UWF Students Build Foilboard
By Oliver Watson, UWF Haas Center, BA Economics 2023
University of West Florida students have worked for the past couple of months in the Sea 3D lab to research the best method of designing and building a foilboard. Also known as a hydrofoil board, a foilboard is a surfboard with a hydrofoil that extends below the board into the water. The hydrofoil allows the board to rise over the surface of the water at various speeds. The research project is led by Nick Carssow, UWF engineering student and sailing enthusiast. His teammates include a sophomore engineering student Teaun Turner, and master’s student, Murilo Basso.
In an interview with Nick Carssow, he detailed the process to creating the foilboard. “The body of the board and the wings were carved out of a polyurethane foam using a CNC machine to create the shape. Then they wrapped the polyurethane foam in carbon fiber, added a layer of an epoxy resin to adhere the layers together. Once the resin is spread, a sheet of carbon fiber fabric is overlaid and spread evenly on top of the board and the process is repeated one more time.”
When asked about why Sea 3D chose to use carbon fiber instead of another material Carssow explained that “the hydrofoil board features an innovative carbon fiber design that provides a strong and lightweight structure to withstand the forces it will be under, while maintaining maximum maneuverability.” While observing the foilboard one will notice that the mast and the fuselage is crafted out of wood, not the polyurethane foam wrapped in carbon fiber. Carssow explained “using a wood core in the mast and fuselage is necessary to provide additional strength so it can bare the weight of the rider. The two pieces were crafted using pinewood and then covered in a fiberglass skin. At the end of the process all components are sanded down and polished to create a smooth surface that will effortlessly glide through the water.”
The UWF Sea 3D team hopes to work with other UWF Mechanical Engineering students on a foilboard capstone project next semester.
Sea3D is the industrial innovation arm of the UWF Haas Center. The group remains one of Florida’s leading sources for survey research, workforce assessment, and economic impact analysis. Sea3D serves as a hub for multidisciplinary research, invention, and discovery in the high-demand field of additive manufacturing, providing a space for real-world problems to be transformed into creative solutions. It is located inside the Museum of Commerce at 201 E. Zaragoza St. Housing state-of-the-art additive equipment, Sea3D provides a space for students, business leaders and community members to collaborate on the creation and printing of 3-D products. It also puts real-world science on display for the thousands of local K-12 students who visit the Museum of Commerce each year. The team filed their first patent application in 2022.