Bruce Fowler V8 Lean Machine

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
2,144
4,153
California
They were also known as 'Trackers', which I personally experienced while nearly taking off my then girfriend's head. Watch the footage of Nat Young at the Bay circa '67 to see the struggles he was experiencing. Here's McT at Sunset, looks to me like he's riding mid-board.


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The truth is McT's V Bottom (yes, which I maintain was well after Midget's & confirmed by GG) was a very different design from what Farrelly made.
McT's had vee all the way thru the board also a bunch of concave. Midget's had single concave versus McT's deepish double spine down the center kind of configuration. Midget's was 8 ft by about 22" & stringer less. He designed a big hatchet cutaway fin to "promote drift".

Midget admittedly, only made the one board. G&S picked it up and made a model out of it & sold thousands to the East Coast. They worked particularly well in small Florida surf. McTavish deserves the credit for popularizing the design more than Midget ever did........ a lot of guys moved on very quickly to Brewer inspired Baby Gun Mini Pintails......... a lot of those around 8'6"...... still considered "short" from what we had been riding.
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Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
2,144
4,153
California
And lifted from another Jamz thread: The Design is far more mild than BFV8 while Cooprfish is the most extreme I've currently seen out there. Different animals altogether.
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XXX

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Dec 18, 2020
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And lifted from another Jamz thread: The Design is far more mild than BFV8 while Cooprfish is the most extreme I've currently seen out there. Different animals altogether.
This arrived in my Inbox, said to be the original 'Plastic Machine', seen under McT's arm:
Untitled+design+%2810%29.png

Nice panel pigment job. Moderate looking Vee and plenty o' fin.
 
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Planktom

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Dec 27, 2016
1,691
2,156
Devon, UK
Kevin Platt and Chops Lascelles probably do not get the nod they deserve in trying to refine the Vee bottom over in Oz. Neal Purchase senior, too.
 

XXX

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Dec 18, 2020
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The (only) three Men's Australia National Champs of the '60's, pictured during the Transition/Vee bottom era. The shot of Keith Paul is a favorite of mine and he's not on a Vee.

midget_farrelly_by_dick_graham_2 - Copy.jpeg images.jpeg

The cover shot of Nat is more interesting after you've watched the video where his Plastic Machine is seen 'tracking' on one Vee panel, taking him to exciting places and holding him there...

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T-Bone

Active Member
Apr 7, 2005
487
141
USA - Beachwood, New Jersey
T Bone........ remember, CONTROL comes from turning closer to the middle of the board. As you fuge your feet back these boards become progressively looser until they will slide and if way back on the tail....... will guarantee to SPIN OUT.

I intentionally designed them this way to allow a good surfer to experiement with foot positioning in order to drift or do powerslides & even controlled spinouts! I also decided to retain that feature as an homage to the V Bottoms of yesteryear that were branded as "Spinout Queens" & worse, "the Boards that Don't Work".

They work just fine, now......... all they needed was a little TLC & Time to really Develop them.
I will definitely keep it closer to the center, Thank You Bruce!
 

kv63

Active Member
Jan 7, 2021
132
200
California
Update on my BFV8

Dims
: 7’6” x 22.75 x 3.13

Rider: Age = 48 Height = 5’2” Weight = 150 pounds Physique = Fit Surfboard = ride mostly hulls

Fins: @C_glass fins 9.75 Liddle wide base template with 3 ½ side bites

I have 9 sessions on this V8 in different spots from Santa Cruz to SanO in sets ranging from knee high to overhead. I have not surfed it as a single. One session as quads. I will try bigger quads as soon as I get them from Chris @C_glass fins. Here are the pros and cons for me.

Cons

  • Weight – Its heavy. 6 oz bottoms with thicker stringers as std. issue. No pressure marks whatsoever after 9 sessions on it so I am guessing it’s 6 oz as well for the top. If this is incorrect, feel free to chime in. My shoulders have been bothering me for the past five years so that’s why the weight is an issue for me. For someone with healthier shoulders, the weight should not be an issue for you.
  • Quiver Killer – This board messed up my whole board rotation.
Pros

  • Paddles well and fast
  • Early entry into the wave
  • The glide is very smooth
  • Its surf faster than I thought it would
Adjustments – I had to adjust two habits when surfing my BFV8.

Adjustment 1 – like my displacement hulls, most of my turns come from the middle of the board which I find unique since the BFV8 is not a displacement hull. I have to remind myself this before everyone session.

Adjustment 2 – when turning the board from the tail area, my movements are slow and steady. I try not to react too quickly/ aggressively when turning from the tail area. If my movements are fast/ aggressive, I find myself going one direction while my board goes another direction. My turning in the tail area has gotten much better.

Wonderings

Would the BFV8 have the same characteristics if it were lighter @Bruce Fowler ?
 

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Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
2,144
4,153
California
There is a lot of volume in the board as far as weight.
Thicker stringer adds weight as well....... I wanted these boards to be durable as stock boards.
It may have a 6 oz bottom but I'd have to confirm by the # on the board.

Typically Haakenson's boards are very strong wtih the Std. 4 oz bottom.
It probably is most likely that the volume of the board is overkill for your weight.

They ride well with or w/o extra weight. I get a fair share of guys that ask for extra weight.
They weren't designed to be tail turners but to become progressively looser the further you inch back.
The looseness is relative to foot position & center fin position creating a shorter or longer wheelbase.

I wanted to make some in EPS/Epoxy stringerless builds but can't get any glass shop that wants to do epoxy on a regular basis.

Edit: I've negotiated w/Haakenson & some eps/epoxy "BF White Lites" may be on the not too distant horizon.
 
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Dognose

Member
Jan 13, 2020
58
66
Long Beach, CA
Totally agree with kv63's adjustments: turn from the middle, don't try to jam a hard back-foot bottom turn or you'll be punished. I have a 8'0" V8. I like it with a single 9.75 4A, but my preferred setup right now is a 8.5" Velzy classic and the tiny single-tab TA FCS bites. Loose and drivey, fast and skatey (for it's bulk), but still has enough stick on steeper faces.
 

Bruce Fowler

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2018
2,144
4,153
California
"Would the BFV8 have the same characteristics if it were lighter?"

Yes.

Weight doesn't change the Physics going on with the Design............ with ANY design.

The Dynamics that a Surfboard experiences is consistent to that Design while the Perception of the Ride is experienced by the Rider.
Of course, a much lighter board will feel more responsive most likely becuz the exertion of weight from the rider is more acutely 'felt' by the board as it is being navigated. So the Rider would say,

"the lighter version is easier to turn".

Another Rider might state,

"I like the heavier version because it has more Glide & Carries more Momentum thru dead spots."

In this sense, both Riders assertions are valid, but the Design stays True as to whether it Goes to Rail Well, has Blazing Straight Line Trim Speed,
and Paddles Well and offers early Entry........ albeit, a super light version WILL Pop Up & also Drop Off a Plane quicker.
 
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