Doug Lock talks about the dimension and performance of the F-17′6″, and shows the Active Steering System he attached on a 15′ board.
Doug Lock: This is a 17’6” shaped by Mark Raaphorst of Sandwich Isle Composites and…
Evan Leong: So would it be called F-17?
Doug Lock: F-17’6”. It’s just kind of last year’s model when he was making…when he was prototyping the different big boards. This is just pre-F-16.
Evan Leong: How does this compare to your F-16?
Doug Lock: I like this better. This is heavier but I like the glide. This is more of a big water board. When it is really windy, over 20 knots, and the bumps are groomed, this thing is…
Evan Leong: Heavy, yeah?
Doug Lock: It’s heavy. I’m guessing it weighs probably…it has got to weigh 50 pounds, some where around there. It has quite a bit of material on it.
Evan Leong: That steering… that rudder thing that you put on it is kind of cool.
Doug Lock: Well, I went off the paddle boards because all the paddle boards have that…some people I guess they call it the kelp rudder or what not. But what the theory is—two theories actually. This leading edge here is supposed to be for kelp because what happens if your edge was a regular rudder it would get stuck on the rudder and wrap up and of course it will slow you down. But the theory behind this too is that the leading edge that does not turn theoretically is quicker because this is a break. If you have just a rudder, it’s more of a break. This is a just a leading edge that stays straight all the time. I also feel that it makes the board more stable. It tracks it more and it didn’t feel like it was tracking it to a point where you could not steer the board because this is still allowing you to go left to right. So this just feels more like a stabilizer fin and just seems to track you straighter.
Evan Leong: And this is the new one you just got, right?
Doug Lock: This is a new one. This is a 15-foot and if you see the rail difference… on the 17’6”, this rail has got a slight chime down under here basically just for… and I feel for the bigger board. This is kind of necessary because it is so big that if you get in a situation where you can’t correct the board this kind of has a neutral area where it kind of free you up a little bit where it is sticking. This is kind of low, softer point. If you look at the 15-footer it has an extreme edge almost all the way from the nose, pretty much all the way down to the tail. It’s just sharper and sharper. Theoretically this is faster and of course you want to go faster, faster is better. But the control thing is different too. I don’t know with this since not riding this yet. I have to compare what this softened rail feels as opposed to a really sharper… I don’t think it’s going to hinder the performance or speed much either. So I think it is going to be fine.
Evan Leong: Ok, let’s take a closer look at the 15’ then.
Evan Leong: This is pretty sweet looking, huh?
Doug Lock: Yeah. Different lines… the steering system is different. It’s solid. It has got a nice ASS on it.
Evan Leong: Oh it changes up.
Doug Lock: Yeah, now you can move the steering system forward or back depending on where you want to stand on the board. Maybe depending on conditions.
Evan Leong: Oh really?
Doug Lock: Yeah, you see you can slide this up. It has got the holes here so you can move it up farther and easier, not just so you can lock right in. It just slides right in so you have an option to move it up if you want.
Evan Leong: Oh, so if you move it to this piece right here then the whole thing moves forward.
Doug Lock: Correct.
Evan Leong: But you put this kind of fly paper-ish stuff…
Doug Lock: I just put that on. This is after the fact, I put this on just in case I step over here and I don’t…
Evan Leong: Is that how the pad is cut now?
Doug Lock: Well, you cut on each differently for each particular board. But this is pretty much basically how each pad is cut. This aren’t pre-cut…
Evan Leong: What is this piece for then?
Doug Lock: This is a breather.
Evan Leong: It didn’t have that on the 16′ though, did it?
Doug Lock: No, it had one on the tail because this one is not hollow. This is a foam core, one-pound foam.
Evan Leong: So it has always got to take that thing out, that piece out.
Doug Lock: Yeah, especially when temperature changes and stuff like that. It’s better to have it out.
Evan Leong: Has a really high kick in the nose, huh?
Doug Lock: Yeah, and I like that because on some of the other boards, it does not have that flip in the nose. When you get on a bump, you tend to want to run back. You run the board a lot. I’d rather stay in one spot.
Evan Leong: Will it slow it up with that?
Doug Lock: I don’t think so because it’s not that much of the board. It’s only the last three feet that really starts to scoop up. I don’t think it’s going to slow it down. If I don’t have to move around the board as much, it’s even better because I’d rather stay right where the steering is in this stuff.
Evan Leong: Are you using the steering a lot?
Doug Lock: Actually more than I think I am because I talk to a lot of people and they say, “Why do I feel like I am not using it enough or using it too much?” But I think when you get used to it; you use it more than you think. I think it is driving a stick. It’s kind of the same theory where you don’t even think about it after a while.
Evan Leong: Can you move the rudder? Let me see how it looks like on the bottom then…
Doug Lock: Sure. Ok, so the front stays and the back goes left to right. This is a nice little. I just feel that it is a more controlled kind of feel because it is turning isn’t so dramatic, it’s more kind of a smoother feel in the water.
Evan Leong: Seems really nice.
Doug Lock: They did a good job, yeah. I think this is the model that he is going to come out with more this year.
Evan Leong: Is he going to mold this thing or what?
Doug Lock: I don’t know.
Evan Leong: Because he can make slight changes, right?
Doug Lock: Right, because he’s already doing the F-16. It’s like from this to that. This is kind of a more dramatic difference. The wide point seems to be more forward, whereas the F-16 is kind of in the middle.
Evan Leong: What does that do to it?
Doug Lock: Just looking at like a ‘70s board with a wider front forward and like a big wave gun. The wider front forward gives you that better entry into a wave.
Evan Leong: Let’s check out the bottom.
Doug Lock: Very subtle bottom.
Evan Leong: It’s actually pretty flat, yeah?
Doug Lock: It’s pretty flat.
Evan Leong: With super sharp edge.
Doug Lock: Yeah, sharp edge.
Evan Leong: I can’t see too much concave in this thing.
Doug Lock: Right here. It’s almost like a… it’s pretty flat but there is a slight double barrel in the back. There is a slight belly probably in the last couple of feet.
Evan Leong: I think it’s really wide though.
Doug Lock: Yeah.
Evan Leong: It’s kind of like a little bump almost.
Doug Lock: Right. I have a feeling that when it surfs it’s going to catch the wave a little bit easier than the other boards.
Evan Leong: I figure you’re not just going to put a bump there for no reason.