Submitted by hodaddy on Mon, 02/08/2010 - 23:46
Hey guys, good on you for posting the letter from George Greenough on 'pointed nose surfboards.'
What do the surfers out there think about the prospect that the pointed nose is dysfunctional and may very well be banned in the future for safety reasons>?
Was interesting to read Darren Handley's take on it, considering he's the in-vogue shaper to the stars. In the Sydney Morning Herald he was explicit about the (supposed) performance advantage of pointed noses: 'The idea that surfboards perform better with a pointy nose is rubbish'
He went on to admit that they are merely fashionable and surfers only get them for aesthetic reasons. Kinda made me think that the next time I get a board I'll round the nose off. Perhaps not so much that it looks like a mini-mal but, you know, just 4 cms off the tip.
Anyway with Kelly rounding his noses off it shouldn't be long before everyone is doing it. Get in early and you won't look like a sheep.
who's going to ban them Hodaddy?
don't really care one way or another, but where's the power gonna come from?
That is good news that Darren Handley can see that the pointed nose is just a fashion statement and doesnt add to the functionality of the surfboard.
Aloha Patty: As far as 'who is going to ban them', not sure about that, but it seems imminent that some sort of Australian Safety Standard needs to be introduced so that all manufacturers adhere to the common sense of making their products less likely to cause fatal injuries.
Here you go Hodad: http://www.smh.com.au/national/safer-in-surf-but-dolphinnose-boards-unli...
He may not think they effect performance but he still doesn't speak too kindly of them. I guess it's a start though...
There are very few serious injuries sustained in relation to surfboard noses, and a hefty round-nosed longboard is as likely to cause blunt instrument head trauma.
An honest and scary spike in numbers of such injuries would be what it would take for actual legislation to take place.
For manufacturers its a case of the chicken or the egg...
Shapers both create and are led by market demand. So to initiate a move to non-pointed noses on boards is the responsibility of both.
Obviously I'm an advocate of custom boards, and I would suggest that anyone ordering a custom board can exercise their option - Ask your shaper to do a rounded-off point on your next custom shape.
Performance wise, full-nosed designs such as Kellys recent adventures are one thing, but a 20-cent radius on your standard shortboard nose tip, no significant performance issue.
In his article that Hodad mentioned, George Greenough was of the opinion that a round nose would spread the load when it hits someone, thereby minimising the injury. Never was good at physics but I think that's in line with accepted theory.
Then again, if there's not many injuries, as you say, there's not a lot to worry about. Unless your one of the poor souls that get hit...
Hey Josh: I agree, Hefty round nosed longboards are likely to cause blunt instrument head traumas and pretty well any nose on any surfboard, delivered with impact, will cause injury, there isnt much we can do about that, a surfboard needs a front end.
We can also say that pointed nose shortboards cause less injuries than fins and other things, but one thing we cannot say is that the pointed nose is required for the function of the surfboard. So, it is there merely as a cosmetic thing. The cosmetic thing, is dangerous and in some cases has killed people.
If you take a 'standard' modern pointy nose surfboard and round the nose off (as suggested) the board will look really weird. Most of these modern thrusters with pointy noses look weird anyway, but if you rounded off the nose, it really brings out exactly how weird the entire shape is. When i see a modern pointy nose thruster i see a surfboard that is about 4 foot long with this hideous elongated nose that isnt even part of the rail line and in most cases the elongated nose never interacts with the water.
but, it looks cool right?
When the "No nose" concept came into play in about 1979 (Geoff McCoy Surfboards)it was a bit of a performance revolution with out a big cumbersome fat nose on your board came really fast turns and exciting surfing. Simon Anderson used the No Nose design to enhance his original Thusters FFS.
Dismissing the first foot of a surfboard as just a fashion statement is personally insulting. To say that for the last thirty years of getting custom boards(even from Mr Handley) i have been conned is load of shite.
