The Universe and Me

Monday, July 25, 2005

Is it buoyant?

At a garage sale, John bought something called a Skurfer for ten dollars. Terry and Tanner tried this on the lake, but couldn’t manage to stand up and surf behind the boat. John figured the Skurfer was a useless relic from the past that someone unloaded on him but the next night Jerry tried it from his boat and stood up on the first try. And he zipped along, having what looked like a blast. To be funny, he planned to ski up to our boat and splash a few drops on us but he underestimated the little Skurfer’s abilities and we were all drenched by a tremendous tidal wave. Luckily all cameras survived and the water felt refreshing on a 90 billion degree day, although I did end up looking less attractive than the Swamp Thing.

A precursor to wakeboards, the Skurfer was developed in 1985 by a San Diego surfer named Tony Finn who wanted to combine waterskiing with surfing and ended up with something like skiboarding. The Skurfer, almost banana shaped, is extremely buoyant so if Letterman ever has it on his “Will if Float?” segment, yes, it sure will float. Because of its thickness, it floats high on the water and requires an experienced and strong water-skier which is why Jerry had no problem with it. He also said it was similar to the rudimentary boards he used way back when. But today’s wakeboards are a definite improvement.


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