Archive for February, 2011
Friday, February 25th, 2011
Pukas and Tecnalia have been working together in the development of the surfboards of the future, now. The first result of advanced research is a surfboard that records your positioning and tells surfers what they’re doing well and what should be corrected.
These futuristic new surfboards have everything embedded: gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS, compass, strain gauges that measure flex and pressure sensors.
The surf brands invited Aritz Aranburu to present the mechanical behaviour of surfboards, through technology, by “turn feelings into facts and figures” and providing as yet unquantified data that can be directly applied to improve the features of these surfboards.
The surfboard of the future has arrived
By analyzing data, surfers may improve technical performance and measurement of parameters during a surf competition. Watch the explanation video of the futuristic surfboards, here.
Pukas and Tecnalia had to install the data gathering electronics – sensors and hardware – in the surfboard itself to transfer the data to a computer. In addition, they characterized the mechanical properties of surfboards so as to quantify the mechanical behavior of the same and adapt it to the requirements of individual surfers.
At the same time, the development team also defined laboratory tests that allow them to quantify the stiffness and flexibility of boards and their resistance to breakage. Elite surfers Aritz Aranburu, Hodei Collazo, Kepa Acero and Mario Azurza have been carrying out the initial experiments designed to characterize the stresses affecting surfboards as faithfully as possible.
Other professional surfers, such as Tiago Pires, Joan Duru, Eneko Acero and Tim Boal, are expected to join the project at a later date. Source: SurferToday
Thursday, February 24th, 2011
This is one of the greatest inventions, plastic to oil
Surfers Without Borders have presented the results of the “Plastic to Oil” demonstration, held at the Orella Stewardship Institute. The new technology allows everyone to transform normal everyday plastic into gasoline, kerosene and diesel for your surf trips. At the beach, if you need to refuel, pick up some trash and transform it again. This is definitely not the only answer to the huge global issue of marine debris, but it is really helpful. The machine will head to Santa Barbara and will be shown by doing beach clean-ups and transforming plastic.
For the past several years, Surfers Without Borders have been researching various methods of producing energy from waste. While there are many clean ways to get electricity from biomass or organic matter, the NGO was particularly looking for ways to create an incentive for people to clean up the ocean, mainly the plastic that has gathered itself and our attention in the Northern Pacific Gyre.
After many sessions surfing the internet, Surfers Without Borders came across a pretty promising process and series of machines designed by the Blest Corporation of Japan. After contacting them, they were put in touch with their US representatives, E-N-ergy Inc.
The machines range from a small desktop units to large continuous processing machines and refiners that can handle up to multiple tons of plastic waste. The plastics are put into the melting chamber where they are heated to around 420 deg C, at which point the plastic boils and the hot gasses are run through a water bath to be condensed into oil.
The desktop unit uses one kilowatt of electricity to convert one kilogram of plastic into one liter of oil, at a cost of around US $0.25. The oil can then be further refined back through the same machine into gasoline, kerosene, and diesel. A small amount of ash is left over, and the off-gasses are turned into CO2 and water with a catalytic converter, or can be used to run a generator.
The process is called pyrolysis and is a tried and true method for converting almost any type of material into energy. Material is super heated in the absence of oxygen, so does not combust, but vaporizes into gas. Since there is no combustion, the process is relatively clean. Source: SurferToday
Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
Another kiteboarding record to be attempted in Maui
World kitesurfers have been called for a challenging record attempt. “Kitesurfers United Maui 2012″ will be trying to set a Guinness World Record. The idea is simple.
Maui is an ideal kitesurfing spot with steady winds, calm water and warm temperatures. The organization is aiming to setup the largest kiteboarding event ever held, in order to assist the IKA’s Olympic commission in their effort to get Kitesurfing into the Olympics.
The initial plan is to cross over to neighbouring island (Molokai, Oahu), but this will be finalized in December when registration closes. Other options include: going into the open ocean with each and every kiter to circle a large ship or vessel, possibly a marine or navy ship.
“Kitesurfers United Maui 2012″ will attempt the following Guinness World Records: largest kitesurfing event ever held, largest group of kiters out on the open ocean, most people attempting a kite-crossing and most kiters riding together in one spot.
The organization wants to gather 2000 or more participants for setting these world records, in April or May 2012. There will be satellite imagery, international news coverage, professional photographers and video productions. All participants might get access to flights discounts. Source: SurferToday
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Now you can surf without getting wet
They have sponsors, rankings, a rulebook and even a board of directors. Meet the Second Life Surfing Association (SLSA). Confused? Well, these days everything is possible. If your favourite surf spot is on flat days, why don’t you try virtual surfing?
Second Life has grown so much you can actually live another “life” in this virtual world. With surfing, it’s exactly the same. Even if you have never surfed a real wave, you can be a pro in the electronic environment.
The SLSA’s mission statement is so much fun. “The Second Life Surfing Association (herein known as “SLSA”) is the governing authority for surfing and surfing-related events throughout Second Life (herein known as “SL”). The SLSA governs competitions; promotes surfing and surf-related sports; and provides guidance and advice to its members on matters such as competition organization, judging, and sport instruction”.
Just like in real life. It is fair to say that the SLSA is the International Surfing Association (ISA) of the electronic world. The SLSA season events are professionally organized and deliver virtual prize-money for the best surfers: Linden Dollars (L$).
Actually, there are thousands of surfers in Second Life. They can be often seen in the best surf spots of that virtual planet. Playa Sol Manañero, Kapu Kai, Bundoran Reef, Monkey Cove and Tsunami Beach host “pro” SL surfing competitions.
So, if you’ enjoy becoming a 10-time Second Life world champion, check out the SLSA official website here and SurfWatch, a 100% Second Life surfing blog where you can discuss the pain you’ve felt after a digital wipe-out. Source: SurferToday
Monday, February 21st, 2011
The Wavegarden delivers a perfect wave every time
The perfect surfer’s heaven has been born. The Wavegarden is the newest technology in the art of making man-made artificial wave pools and lakes. The surfing project was born in the Basque Country, in Spain, and has already been tested by world pro surfers.
In 2005, engineer Josema Odriozola and sports economist Karin Frisch decided to combine their expertise in designing and building sport facilities, particularly skate parks, with their passion for surfing.
The goal was quite simple: to build the most realistic surfing experience in perfect waves in locations far away from the ocean. Lowering global construction costs and monthly maintenance investments had to be carefully designed. Watch the Wavegarden artificial wave in action, here.
Odriozola and Frisch studied different methods and models of making artificial waves, using computing simulations and small sized prototypes. After six years of research and development, the Wavegarden is finally tested with real surfers. Gipuzkoa, in Spain, will be installing the first artificial surfing unit.
Waves are simply perfect. At the same time, they’re fun and affordable, combining technical expertise with a sustainable business plan. The Wavegarden can be customized to deliver size, shape and speed of the waves. The new artificial wave can be applied anywhere: pools, lakes, lagoons, valleys and deserts. The technology used to generate our waves is hidden, either underground or underwater. A maximum wave height of 1.6 metres is recommended.
The Wavegarden can create waves up to 3 kilometres in length and generate perfect tubes throughout the entire ride. Is it very easy to setup a new wave spot. All you need is a shallow stretch of water and the water level must remain very stable. Source: SurferToday