The Forces of Water Catapult Surfers

by Donn Ito September 15, 2020 A very common and painful wipeout for surfers is the catapult. All surfers know the feeling. Surfers are catapulted when their surfboards stick into water and abruptly stop. They hit water so hard that their lungs deflate the little air they hold. Breathless and winded they seek the surface as the wave breaks, pushing them deeper to darker depths. These wipeouts may be reduced by surfboard design. First we must learn and understand the cause. . Density and shape affect the buoyancy of an object. An increase in surface area increases water displacement. A small surfboard displaces little water and is difficult to stand on when it is not moving. A lo

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