Mikel Agote and Johnny Cabianca develop metrics for flex measurements
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 June, 2017 - The Basque Country is changing surfing. This northern corner of Spain that expands into southern France is the region that's given birth to Wavegarden technology and now, a measured proceedure to test a surfboard's flex.
Long thought of as the last frontier in board design, flex has remained a variable factor in traditional polyurethane and epoxy board builds. While some companies like Firewire have found alternative board-building proceedures to guarentee consistant flex, the rest of the world's board manufacturers still struggle to ensure consistency. But flex is important. It's the reason two boards identical in dimensions and weight will ride very differently.
"TorFlex" enables surfboard manufacturers to accurately measure the flex of any surfboard. A new machine and proprietary software system that can accurately bend, twist and vibrate any surfboard across its two axis to generate a full profile based on lateral flex, torsional flex and overall dampness/vibration.
The technique was developed by Johnny Cabianca (Medina's shaper since Day 1) and Mikel Agote under their new label Basque Country Surf Company
“The flex of a surfboard is vital to its performance, but we have always had to rely on trial and error," says Johnny Cabianca. "Every good surfer or shaper understands the subtle, yet vital role of flex in a performance surfboard. Working closely together with a board's shape, dimensions and volume, a finely tuned flex profile is vital for maintaining flow and speed and maximising projection through turns."
Using TorFlex technology, shapers can now:
- Compare identical boards made with differing materials to create an accurate & detailed flex profile for each type of construction.
- Analyse new materials (carbon, foam, fiber, resins)
- Analyse a surfer’s ‘magic’ boards to create a personalised flex profile tailored to the individuals needs
- Fine tune a surfboard’s performance according to specific waves, conditions and surfing styles
Simply put: for shapers of the modern high-performance surfboard, flex design is the new frontier. The proliferatioin of carbon-enhanced rails and stringers support this claim.
"We are in an exciting new era where shapers are experimenting with a wide range of new materials and construction, and with TorFlex technology, they now have the vital tool to turn the mystery of flex into the science of flex," added Cabianca.
The TorFlex prototype system is already completed, fully functional and currently being used to test Cabianca Surfboards and Agote Surfboards at their factory (Basque Country Surf Company). In the coming weeks the company will be releasing test results based on ongoing research: using the TorFlex machine and real-world surfing, they will test a series of boards using a range of materials and construction methods (identical shape/dimensions) to create the industry’s first comparison study of flex, torsion and vibration in surfboard manufacture.
The TorFlex system is a joint venture between the Basque Country Surf Company basquecountrysurf.com and Omega Composites.