Probing the Camel Toe

Stu Nettle
Design Outline

Swellnet recently conducted a board test on the Camel Toe surfboard, designed by Cory Russell of Cory Surfboards in Ocean Grove, Victoria. The Camel Toe's predominant design feature is an inverted rail outline. It's a feature that has surprised, confused and even offended the sensibilites of some shapers.

While the planshape may be the most distinctly different feature it's not the only thing that's out of leftfield on the board. In creating the Camel Toe Cory threw many accepted norms away and looked at the shortboard anew.

In the following interview Cory tells us about the design, from conception to creation.

The idea: The concept behind the 'Camel Toe' was to create a new design for surfing small waves, not just modify a shortboard. I wanted to reduce the drag and lag time surfers can experience with small wave boards and allow them to complete proper turns instead of skating down the line.

The motivation: I wasn't satisfied with current designs in the marketplace that were cut down shortboards: short and wide with deep concave. Whilst the deep concave provides lift it can also holds a great deal of water on such a wide board and reduce the board's performance. With the 'Camel Toe' I looked at the demands on a small wave board and found a different way to balance the resistance and release of a surfboard. In small waves, surfers are constantly shifting their weight from front foot to their back foot and back again at a lightning rate. This design was developed to satisfy the demands of the front and the back foot independently and then bring them together.

Inspirations: My inspirations came from a picture of a Greg Webber board many years ago with a parallel outline, Maurice Cole's use of extra deep concaves as well as a board manufacturer in Europe. I was also influenced by snowboard and skateboard design. These sports that were once a spin off of surfing are now leading surfing into the future.

Sculpting the foam: The 'Camel Toe' design was created after an intense 72 hour period with the assistance of the AKU Shaper program. Surfboards have changed so much in the last five years with the assistance of shaping programs and shaping machines. The 'Camel Toe' design would have been impossible to create without the AKU Shaper program. With it, I was able to implement design theories with such accuracy and detail that you could never achieve from hand shaping. There are surfboard manufacturers that use this technology to copy and replicate but I choose to use it to create new designs and develop ideas.

The inverted rail line: The plan shape is wider around the front foot as well as around the back foot to provide the necessary buoyancy and lift. To achieve balance and a rapid response I reduced the width of the planshape between the feet.

Other ingredients:

  • The rocker is very different to a standard board due to the irregular outline. If you put this outline on a standard shortboard it would become unstable and problematic. The rocker is low and neutral for the length of the inverted outline. Due to the low rocker between the feet and toward the back of the board I have flipped the last nine inches of tail rocker to achieve balance and a rapid response.
  • The concave in the board is at its deepest under the front foot. This provides lift as well as stores the wave's energy. The concave reduces greatly between the feet (for the length of the inverted outline) and flows into a deep concave through the fins and fading out at the tail. The dramatic changes in concave creates an 'S' bottom rail line mimicking that of the outline. This allows the surfer to harness all the energy and use it quickly like the 'turbo' in car engine.
  • The profile of the board is similar to the old 'S' decks. It provides maximum foam under the front for paddling and grovelling with reduced thickness around the front fins to allow for response and manoeuvrability when surfing off the back of the board.
  • The fin placement is slightly different to that of a normal shortboard due to the increase in tail rocker in the last 9 inches.

Aesthetics: Whilst the 'Camel Toe' looks extreme and many people will be quick to criticise or identify possible draw backs, the board is highly functional and definitely enhances small wave surfing. This is primarily a concept board exploring the possibilities of surfboard design. I have been overwhelmed at the success of the 'Camel Toe' and will continue to develop it.

The Meyehoffer: Since the creation of the 'Camel Toe' design many people have commented on the similarity to the Meyerhoffer design, however, I believe my outline is inverted in a very different place. Other design aspects have been added to maintain balance and reach optimum performance. There is much more to the 'Camel Toe' than its unusual outline. If you try and put this outline on a regular shortboard it simply wouldn't work.

Pilots: I am heavily influence by World Tour surfing. I want to see the world's best surfers perform highly critical manoeuvres in the best surfing conditions. Surfing is about progression not regression, I do not want to watch a guy on a homemade piece of wood flap about in the ocean uncontrollably. The 'Camel Toe' design was created and developed to truly enhance small wave surfing with a fresh look at the demands placed on a small wave surfboard. At this stage I am yet to have a CT surfer ride the 'Camel Toe' but I would welcome the opportunity.

