Nipper boards and Surfboards have many common features that can be modified to enhance performance for the individual.
Even though surfboards and nipper boards are noticeably different in appearance they do have many common features that can be modified to enhance performance for the individual.
The most noticeable difference being the volume or thickness of the two surf craft.
The main reason for the volume difference is due to the two styles of surfing.
Surfboards are designed to be ridden standing up and surfing across the wave looking for manoeuvres, while the main objective for a nipper is to get out and back to the beach as fast as possible while remaining prone.
Now volume equals buoyancy, the more you have the higher the board will float above the water.
But this does not mean that this is better for either style of craft. For surfboard ridding to much volume can inhibit downward pressure needed through turns to create propulsion. And for the nippers to much volume can lead to instability and balance needed for a clean paddling motion that in turn enables speed.
Now because of the many weight and growth rate variables within our junior ranks we created a range of stock boards consistent with our own volume to weight ratio formula.
Each board will have the weight range highlighted on the rail of the finished product.
The stock volumes are presented as kilogram weight numbers rather than volume to make it easier by using standard scales to check your childs weight. e.g. 4D NIPPER X35
Custom order volumes are also available at no extra cost.
The outline of a board basically has three components, nose shape, tail shape and the curve that links the two together. Within a surfboard these can dramatically alter performance mainly due to there being no constraints of measurements.
Nipper boards on the other hand have official rulings to be adhered to i.e. the length has to be 6'6', and the width or widest point, no less than 18'.
This leaves us with less variables to work with but in conjunction with other design aspects of the shape, it is enough to alter performance.
Foil is the volume distribution from nose to tail and plays a major roll in the balance of the board as it sits in the water.
The bottom curve is also known as the “rocker” and is the curve that runs along the bottom of the board from nose to tail. Controlling this curve to work with your foil and outline is a combination that delivers speed, balance and flow.
Basically these are features that are added to the bottom curve to direct water flow to or from areas the designer deems necessary for best performance.
Vee, roll, concave and double concave are a few of the features used in most of today’s equipment.
Rails are the sides of the board and are a controlling feature that connects all of the other elements to become a complete three dimensional flowing object.
As the rail rolls up off the bottom of the board it reaches a designated apex before changing direction and rolling up on to the deck or top of the board,
this apex is known as the “waterline”. The placement of the waterline along the length of the board dictates buoyancy and water flow as the board moves
through the water.
Our full range of fiberglass nipper boards have a three quarter inch deep deck well machined into the top of the board. This deeper well has a couple of benefits and one is stability. The well is domed to simulate the curves of your body which in turn creates a more stable base to lay on. Stability maintains control and control activates power for paddling. Another benefit for the deeper well is that your chest is lower in to the board, allowing your arms to dig deeper into
the water allowing stronger strokes.
RECESSED HAND GRIPS---
Also known as a “soap dish” these recesses are placed in the rail on each side of the board used for extra grip in certain situations, such as running in to the surf or for carrying. We place them on both rails knowing that most competitors will favour their left or right hand for grip strength.
This feature comes as an added cost on 4D Nipper Boards, however comes as standard on all 10'6” Racing Boards.
A nipper board fin also has official rulings to be adhered to i.e. defined radius’s on the front, back and outline of the fin for protection against injury.
Developing our own fins for surfboards over the years it was interesting to design a fin purpose built for nipper boards. The main goal of a nipper board fin is to create control and stability. Without a fin the board would simply sway from side to side while paddling and if on a wave it would eventually slide sideways throwing the rider off.
If you study a fin, the first element you will probably notice is the shape (outline). The outline is defined by three variables, HEIGHT (from bottom of fin to the top),
BASE (width across the bottom of the fin) and RAKE (the angle or tilt the fin leans back toward the tail of the board).
This is a basic understanding of each element.
HEIGHT = depth, the deeper the fin, the stronger the hold the board has at speed and in turning.
BASE = stability, the wider the base the less the board will rock from side to side
RAKE= turn, a lesser tilt angle (more upright) the quicker the fin will turn and the more the shape is tilted back the longer the turn.
The next variable is known as FOIL and every fin will tapper in two directions. The first tapper is from the base of the fin to the tip of the fin and the second tapper is from the front edge to the back edge of the fin. These tappers control how and where the fin will flex.
Knowing the effect these elements provide, it's now up to the designer to work with the variables to match the best fin for the shape of the board.