CFD: Driving Continuous Innovation In Wakesurf Boards
By Dakota Smith

Make Your Voice Count

At Smith Board Co, your feedback drives innovation. We're dedicated to crafting the perfect wakesurf board, and we need your insights to make it happen. Our quick, 2-minute Performance Optimization Methodology survey is your chance to share what matters most to you on the water. Your input helps us fine-tune our designs and push the boundaries of wakesurfing excellence.

Take The Survey Now

Aerospace and wakesurf have more in common than you think

Computational Fluid Dynamics, or CFD, is a game changer when it comes to designing anything that flies or floats. Why? The complex models that take humans weeks, months, or years to calculate, CFD can model in minutes or hours.  Engineers use these models to enhance designs and increase performance in aircraft, boats, and more. For example: have you ever noticed that almost all planes have slightly turned up wingtips? Using CFD, aerospace engineers discovered that adding these winglets to airplane wing design decreased drag and reduced the amount of fuel needed to fly. 

Let’s take a look at the evolution of CFD 

Early airplanes were designed by creating prototypes that were manually tested in wind tunnels or fields. This process was slow - often taking months or years. Inventors had to ideate and build a prototye, test the prototype (which would often be destroyed in testing), and then begin again. The advent of computers with large computing power enabled engineers to quickly test complex models and design ideas with several clicks of a mouse. The huge improvements we have seen in the aerospace industry over the past 2 decades are largely enabled by the use of CFD to innovate faster and more accurately. 

Connecting the dots: wakesurf meets aerospace

Using the same tech and fluid dynamics principles that continues to help humans reach space, Smith Board Co is leveraging CFD to decrease the time and money associated with product design, while improving the performance delivered to the end user.  As rider skills progress on the water, we use CFD to engineer a board that grows and improves too. CFD allows us to test our ideas quicker than ever before, reliably gathering information about how our designs will impact the ride and performance. 

CFD is the new frontier of wakesurf

The wakesurfing industry typically designs boards the same way that surf boards were initially designed decades ago. And like the aerospace industry of old, the time to manually innovate on designs and increase performance takes months or years. It’s time for a change. Athletes and competitors are ready to speed up innovation and push the sport to the next level. At Smith Board Co, using CFD in our design process is resulting in bigger gains in board agility, speed, and air. 

Want to learn more?

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest
wakesurfing journal articles. Don't miss out!