Resonance in wooden surfboards: Balsa vs Paulownia and the delights of the parallel profile

Paulownia has far better resonance than balsa, which is why paulownia is used in musical instruments.Balsa dampens resonance and behaves more like foam in that respect We call it 'organic foam' partly for that reason and partly because it sucks water so readily. Paulownia transmits resonance so that the board becomes like a drum or sound box. . . . . that's what we are after, as it transmits energy and information from ythe surfboard hull to the feet of the rider.Parallel profile torsion box construction is also far superior in this respect as it has a low riding position, the rider's feet are close to the bottom, with the deck being an exact replica of the bottom, . . . . this gives extraordinary sensitivity in the feedback from the board to the rider. . . the board literally feels as if it is alive, much like a musical instrument.Over 40 years of surfing in waves up to 25 feet, nearly half of that time on flexible wooden boards with excellent resonance, has given me a very good grasp of what's going on.Here's a video showing complex harmonics in one of our longboards, unfortunately the low resolution doesn't show it that well but there are at least two frequencies occurring. We have a higher resolution video which we can upload later.'s a Power Surfboard owner describing the feeling rather well:"Just being on that board is a different sort of experience. There’s an energy in that wood, a richness and luxury I don’t feel surfing anything else. The sounds the board makes as its hull moves through the water, the smooth feel of the rails, the way it just slides right into the pocket and speeds you down the line. There is joy in that olo"