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New Products Hot Deals Top Brands Top Sellers Tutorials Support CheckoutHOLIDAY Sale!• Take 15% OFF!• Take 10% OFF! When at rest, a surfers weight is borne entirely by the buoyant force (also depending on how much beer you drank the night before).
At low speeds every hull acts as a displacement hull, meaning that the buoyant force is mainly responsible for supporting the surfer. A fluid flowing (water) past the surface of a body (surfer + surfboard) exerts surface force on it.
In contrast, the buoyant force decreases as the hull lifts out of the water decreasing the displaced volume.
This is the reason that surfboards with lots of rocker need more speed and their no rocker cousins scream across the water.
The major difference between a planing surfboard hull and a displacement hull is the way in which the surfboard travels through the water. At high speeds a displacement hull’s tail will sink down lower and lower as a result of the “hole” created in the water as the surfboard moves forward. A planing hull, on the other hand, will have a flat or concave bottom contour and plane up on top of the water.
Displacement hulls push through the water as they have no hydrodynamic lift, or the surfboard does not rise out of the water as speed increases.
The hull design (shape) does not limit the maximum attainable speed but does affect the power required for it to get on plane (on top of the water).
Semi-displacement or semi-planing hulls have features of both planing and displacement hulls.
There is not one hull design characteristic that differentiates semi-displacement from semi-planing hull.
The greater the hydrodynamic lift and higher the hull design speed the more likely it will be referred to as a semi-planing hull. I came across this blog post by Steven Mast of Mast Surfboards and it is an excellent discussion of the topic.

Old, soft edged boards are the same, as are any true displacement hulls being produced today.
Now I’m sure I’ll get some flak for this, but displacement hulls, by their very nature, are not as fast as planing hulls (editors note: . Another thing I’ll take flak for, and I’m saying it anyway, Greg Liddle did not invent the displacement hull surfboard. All displacement hulls, although arguably not “modified transitional displacement hulls”, whatever that means. I (even after researching and writing it) have to reread it sometimes to understand it too. I am totally with you on this, my experience is that a board reacts differently in a turn vs. Putting an edge on a tail does not automatically turn the board into a PH—totally agree.
All surfboards (regardless of the intentions, theories, or fantasies of their designers) plane on the wave face. Most simmons hulls I see are single concave, but I spoke to a guy in the water who was riding one with a v hull. This cool-looking radio control racing speed boat is a great entry-level RC boat model for its price.
The Double Horse RC EP7000 Racing Speed Boat is equipped with a quality radio control system with a radio Signal of 27, 40mhz, plus a battery charger. This design does not ride high on the water like a planing hull, instead plowing through and parting the water. There are displacement hulls, planing hulls and as usually is the case, some variant of the two.
The very nature of the release provided by that edge, by definition puts that board into planing mode. As soon as they get going, the tail end of the board starts submarining and they can literally walk to the nose and go.
As soon as you put an edge at the tail, you release the water and the board begins to plane. They may “feel” faster in a section, but without the release, they are constantly dragging more than a sharp edged board would.
He refined it to an amazing degree, made it work in a short package, championing it when it was completely against the trends of the time, but have you ever seen a Weber Foil?

But i still don’t understand the general accepted theory that as soon as you put an edge on the tail it turns into a planing hull.
If you look for an affordable starter-level RC racing speed boat, this model would be a good choice to go. Measuring over 30 inches long featuring authentic and stylish detailing, this remote control boat is perfect for pools, ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean too.
It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the surface force parallel to the flow direction. Think of an ocean liner moving through the deep ocean versus a speed boat racing around a lake. The modern surfboard, most “hulls” included, balance these principles to achieve the desired effect or feel. On the contrary, I think his boards are brilliant and have been a huge design influence for me. A displacement hull works more by pushing the water around it’s hull and through the rails and tail, where as a planing hull works more by channeling the water directly through the hull.
Put the spoon face up (like a v-hull), and the curvature of the spoon allows it to wobble effortlessly. A displacement hull has a theoretical hull speed, above which the water actually sucks the hull deeper into the water (I’m simplifying here).
The feeling of a well balance hull is one of the great pleasures of surfing that most people fail to credit. A small amount of edge in the tail of a displacement hull will not convert the entire board, it will still act as a DH.
Surfing one well takes a different approach, especially if you are stepping off a thruster.
If you were going for a hard back foot turn with little else board in the water than the tail only then you could call that planing, otherwise it would still feel and act like a DH majority of the time. At anything above the theoretical hull speed, the boat begins to submarine, actually being pulled deeper into the water.

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