Complete anarchy in surfboard design

BurVery little has changed with surfboard design and construction in recent decades.

70 years ago Tom Blake added the fin and the first foam board was seen on waves.

40 years ago, in the 1970s, the Campbell brothers and Simon Anderson added more fins to the mix and board lengths shrank to the 6′ range.

Very little has happened since.

There has arguably been more advancement with fin design and construction than in any other area of the sport… and that brings me to the photo above.

Ryan Burch riding a raw block of foam. No fins. No leash. No brand. No glassing… almost no shaping. I love the reckless abandon, approaching anarchic concept of this whole thing. Take a block of raw foam, shave a bit off one edge and hammer a bunch of divots into the bottom and go surfing.

Have fun.

Experiments like this inform design.

Surfboard design needs some nudging, it needs to push itself. It needs more punk rock, what-if-we-did-this-instead-of-that innovation.

Once you’ve gone as far as Ryan did above you can dial things back and end up in some very interesting places.

Sometimes you have to push past a line to figure out where the line really is.

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