Saftey issues aside, speed,good performance and control has always been main objective and the no nose design satisfies all those criterias. Loose a foot off you noses of a board and see what a late drop feels like, a roundhouse cutback, a wave over four foot feels scetchy and paddling a long point becomes a real pain.
Greenough gave us the fin template which has not been bettered, now shut up George and get back on your knees.
Handley preaches yet still pumps out DHD's with a basic no nose template, Hypocrite!
Slaters Wizard sleve has blind sided the surfing world with the same effect of the bannana rockered boards he had in the early 90's which messed over a heap of rec surfers enjoyment in the waves. Enough!
Life is good when ur tubed :-)
No one is talking about chopping a foot off the front of your surfboard.
We are only talking about a three inch diameter circle Sunny, it could save your own eye and in some cases could stop your surfboard killing someone.
Have a look at Greenoughs original letter.
All the 'top 44' ride these pointed noses and many amateur surfers try and copy what they are doing, how they surf and even what they wear and that is because they hero worship them. SO, maybe once the top 44 (and not just kelly slater) are riding a more functional nose outline, THEN we can all do the same. But until then, lets just do what our hero's are doing and lets write off anyone who wants to change that.
my cousin knows this grommet from Newcastle his name is Sean Ryan he is a little ripper, a few months ago he was surfing 3-4ft Merewether and he wiped out then while twisting and turning under the water the pointy nose of his board hit him in the eye, he was transported to a Sydney hospital, he is now back in Newy but has a 80% chance of never seeing in the eye again!!
Its a real shame because he was a little ripper and was planning to be a pro surfer, but he might never be able to surf again due to this injury, and he will lose his sponsorship with Balin!!
Sunny is on the Money!
I remember back in 1985 Mark Warren was all over the news advising everyone in Sydney to round off the noses of their boards due to a similar incident. Didn't take off though.
I had the "pointy" nose of my own board hit me in the teeth about 10 years ago, I lost half a tooth and received 5 stitches to my bottom lip, it cost me $128 to get fixed. Now had the nose been rounded off by the amount that Hodaddy reccomends I would have lost a lot more teeth and the dentist bill would have gone into the thousands!
Now the problemb here is really simple to fix, it is about asuming responsibility for your actions in the water, if you are learning to surf stay well clear of the people who can surf, the sport is dangerous enough without throwing beginners into the mix. Move down the beach where the impact you have on the already crowded waves will be less. That's right, we don't want to have to deal with you!
Sunny is right about everything he has to say on the no-nose concept, there is no need to lop the end off a good board when you controll it.
There is however a need to start to move the flotsam (beginners) out of the good waves that this country has to offer. The Hawiaan's beat people up for being stupid in the ocean, that is not the right way to approach it, but maybe we need to look a grading the waves with the type of system used in the snow?
So if you are just beginning in the surf be smart and don't endanger yourself or others by surfing the best peack or reef/point, just go to a spot up the beach and go through the process like we all had to do in the early days and learn your place in the pecking order.
I was surfing at 'the pass' in 2007 and saw something horrific. This learner surfer (approx 30 years of age) was trying to surf hollow fast waves on a pointed nose surfboard. Something went wrong for him and the pointed nose hit him in the face. He came up from the wipeout holding his hand over his right eye. When he let his hand off his face, his right eye fell out into his hand and he screamed and then ran to the carpark, then the hospital where he was operated on an YES, he lost his right eye.
Crew like Adam who are arguing that the problem isnt the nose, it is learner surfers, they are opening up another subject matter entirely. But, it is another discussion.
So, Adam, maybe go out to the garage and grab your pointed nose surfboard and spear it into your foot with some force (the same sort of force it could hit someones head in the surf) and then try and imagine a nose that wouldnt cause so much pain. It is a subtle refinement and something that needs to happen. Accidents happen, pointed noses hit people with force and they have killed people.
Arguing that pointed noses are required to surf properly when crew like Greenough, Geoff McCoy, Chris Brock, Kelly Slater and Terry Fitz are suggesting otherwise? weird
Did the seppo mention what to do with pintails or fins for that matter?
