Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Surfer's Paradise

Ever since I was eight I have loved surfing.  My family was on a trip to Australia and we were in a place called Surfer's Paradise.   It is an awesome experience being eight and body boarding on six foot waves.  The power of the water and mother nature is amazing.  Seeing guys harness that raw power and riding those huge swells on small pieces of board and wax made me fall in love with the sport. It always amazes me that simple materials like nanochemcicals can be used to help surfers maneuver in such extreme conditions like riding a huge barrel in a Tsunami (video below).

Super-hydrophobicity has revolutionized the sport though by providing superhydrophobic surfaces on the rails. Waxing your board can do so much but this new stuff adds even more of a hydrophobic surface to the board.  As it says in the press release: 'NanoTune creates a super-hydrophobic barrier by forming a chemical bond with the rails and bottom deck of a surfboard, lowering the surface energy of the material, which in turn increases the surface tension. The combined effect is to create a clear coating that lessens drag, which leads to increased speed and manoeuvrability.  After being treated with NanoTune, tiny water droplets simply bead on the surface instead of grouping together. Surfaces that are not treated with NanoTune will allow water to spread over the surface rather than beading up, creating greater friction.'  Pretty gnarly.  Understanding surface tension is helping surfers around the world.