The future: Small minds can't accept big changes but right now the surfing community is open to new technologies and designs. We haven't seen this level of open mindedness since the 60's and 70's. There's never been a better time to be a shaper and designer!

Read The Depth Test board review of the Camel Toe

Comments

things-that-make-you-go-yewwww's picture
things-that-make-you-go-yewwww's picture
things-that-mak... commented Thursday, 1 Mar 2012 at 12:58pm

The outline in that 1st shot looks like the Warren Smith model in the HS range. Is it a thruster?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 1 Mar 2012 at 2:30pm
more's picture
more's picture
more commented Thursday, 1 Mar 2012 at 3:30pm

good to see something so different being put out there with someones name on it, balls on the line stuff, I dunno how it'd perform but I still wanna try one...good shit...

www.moresurfboards.com

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 1 Mar 2012 at 8:33pm

Told you it was something different, eh Mark? Even more unusual when you see it in person, though I'm pretty used to it now. In the water, where it matters, it goes unreal.

more's picture
more's picture
more commented Monday, 5 Mar 2012 at 8:37am

Stu, if you dont wanna take it back south with you, I'll take care of it for a few weeks mate...could always do with a spare camel toe around the place....I am not concvinced but definitely curious, I can see some potential and I love the different stuff but always gotta be fUNctional and you seem to be enjoying it so must be ok....

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 6 Mar 2012 at 12:35pm

Hey MP,

Too late unfortunately as I'm back in Sydney. Shame though, would've been keen to hear your thoughts on the design. Maybe get the planer out and whack a few sidecuts into your next blank?

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller commented Tuesday, 6 Mar 2012 at 1:10pm

stu,

once a craft gets under six feet, does it really matter what the shape actually is?... or that the shaper actually has much of any shaping experience to begin with?

once the sled goes under six, isn't it all in the name branding?... and the fact the board slides best in surf well under six?

http://vimeo.com/18291827

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 6 Mar 2012 at 1:17pm

Ha ha ha...it's not good for your health to be so cynical, Rolls. I've got 3 boards under 6 foot in my quiver, each distinctly different than the other, none of them from a name brand.

Get with the times, man.

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller commented Tuesday, 6 Mar 2012 at 1:26pm

not cynical, Stu. just realistically observations of reality as we know it.

so, grab as many differing boards as you can. and ride 'em as much as you can... as it's all good!...

and it's Capitalism 2.0!

good on us all.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 6 Mar 2012 at 1:38pm

Drop that Capitalism 2.0 rubbish, Rollerbloke. It's not economic theory, it's board design.

Shaping 2.0?

the-roller's picture
the-roller's picture
the-roller commented Tuesday, 6 Mar 2012 at 2:16pm

you are right, just as is this !surfing vs isurfing, 2.0 anything is rubbish as well.

it's all surfing, shaping, and capitalism.

embrace the horror.

http://www.cracked.com/article_15746_embrace-horror.html

sidecut's picture
sidecut's picture
sidecut commented Sunday, 25 Mar 2012 at 7:25pm

G,day My name is Mick Mackie, This inward curve is actually called sidecut it comes from Snowsurfing and the Winterstick snowboard circa 1974 created by Wayne Stoveken and Dimitrije Milovich in the states. Good to see a young bloke thinking and feeling what this sidecut does- it works. I have been doing sidecut through the tails of my flex tail rocket fish and standard non flex tail rocket fish for 15 years now. Meyerhoffer just turned a Winterstick round tail upside down and came up with the design and it worked.
Like Corey says people adapt very slowly to a big change-small minds maybe? Anyway Cory just add some flex and see what happens. Change= future progression. Enjoy.

MM

cory's picture
cory's picture
cory commented Sunday, 25 Mar 2012 at 9:03pm

Hey Mick,
I am a big fan of your sidecut fish... I really enjoy seeing shapers push design theories and create different surfboard ideas. I am currently working on a few different ideas for introducing flex into the tail of the Camel Toe... Cheers