’d expect, water has manged to soak into the blank, and so it’s been drying for a while. Now, I just have to find the motivation to repair it again.

Here’s a few pics of the damage, before the first repair.


The first one shows the cracking along the rail, which corresponds with the deck depression along the same rail line. I suspect I sanded too much along that edge, and then as the deck has compressed, it’s pulled the glass and it’s cracked at the weak point along that hard edge.






This next one shows the same rail line and the cracks up (down) the rail. As you can see, the deck is nicely compressed along that length of the rail. The interesting thing is that this rail is my toe side (I’m a natural footed surfer).





P1000736Here’s one of the cracks along the stringer on the deck. Again, no surprise it’s cracked along there since the deck has dropped all around it.




Cut Blank to Finished Shape

I bit the bullet this morning. After waiting all day for the rain to ease yesterday, I really needed to got into the ‘ozito shed’ to finish the cut blank so I can take it to the glasser tomorrow … after some shed repairs, well, almost …  I’ll post about that separately.

So, I set up theForty One Two - MkII bay and got into finishing the blank.

I started with the ‘dags’ on the nose and tail, then into the finer finishing of the tail. Using the trusty yellow plastic saucer from my gidget’s cubbyhouse, I added the ‘curve’ to the rounded square tail. In the process, the bottom from tail to the 18″ point on both the deck and bottom got a hit.

From there it was onto the fine tuning of the nose, which was again frustrating because the stringer is not centred, and trying to get it looking right becomes a process of chasing my tail. It’s still not perfect, and looks a bit like a micro version of an old 70’s single fin … you know the ones with the thick noses.

I’m really happy with the bottom contours, it’s  single into double concave, and  have basically come straight off the machine cut … other than taking the machine grooves out of the blank, I have not touched them. Actually, for 90% of the blank that’s been all I have done. The rails took a bit of work to get the final curve and shape where I wanted them, and not wanting to make the board too asymmetrical I decided to stick with the base from the machine cut and computer design. I think the rails may need some more tweaking in future versions …

From start to finish … 2 houForty One Two - MkII - convavesrs!

Then I spent some time checking fin placement measurements, and marking up the points onto the blank … that took another hour, mainly due to my attempt to measure once, mark once (by double and even triple checking as I went along). I ended up going with the rear fin at 3 5/8″ with sides at 11 1/4″ … I have ‘measured’ to set the toe (i.e. rather than the x off the nose line up process) … went with 1/4″ toe.

Then it was time to add the FFW ‘logo” by stencil, which took longer to tape up, set up and wash up than actually doing … 30mins and all done.

As I was waiting for pictures to load for this post I went out and gave the logo a hit with some clear acrylic spray to stop any ‘bleeding’ when it’s glassed. So, all done in just on 3 1/2 hours … I’d hate to be getting paid piece rates, but as far as an easy weekend project goes, it is really not that time consuming.

Forty One Two - mkII (tail roughed in)


Machine Cut and Outsource Glassing

imagesPicked up the machine cut blank today for the ‘forty one two – mkII’ … it looks and feels refined. Into the ‘ozito bay’ over the weekend for finishing off, a stenciled logo and then off to be glassed next week … Yes, I’m outsourcing the glassing on this one!

The machine cut blank was $110, and the glassing will be $240, so $360 for a new board I designed myself!

Here’s the AKU ‘customer sheet’ for this one:

the ‘forty one two’ – mkII

Oh, yeah, BTW, it also a ‘lite’ blank so we’ll see how it last with a professional glass job.


Next One – the ‘forty one two’ MkII

The next one has gone for a machine cut!

I’ve refined the ‘forty one two’ to now include full single into double concaves in the AKU file.

I’ve also tweaked the rails.

In these screenshots, you can see the comparison to the ‘forty one two’.

AKU - centre slice comparison to the forty one two


AKU - 1ft tail slice comparison to the forty one two


AKU - tail slice comparison to the forty one two



Interesting thing I realised is that ‘adding in’ the concaves in AKU actually increased the volume. Which is the total opposite of what you get when you hand shape in the concaves (i.e. you take off foam to make the concaves when doing it by hand). That’s then lead me to realise that the rocker is also different, albeit the rail rocker and not to the centre / stringer rocker …

This then led me to think that when I cut in the concaves by hand on the last one, I have actually flattened the centre / stringer rocker.

Hand shaping vs machine design … bit of a mind twist!