Technology In Sports


The Beginning

Surfboards in the early days

The early surfboards was constructed by materials like hollow balsa wood, plywood and mixed balsa and hardwood boards. Wooden boards remained the most popular choice until about the 1960s


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The hollow board

Tom Blake designed the first hollow surfboard. The board was constructed of redwood, it had hundreds of holes drilled in it and was encased with a thin board of wood on top and bellow the board. The board was 15 foot long, 19" wide, 4" thick and weighed 100 lbs.

The Hot Curl board

These were surfboards with no fins. The rider has to turned these boards by dragging his back foot. Drag you right foot and you go left. This gave the surfboard more manoeuvrability, allowing more radical surf makeover’s. The material used in this boars were mainly red wood.

Redwood, Balsa and Plywood

In 1932 Balsa wood from South America became a popular material for building surfboards. The new balsa wood boards only weighed around 30 to 40 pounds apposed to the 90 to 100 pound redwood boards. boards were constructed from both balsa and redwood,

Fibreglass boards

Many new materials had become available through advances in technology during the war. Fibreglass was the most significant of these, also there was plastics and Styrofoam. With a redwood stringer (a piece of wood running down the centre of the surfboard) and sealed with fibreglass tape.

The short board

It wasn't until the late 60's to early 70's that the short board came onto the surf scene. The average length of the surfboard went from 10 to 6 foot, with an obvious reduction in weight. These new boards allowed surfers to ride in the pocket of the wave and so were named the 'pocket rocket' board. These new boards allowed faster, more aggressive surf and more manoeuvrability

Current Technology

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Nowadays there are surfboards for every type of wave. The 'gun' is still popular for big surf, the 'fish' is a new variation of the short board, the cheaper and safer foam boards are used widely by surf schools and of course the Malibu or longboard and the short boards will always be popular choices.

What materials are used now?

There are a variety of surfboard constructions coming out now including epoxy,
firewire, Solomon, fiberglass rasin and many others but the traditional surfboard is a
fiberglass and foam


Durability- Surfboards are much stronger and they will last a lot longer.

Weight- One of the biggest benefits of the current surfboards they are made with a stronger material, so the core of the board can be made of lighter materials. Therefore, surfboards will weigh less than the using materials in the early days.

Handling- Another advantage of surfboards today is their handling. As mentioned earlier, these boards are lighter and will float better. This enables you to handle surfboards better than you can handle boards made of wood. Their better handling capabilities make them perfectly suited for people who are just learning how to surf.

Injury- One of the next advantages of surfboards today it how much it deals with injury. old surfboards are heavy and can more serious injury. It is much safer to use surfboards today because their lighter weight makes them less likely to cause serious damage.

Technological advances

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What technological advances have led to these improvements?

Technological advances have led to these improvements is mainly the shape of the bottom of surfboards within short boards making the surfboards easier to control, glad through the water a lot faster and allowing more maneuvers.

List the 2 biggest technological advances to surfboards and its impact?

Leg ropes:

  • Progressive manourves and a more aggressive technique could be adopted without paying the penalty of a swim to the beach.
  • Board destroying rock breaks were ridden without a financial/board repair penalty.
  • Its recognizes as a safety device, both for the rider and for other surfers in the water.

Surfboards Fins

The first Hawaiian surfers with their surfboards did not have fins. They weren't really maneuvering their boards too much, most wave riding was done moving straight into shore.

  • It helps with steering and catching the wave to start with

New materials and robotics produce?

There is a lot of new material that have just stated today like 3D Glassing, hydroflex for high performance to surfboards with the highest quality material you'll find. But today not much people have heard or use theses materials on surfboards but in he future these materials will be used more commonly.

Robotics produce for surfboards is a massive thing, machines are shaping surfboards a lot quicker and more accurate than humans. With the technology today people have made software's program to shape, size and custom your surfboards any way you like.

Anything that remained the same from the early days?

In general surfboards have remained the same with the different varieties all surfboards. But maybe there is slightly little changes that improves the surfboard to glad through the water, more fast, stronger materials and lighter. But in overall surfboards have remained the same.


Year 2034

I think in the future surfboards wont have a big change but have slightly little changes like improving the type of fins more faster, safer, leg ropes that are magnet to your surfboard and the surfboards it self may be hovering off the water, or new materials that includes more stronger, faster, lighter.

Technology may be needed to the improvements is maybe better materials to be able to process these future improvements. Learning how to make objects or boards to hover off land or water to be able to make a surfboards hover. Some sort of magnetic technology to be convert to a leg rope and a surfboard. New fin materials, shape or other sort of things to add to theses improvements, for the technology in the future.