Plotting a Different Course. Ryan Burch’s Asymmetrical Surfboard Designs.
by Chris Dixon
The idea behind an asymmetrical surfboard is simple. One: You surf facing one way on the wave, (regular or goofyfoot) and thus, the hydrodynamics are different depending on your stance. Two: You primarily ride a righthand (Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa) or lefthand wave (G-Land, Indonesia), and you want the water to flow beneath your board based on the direction you’re traveling.
There are infinite variations on this theme, and that’s the rub. Surfers have mostly avoided asymmetricals because they either look weird, or they don’t have time, resources, money or inclination to go monkeying around with a shape that they fear may or may not work. Fortunately for us, professional surfer/shaper/mad-scientist and mind-blower Ryan Burch is not that guy.
“I’m sure some people think I’m tripping when they see the boards that I make,” he says. “But you know. that’s my representation of the way that I feel…And the way that I ride a wave is more simple than the way my boards look, probably. It’s more of an overall, continuous rhythm that gives me the rush. Lines are my favorite thing – doing different lines and trying to challenge yourself by plotting a different course on the wave. That’s kind of where I’m at.”
Can I get an amen?
Enjoy the fruits of Ryan’s labor below — CD