Flex is a bit of buzz word at the moment when it comes to surfboard design. Materials like Carbon , Kevlar and Innegra are common now when ordering a new board. How does flex relate to the performance aspect of a surfboard ?
USC boards really light up in good waves .
Flex allows a surfboard to build energy through turns when the surfboard's materials change shape.
As you drop into a fast, steep bottom turn, your surfboard's foam will bend or flex into the turn.
Quad fins offer a lot of speed and drive.
This results in more rocker and stored energy. As you come out of this turn and aim for the lip the foam snaps back to its original shape, releasing the stored energy and shooting the surfer out of the turn. A surfer will turn this burst of energy into acceleration, propelling himself into the next manoeuvre. While the flex characteristics can help your surfing, creating a surfboard design with flex in mind presents challenges. First, the surfboard must walk the line between flex and strength. Secondly, after repeated compression and expansion, a surfboard's traditional wood stringer will weaken, giving it a "dead" feeling.
The recent emphasis on flex resulted in questions regarding stringer placement. A board with a center stringer will be less flexible along the center. However, its rails will flex and wobble which can cause the board to slow. This is called torsion flex. The closer the stringer is to the rail, the more strength or spring it will have along its perimeter which is where the board primarily makes contact with water in turns. It also supports the rail to maintain more of its original rocker shape while the flex comes from the center of the board.
Centre stringer in the traditional wood construction , suits this type of Mid Length surfboard.
The USC Range is designed with this in mind , using a high quality carbon composite carbon tape placed along the deck rail line .This type of carbon stores the flex more efficiently than say an inferior carbon tape .
This is close up of the woven or high quality carbon we use on the USC range .
The advantages of using this high quality material which is used in aircraft ,spacecraft builders like NASA, and other highly technical industries which demand excellence is simple
Most other Surfboard manufacturers use the lower grade carbon composites which actually consist of a low grade carbon and doesn't deliver the same qualities as the high quality version we use.
However if you are looking at the stringerless parabolic rail design ,make sure you take a closer look at the carbon used along the rails. An inferior quality Carbon will deliver a lesser performing surfboard and structurally weaker than the a quality carbon which is a better performing ,longer lasting quality made surfboard .
Thats why our tag line is : "BUILT TO LAST & DESIGNED TO PERFORM". Make sure you take a closer look !