Q&A About “The Best Surfboards of 2011”

SurfScience.com Best Surfboards of 2011 SealSurfScience.com just released our newest feature, “The Best Surfboards of 2011.”  This new section of our site pulls data from every surfboard model’s ratings to rank the top surfboards of each category.

This is the first time anyone has done a feature like this using 100% user ratings, so we’re stoked to be able to release it.  Of course, like everything new, there are a lot of questions from surfboard shapers, surfers and industry folk.

I’m going to take a minute here to answer some questions I’ve been emailed in the past week.

Q: How do you calculate the rankings?

A: In our top secret laboratory we have an army of one thousand monkeys with abacuses running complex calculations.  First they look at the performance rankings of each board, taking into account overall score as well as: paddling, maneuverability, stability and speed.  They then look at things like popularity; how often is the board viewed, ranked and commented on.  Finally, they look for consistency in rankings, if a board has a lot of really high rankings and a lot of low rankings, it shows us that there might be something fishy, where as if a board is consistently ranked a 7 or 8, we know that is accurate.

Its a fairly complex equation that results in a new number we call the “SurfScience Score” or “SS Score”  This new number will be appearing around the site more and will be a new way to compare surfboards.

Q: Who ranks the boards, is it SurfScience employees or a panel of experts?

A: Neither.  Our rankings are 100% user generated.  Over 5,000 user ratings and comments went into the equation for this years rankings.  We’re stoked to be able to do this because it removes bias or influence from financial gains.

Q: Where are the majority of SurfScience’s users from?

A: Anywhere there is surfing, there is SurfScience.  Our content is read in over 175 countries.  The top countries include: USA, Australia, UK, France, Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland & Brazil.

That means our rankings take into account users from just about every type of climate, wave and surf culture there is.

Q: Why is it the best surfboards of 2011, when the year just started?

A: We believe a surfboard should be graded on how well it performs, not its hype, marketing or newness.  Because of that, an older board that works better shouldn’t be hindered just because it wasn’t released this year.  The boards ranked on SurfScience are not separated by the year the model was invented.  We didn’t want to do a list of the best new boards in 2010, we wanted to do a list of the best boards you could buy right now, in 2011.

Q: Was there any money involved or are any surfboard companies sponsoring this?

A: No.  We have not taken any money from any surfboard manufacturer.  We intent to keep it this way to make sure that SurfScience.com stays a neutral source.

Q: Why does Channel Islands have so many boards listed?

A: Channel Islands makes 27 of the 169 boards on our 2011 list.  That is by far the most from one company.  The reason is that one factor of our rankings is popularity.  We feel that a board that 10 people  rate a 9 is a stronger score than one that 1 person rates a 10.  Because of this, popular models will have an advantage.  If you think about it, this just means that they are tried and true.  Channel Islands is one of the biggest surfboard companies, and so it has a lot of very popular shapes.

Q: Why aren’t any of _______’s surfboards on the list?

A: Our board directory has about 1,500 surfboards in it.  That is a lot.  Of course, there are a ton more.  We did our best to reach out to shapers and have them send us info on their board models, the ones that emailed us back first have been listed and we’re working on the rest.  Every month we add more models, and we hope to one day have a complete list.  If there is a shaper you feel should be listed, feel free to leave a comment, email us or email them and tell them to make sure their boards are listed on SurfScience.com.

We are very proud of the fact that over 40 shapers are represented on the list.  If you think about most awards, usually a few contestants go home with all of the prizes.  How many movies win Oscars for; Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor & Best supporting Actress?  We’re thrilled with the fact that a lot of

Q: What do the shapers get as part of their award?

A: Every shaper that receives an award will receive bragging rights and $1,000,000 in Monopoly money.  They also get to display the SurfScience.com Best Surfbaords of 2011 seal on their website.  Along with that, we will display the seal on their board’s listing in our surfboard directory, letting interested customers know that the board has received an award.

There are a few different variations of the seal.  Everyone that appears on the list will get to display the standard seal pictured above.  Those shapers who’s board was in the top 10 or 5 (depending on the category) of its board type will also receive a special seal.

Shapers with the award may use the seal on any marketing material, advertisements or company literature of their choice.  So its a pretty big deal!

Q: What if I have other questions?

A: Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them.  Also, you can always email us at team@surfscience.com.  Thanks for reading and go check out the award winner already, here is the link…  http://www.surfscience.com/best-surfboards-2011/

Source: Surfscience

Surf Forecasting with Solspot

solspotAs a surfer, knowing when waves are going to hit is important.  Really important.

I remember when I first started surfing, I would just go to the beach whenever I could get a ride.  Sometimes there would be waves, other times there weren’t.  Eventually I figured out to check the surf forecast first, which greatly reduced the number of days I got skunked.

Now, some 15 years later, I’m much busier and have to make the most of small windows of free time.  I can usually only free an hour or two to surf a day so it better count.  After making sure there are going to be waves, I’ve got to check things like: swell direction to pick a break, tide to pick a time, wind conditions to see if its even going to work.  (Let alone what the sandbars have been doing this season.)  Then there are crowds, traffic, parking and all sorts of other things to take into account.

Basically, I’ve become more concerned with knowing more about the surf.  The way it stands today, I would much rather go surf a perfect uncrowded 3-4 foot day than waste a day on the promise of 6ft surf that ends up being blown out and dragging down the coast.

This is where Solspot comes in.  I’ve been stoked on their site lately.

I like knowing a lot about the surf, but I’m by no means an expert, yet.  The “Forecasting Ninja” at Solspot on the other hand, is.  Adam Wright has credentials to boot, having worked for companies like Transworld SURF, Surfline, Wavewatch, and FuelTV.

My favorite part about the site is the unique personal approach to forecasting.  He takes screen shots, draws on them and explains what to look for.  He’s like the Madden of surf forecasting. 

I’m sure that after a while, I’ll be able to spot things on my own, which will be a great tool to have for doing my own surf forecasts in the future, whether its for a surf trip in a remote location or just to see if I can pick up anything else that the other forecasts didn’t mention.So, Solspot, thanks for doing what you’re doing.  Keep up the good work.

Everyone else, check it out, its pretty cool and a fun way to learn a bit more about forecasting.

Source: Surfscience