We have been experimenting with the new “penetrator” nose designs that are becoming popular on race boards. The idea is that instead of splitting an oncoming wave or trying to rise over it, it is better to stab through it. This design becomes more viable as the boards get longer; the 14’ to 18’ boards do not rise over an oncoming swell as easily as a 12’6” board. A penetrator nose has an extremely VEE’d or domed deck in the front half of the board. This dissipates the water that comes over the bow as it stabs through the wave.
We found that most penetrator designs have a nice domed deck, but they seem to have forgotten about the water flow under the board because they make the bottom contour completely flat in the nose area. The problem with this is that a flat bottom under the nose will begin to lift the nose up, thus forcing the tail down as you come up to race speed.
Steve Boehne designed our penetrator nose with a nice domed deck, but more importantly maintained the deep VEE bow under the nose to split the water and prevent nose planning. As the VEE’d deck and bottom meet at the nose, they naturally come together in a profile that very much resembles an Indian canoe. Maybe the Indian’s displacement hull designs were way ahead of us.