Published on May 3rd, 2013 | by curlmag0
Barron Patent Flex
In the never ending search for the magic board and the magic wave Surfboard shaper Paul Barron is known for experimenting with surfboard designs and has always had an innovative approach to shaping. Barron has shaped boards in many different countries and for some of the top pro-surfers in the world. His latest patented innovation however is such a dramatic shift in surfboard construction it could just be the most important thing to happen to surfboards since they changed from plywood to fibreglass construction in the late nineteen fifties!
Barron is typically one of those Kiwi innovators/inventors that could be branded with the number eight wire mentality and an attitude that nothing is impossible. He has worked against tremendous odds in an earthquake affected factory with his ideas and a trial and error method utilising his remarkable drive and energy. He certainly is of the ilk that produced the Hamilton Jet Boat, the electric fence or the Britten Motorcycle and he has other similarities as well. Even though New Zealand could be considered a distant outpost in world surfing terms, rather than be disadvantaged by his global positioning Barron has seen this as an advantage. He is of the view that along with many things in life isolation can equal innovation, his high energy and inventive approach sees a strong following in Christchurch and most of his current surfboard models sold throughout New Zealand.
Seeing a need in the market for a high performance EPS/epoxy board he develop the design, which he calls Barron Flex, and he has patented it along with the construction method. The blank itself is a mixture of materials, the resin used is epoxy, more eco- friendly than the polyester/polyurethane surfboard and so is the construction of the outer skin. He felt there is a need to look at different approaches and technologies that support the workplace and the environment.
While designing this blank he took into account that there are a few problems with epoxy boards, and understands that all good surfers know about these problems. A number of manufacturers have tried to work around the fact that – they float too much, they tend to chatter across the surface and they are hard to shape among other things. EPS blanks don’t flex the same as polyurethane, they require a lot more glass so are therefore stiffer in construction. He worked through most of those concerns with his cyberline construction and has taken one step further with Barron Flex.
He spent over a year developing and trialing a variety of designs and structures to overcome these issues and he now believes that the final result – the Barron Flex construction not only overcomes them it actually provides a massive advantage in that the shaper is able to build into the construction customized flex to suit the surfers own requirements.
The importance of flex in a modern surfboard should not be under estimated, it provides added drive and therefore momentum off the bottom and through each maneuver. It adds to the overall responsiveness of the board and therefore to the feeling that the board successfully becomes an extension of the surfers body. “You see this with all good surfers’ says Barron it’s more noticeable on a movie screen or DVD in that the surfer is really at one with their equipment and therefore the waves they are riding.
The mechanics of the surfboard shape such as concaves, rail shape, outline, vees are still vitally important in that they all go together to determine just how a board will perform. But this technologically advanced blank has many positive advantages as you can customize the blank to suit each individual surfer. For the surfer this means a more responsive board, quicker turns, a smooth free flowing, faster ride, and the experience of feeling that the magic board is totally achievable.
With Barron Flex the core of the board creates most of the flex and it’s the core of Barron’s board that can be made and changed to flex in a particular way to suit the needs or wants of the surfer and the different types of surf they might be riding.
Barron Patent Flex will soon be made available for a select group of distributors and shapers worldwide.