You may be a stand-up surfer or kayak paddler who is investigating the Infinity wave ski. There is a lot to learn and there are many differences between the Infinity designs and other wave ski brands.
The most important thing is that they are designed from a knowledge-base of 50 years of surfboard shaping. Steve Boehne began shaping surfboards in 1960 and wave skis in 1972. He has worked through all of the design innovations that have allowed stand up surfers to do high-performance, power moves on a wave. The evolution of surfboard design has expanded the knowledge of how Rocker, V-bottom, concave, outline, rail contour and buoyancy affect surfing performance. These same aspects can be shaped into a “blank” to create a high performance, yet easy to ride wave ski. The main thing is to understand how a surfboard is different than a wave ski and how the elements of the shape must be changed to allow a sit-down surfer to carve hard, powerful turns and pull the same advanced maneuvers that stand up surfers have established as state of the art surfing.
The critical difference between stand up surfing and sit down surfing is that the stand-up surfer can walk forward and back on the board while a sit-down surfer remains in one place on his ski.
The fin on a surfboard is at the tail. In order to turn, the surfer must walk back to place his weight over the fin then turn. The bottom of the surfboard has rocker that curves all the way to the tail. This allows the front of the board to be raised out of the water and swung right or left into a turn. The fin placement, outline, and rocker of a surfboard are all designed to make it turn from the tail. A wave ski surfer is attached to his ski with thigh straps or a seat belt. (This can be quite an advantage over a stand-up surfer because he has a lower center of gravity, he can’t fall off, and he can apply his body weight to his ski more powerfully). An even lower center of gravity is achieved with a 3” deep seat well and 4” deep footwells. This, however, prevents the sit-down surfer from moving forward and back to turn, thus the major design differences between skis and surfboards. Like a surfboard, a ski turns under the rider’s weight, but from the center of the ski, not the tail. The fin is placed under the seat, the rocker is focused to a point under the seat and the outline of the ski is widest adjacent to the seat. The parameters (actual measurements) of these three elements of wave ski design are carefully extrapolated and recorded in the Infinity shaping room. They vary according to the length and style of ski and the weight of the rider.
The design discussion above is important because it is the application of these elements of design into a wave ski hull that makes the Infinity wave skis different than any others.
Infinity rocker is not a smooth parabolic curve like a surfboard. It is measured and crowned (focused) near the center under the seat. This creates a pivot point that will allow the ski to rotate (turn) from the center easier. When the nose goes right, the tail goes left. (counter-rotation) Most wave ski and “surfboat” makers don’t understand this principle and they apply the rocker too close to the tail like a surfboard or they just don’t put in the right amount of rocker.
Again, the outline of Infinity skis is not parabolic but focused wider at the seat to combine with the pivot effect of the rocker.
If you are an accomplished stand-up surfer, or new to surfing, riding a wave ski can open up to you new visions and possibilities in surfing. It offers diversity to your surfing routine. Wave ski surfing is easier than stand up surfing. You have a lower center of gravity and you can’t fall off because you are strapped on. This fact actually allows a surfer who can’t do advanced moves standing up learn to do vertical “off-the-lips and snappy Round-House” maneuvers like he never dreamed possible. Wave ski surfing has actually improved my stand up surfing.
You may enjoy this old 1969 video of Merv Larson the father of waveski surfing in California.