Prone board design concept comparison

I am interested to know the differences of feel and what the plus and minuses are between a simple flat prone board vs a more radically shaped version. The best/easiest example I can find is in the freedom board range.
1- FTW PRO - Almost like a normal surfboard. Soft rails. No edges. flat bottom
2- Fusion - Double concave front, big chines down the side. Looks like lots of hard edges.

Does anyone have experience of these 2 boards to comment on what makes each one good and bad and what each style is more suited to.

We need Brian @FTW to chime in lol.

I started on the original FFB techno (flat bottom smooth rails) but I’m now on a Rubix (contoured bottom). Basically identical volume. The Rubix is definitely lighter(newer), but paddles way better and gets off the water better. The flat bottom is more stable in foam hits, but I’d definitely say the Rubix recovers better when it touches the water.

My 2¢

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FTW Pro actually has sharp rails. Flat bottom to sharp rails helps shear off water and help pivot off foam. Good amount of nose kick rocker. Super balanced volume distribution.

Fusion, I’m riding right now (testing new construction) needs a little more foam in the tail for more balanced paddling imo. Both ride great. Channel bottoms definitely more grabby in the foam.


I’m riding a ride engine escape pod, has similar big chines and sharp bottom rails. Plows through the water a bit, but once moving it can release very easily with less of a feel difference between planning and flying. Probably not as efficient for gutless waves, but more beginner friendly? I feel that helps me with getting to my feet on a wave without worrying if I’m lifting on the foil yet or not. Hitting the rails while turning is a non-issue but I really only do that while winging, mostly just trying to not fall while prone foiling.

Thanks for your response, but I wasn’t so much asking about a head to head of those 2 boards, more asking what the positive and negatives of each sort of design. My current board has lots of concave and chines, but I feel like it brakes a lot if I touch down. So I wondered how a flatter more “normal” style board would behave. The 2 examples were just 2 that I picked out as differing designs.
From what @ftw says it seems like the big advantage of the flat bottom sharp rails design is in the whitewater. I wonder now what are the supposed advantages of the concave and chines?


Just to go back to this.

If the advantages of the FTW style board is that it shears off water and is good off foam… What are the disadvantages of this type of design.

And what are the advantages and disadvantages of the deeper concaves and more pronounced chines on the rail.

As I said this is not so much a comparison of the boards, but of the styles of board, which I see clearly in 2 camps… those with super complex bottom shapes and rail designs and those that are flatter, simpler and not so far away from a normal surfboard.

For fun, I’ll play devil’s advocate. There is a saying that fishing lures are designed to attract fishermen more than fish. Super sexy and sophisticated bottom profiles have a lot of wow factor. But do they really contribute much for a vehicle that spends 95% of its riding time out of the water? Arguably they add expense in shaping and glassing, and also more edges attracts more dings. Some advanced features actually detract from performance, with one benefit coming with costs – I made a board with a v nose like one of the Appletrees, it digs in like a deep V on takeoff, won’t do that again. Chalk up my vote for the KISS principle. :slight_smile:

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The Dave Kalama PPP episode is really interesting and touches on a lot of the general board shape principles. Highly recommend giving it a listen, but as a counter point I could see a V hull shape being better in super choppy, crumbly conditions where it could plow through the bumps in the face with less drag and less wave energy to help, like a Barracuda in DW conditions.

I ride a FFB Rubix here in Jax, and it paddles incredibly well, especially when the water is textured. Maybe its all smoke and mirrors but at least the placebo effect adds paddle power lol


DW: I think this may be the most clearly defined change in foiling since Kai Lenny was chopping feet off his 12’ sup each session. The downwinding thing seems to be an actual paradigm shift, the gear is specialized and performance is critical.

" the placebo effect adds paddle power lol"…I think that’s a really important point. Confidence in your gear is crucial to get that flow and be able to push through. Being stoked is crucial too, and if that whizz bang newfangled design board gets the juices flowing, then carpe that diem!! In the end, we’re all just looking for that rush, so whatever gets us there is all good.

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Hey K57skye
If you’re young, fit and can foil pretty well, then the tech’d out shapes will probably be less challenging to ride. If you’re older, and not getting to your feet as well as you maybe used to, then the simpler designs are probably going to be more user friendly.
From my own POV, I sometimes find that the high angled rails in the nose area can get a bit catchy, particularly if you’re pop up onto your feet is a bit slow or you’re off balance… The more basic rounded rails grab less at the water flow entry point, in my humble opinion.

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