Well this is a strange coincidence. I was looking up information about onboard computer systems in vehicles earlier this week, when I stumbled across an article about a surfboard with integrated computer. The story was from last summer, so it wasn't really relevant to blog about at this point. Then, a few days later, I found a more recent story about a brand new "smart surfboard". Would you look at that.
This one comes from Europe, in a partnership between board manufacturer Pukas and applied research center Tecnalia. Designed to improve the design and features of the surfboard as well as the performance of surfers through data collection and observance, the smart board incorporates a variety of sensors and hardware into its build to pull data from the waves.
The companies explain in a release: "Surfing is still a sport governed by feelings. Most innovations in board
design and manufacture, as well as analysis of surfing technique, have
been the result of “trial and error” procedures and the experiences of
shapers, trainers and surfers. The driving forces behind this joint
project, PUKAS and TECNALIA, aim to “turn feelings into facts and
figures” and provide as yet unquantified data that can be directly
applied to improve the features of surfboards, the technical performance
of surfers and measurement of parameters during competition."
Pukas hopes to upload the gathered data and use it in crafting smarter, better-designed boards. Because the board also tracks riders' speed, turns, etc., it could also be used for training.
Kind of kills the whole natural, escapist quality of the whole sport, but innovation is innovation.
Via Global Surf News