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Back in the late 80's Stuart surfboards did some boards with dimpled bottoms (like a golf ball) claiming the dimples reduced drag. Never caught on, neat looking boards though.
It probably didn't catch on because it would only lower drag at very slow speeds, if at all. For a two-meter board in seawater drag would only be lowered (relative to a smooth board) at velocities between about 1 cm/sec and 30 cm/sec (surfers tend to travel at 5 to 10 m/sec, probably higher on really big waves). Above about 30 cm/sec drag on a dimpled board would be higher than drag on a smooth board. And all that would only happen if the board were acting like what is known as a "bluff body", which it shouldn't (i.e., it should act as a stream-lined body).
I wonder why more sailing designs (boat bottoms, rudders etc) don't borrow from the surfing industry.
Because surfboards are designed to plane, while sailboats (with the exception of a few small dinghies) only truly plane for short bursts, if at all.
I have often wondered about making my Alberg a tri fin for surfing in the ocean...
Good luck with that.
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Last edited by SlowButSteady; 10-13-2011 at 02:48 AM.