The Physics of Noseriding … “one of surfing’s peak moments: part fluid dynamics, part magic” … Patagonia gets passionate about surfing’s fluid dance

March 5, 2023

The noseride is one of surfing’s peak moments: part fluid dynamics, part magic.

But how does noseriding actually work? What makes this suspension between sea and sky even possible?

Patagonia’s short movie “The Physics of Noseriding” explores the question through the eyes of Namaala, a young surfer whose people were flying on the water before the world even knew what surfing was.

Her curiosity invites us to examine the sensation of levitation that unfolds as wave, surfboard and surfer come together for surfing’s fluid dance.

Noseriding is when the surfboard interacts with the wave.

The most common thing you’ll hear is that water on the tail creates downward pressure which creates lift in the nose allowing it to hold your weight. Essentially your board is acting like a lever and as long as there’s enough pressure on the tail, you’ll be able to stand on the nose. One thing to keep in mind is that this will only work when you’re in the *pocket* of the wave.

I love this. Because it’s all about passion.

The passion of the surfer in search of perfection. And the passion of Patagonia, the brand, for what people seek to do.

We all know Patagonia as the protest brand – fighting against climate change, fighting for social rights. And in particular how founder Yvon Chouinard recently chose to “give away” his multi-billion dollar business to a charitable foundation, which will ensure that every dollar of profit (typically $100 million every year) goes to fighting climate change.

We also know the story of how Patagonia started – about Chouinard, his passion for the outdoors, from climbing to fishing.

So it’s refreshing to see the passion, as well as the protest – seeking to create a better world – so that we can enjoy the beauty of the natural environment, the thrill of outdoor sport, and the obsession for perfection.

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