Hey Pablo, No one has talked about fins or pintails in this discussion.
This video link is to Kelly Slater talking people through his 'wizard sleeve' design. The nose looks a lot safer and he says he has ridden it in waves 4 times overhead.
Surfboard design is not to be dictated by industry big wig. Its the personal feel you get out of a board i guess. If they like the feeling of a Kneeboard, Nugget, Fishish, Wizard Sleve or a Drifta the good on them. I have tried these boards overthe years and like Oska Wright went back to a reasonabley standard nose template.
If its ashetics of how a board looks on a wave, which on my opinion as important as the style of the surfer then the no-nose surfboard rules supreme.
I think this is why Slater was toasted by the judges early in 2009 because his boards looked ugly on the wave (not saying he was not ripping though).
I agree with you Sunny.
The simple thing about all this though is safety, you could blunt the pointed nose off from 2 inches back and it wouldnt affect the performance of the board at all, but it would stop fatal injuries.
it would look ugly though.
so, maybe the future is a slightly more refined nose that is less dangerous.
Slaters surfing on 'the wizard' is really smooth, his cutbacks are more seamless and the nose isnt just flapping around out the front of the board, he is really using the nose of the board in his turns.
There is an argument that slaters boards dont 'look as cool' and that the logos are harder to distinguish and the boards dont look as impressive for the judges. I mean, it doesnt look as radical, it looks smoother. The fact that things like this enter the consciousness might mean that there are bigger issues preventing the evolution of the surfboard.
It is almost like competitive surfing is holding back the evolution, it used to speed it up with innovation a regular.
Those Slater 'Banana board' early '90's years were formative for my surfing. Boards were so thin and narrow they were difficult to learn on. Totally agree that they messed up a lot of reccy surfers enjoyment. Mals had not come back on the West Coast at this time, there were no 'soft boards' to learn on, no-one gave lessons, there was far less choice in what to ride. And to cap it all off wetsuits were fluoro!!! I was saved by a thick, battered Brothers Nielson Single fin :) No one was making singles then, so I learned to make my own.
On topic, horses for courses. Sometimes the 'no nose' thin thruster is simply the best board, its relatively heavy inside-rail nose rocker sticking into the face of the wave and making drops that would pitch a wide nosed single or twinnie, makeable. Other times it is small and the sheer planing area of a traditional 10+kg longboard is the fastest, and most beautiful way to traverse. On still other occasions, such as a walling down the line point break, it is the fluid drive and speed of a single fin that will be superior, and sometimes it is the freedom and scattiness of twin fins, often in semi-hollow beachies. Horses for courses :)
Sorry to hear of another kid losing an eye to the pointed nose, just think, if that pointed nose was rounded off it would not affect the performance of the surfboard negatively, it would make it surf better, and the kid would have a bruise.
I have no need to stab myself in the foot with a pointy nose of a surfboard. I have a good enough amount of control over where my surfboard goes and do know how not to hit people in the surf, in 35 years of surfing I have never run anyone over or had my board colide with anyone.
This argument has been going since the 70's, but there is a fair amount of damage that can be done with a blunt nose as well. Take for instance that 10 year old grom at the pass recently, hit with the nose of a malibu that some beginner was in charge of, he had to be flown to hospital to have 8 plates put into his skull and a lot of pain, nearly killed the little kid. Now he was riding a pointy nosed surfboard and was in control of it, the guy on the blunt malibu was not in control of his equipment.
Now this is where ny argument lies. BEGINNERS should be taught in surf school, cause thats the reason there are so many of them, to stay away from the main breaks with the good surfers on them for years, it takes that long to be able to control your equipment. Not being nasty here at all, just very concerned as to the amount of unqualified surfers taking advantage of the "free playing feild" that is the ocean.
Now hereis a suggestion for everyone here, Get a Nose Guard, they have been around for about 20+ years now, they work fine.
