A question about body shape/size and impact on stability. Lots of posts describing age, height and weight when enquiring about board selection etc. My question is how much do these variables interact? E.g. a 6'2 85kg lean V shape compare to a 5'10 85kg lower centre of mass/gravity shape. Would the same board be suitable for both taking into account they are of the same ability Or would the taller 'leaner' individual need more volume or width to achieve the same degree of stability and performance?
Without playing into semantics too much...
If you have a guy who's 6'6" and a guy who's 5'2" at the same weight, the 6'6" guy will likely require a wider board for balance due to his centre of gravity being higher.
At 6'2" to 5'10" - too many other variables for height to really come into it.
I believe a wider board is always a performance negative. Narrower boards are quicker rail to rail, usually faster, allowing snappy turns...
I'd rather have a narrower, slightly longer board, than a stumpy wide board (for the waves I sup surf). Extra width certainly allows paddling comfort - no doubt, but i'm looking to surf the best I can, and that means compromising comfort for better on wave performance.
Thanks for your experience and take, really finding the different options and contexts fascinating. Helping me refine the parameters for my next board. Cheers.
Here are the center of mass variation in men and women:
But note that it will move also a lot with the arms position, and whether you bend your knees or crouch. So your technique can actually lower your mass center by significant amount. Tip: use a short paddle.
Thanks Colas, that article was very interesting. My own amateur speculation would be that center of mass also varies with amount of water held 'within' a wetsuit and how it is distributed and changes over a session. Thanks for the tip on paddle length, I have been getting progressively shorter over the last few months.