The Truth about Surfboard Volume and What is the Optimal Volume you Need?
Volume of a surfboard is a tricky subject and only a reference point in board design. It's more of a marketing ploy brought about by computers and machines shaping boards than an actual metric of how the board will perform.
We can build two boards with 32 liters of volume.. one is 6'6" x 20" x 2 1/2", the other 5'6 x 20" x 2 3/4". They will catch waves and surf very differently.. the only similarity is how high they float our body in the water while sitting in the line up.
Up until the early 2000's when machines started making boards and volume could be thrown into the dimensions written on the board surfers were still ripping on boards where volume wasn't even a consideration. It doesn't mean anything but a reference to what a surfer *thinks* works best for him/her (or whatever their favorite pro is riding this week)
There is only one way to accurately determine a board's volume. Submerge it in a body of water where you can measure the rise in water displaced and calculate the exact volume...
The volume everyone talks about is the DESIGNED volume in a computer shaping software like AKUShaper. The designed volume is never really the true volume of the board...
Surfboard shaping machines can't accurately cut the file for many reasons, but it's adequately close depending on the operator.
When scrubbing a machined shape you're losing volume... no way of knowing how much...
Designed volume from a computer program does not account for removal of foam for an swallow tail since machines cannot shape them, they must have done by hand as a secondary operation when scrubbing the machined blank. That volume Is probably not subtracted from the design volume.
In conclusion, volume isn't something that matters in surfboard design since the performance of surfboards are a synergy of all the design elements - length, rocker, rail shape, outline, bottom contours, etc... and volume is the least important.
And then there's the fiberglass... do we include that in the volume???
That's why I sign my hand shaped boards now "Volume: perfect 80% of the time". Meaning 8 out of 10 waves I'll be stoked on the board I made.