^^^ Do they even make Nose Guards anymore? Can't say I've seen one for a while.
On the pointy nose topic, I was digging through old Tracks magazines and read a piece by Rod Kirsop on the danger of pointy nose surfboards. The mag was dated May 1985.
Tracks May 1985 by Rod Kirsop (now Dr Rod Kirsop)
(Right click and 'View Image' to make it larger))
FCS make them and you can get them online at surfstitch.com for $29.95
The change in the nose shape is only going to happen when surfers (such as adam) who ride them realise that they do not DO ANYTHING to improve the performance of the surfboard.
Once they realise that the outline that has been 'popular' for 20 years is actually dysfunctional and dangerous, then the change will happen.
IN the short term, putting the plastic nose guard on the front will soften the blow from these dysfunctional front ends, but long term a rounder nose of about 75mm will be fashionable and 'normal'.
It is natural for surfers (who use them) to kick up a stink and fuss, but that last 2 inches on most modern fashion boards does not need to be there and it does nothing. Accept it, move on.
Just ordered a new board.
Asked for the nose to be chissled off. Not a point and not round. It will have about 6-8mm of straight edege as a nose.
Interesting obsevation. Kelly Slaters first round board at the Quikpro, standard no nose pointed ended evil stick. Frikkin blew up too! HAHAHAHAHAHAH!
pointed nose surfboards are a fashion thing, not a function thing.
You could get a rubber nose for your board, wear a Gath helmet or round off the nose of your board but if you get scared in the lineup thats your problem. Dont push safety legislation which will affect what eveyone else rides.
For what it's worth, and having had to fix up more than a few of these injuries over the years, they are almost always catastrophic and it is pretty unusual to get good vision in the eye afterwards. As far as eye injuries are concerned the curvature of the surfboard nose needs to be at least similar to a cricket ball,or larger, so the impact is taken by the bony orbital margin and not by the eyeball itself. Far better to fracture your orbit than rupture your eyeball. At least make sure your board has a soft nose guard
An eye doctor would know.
Round it off so that if the board goes for your eye, it wont blind you.
Sounds simple enough.
they inhibit the function of the board
Might be a point too many 1963malibu. All the others I agree with, except this one.
A physics professor could explain the degree in which having the pointed nose inhibits the function of the board. It is minor.
If the pointed nose is taken off and rounded back, say 2 inches, it reduces the swing weight and the wind resistance.
It is minor, very minor. But it is also true.
The pointed nose is a fashion thing and does NOTHING to improve the function of the performance surfboards. Even Darren Handley said that, yet, the industry still makes these dangerous surfboards. If a pointed nose hits you in the head at force, it could kill you.
the FACT that the pointed nose doesnt need to be there and the FACT that it could kill you means that the manufacturers are making a dangerous/lethal product and it is only a matter of time before someone is taken to court and sued over the design.
Totally agree '63.
Manufacturers could change this in a heartbeat with zero impact on surfboard performance.
The last guy to die around here surfing got his mates board (pointy nose) in the guts on a 2ft day and died.
Pointed nose surfboards are designed to "cut" through surf more, the finer point nose has less drag, when you're on a wave and put your finger in the wave there is little drag, but if you put your arm in the wave there is a lot, less = better.
There is a little more information in that, however, the nose is by no mistake.
Nice threoy but unfortunatly the front couple of inches aren't actually in the water
I've seen a very prominent young big wave surfer on here , who has a very emphatic and demonstrative way of having the whole nose of his large gun completely buried while critically seeking the last ounce of projection under the thick plunging lip. It looks like he is always seeking to use the entire rail at these critical moments and I'm sure his personal shaper has this in mind too. I reckon if he altered the nose, in any way, he might be dead by now. Just a thought.
If your like me ,,,not meant to have nice things,, it doesn't take long to chip the nose on a new board, which means sanding it back to be slightly rounded and then glassing it, not a big job. you can make them pointy again I know , but I never bothered. Never noticed any difference in performance in any of them.