In most forms of auto racing, cars are equipped with various sensors and computers that relay data to the pit lane for crew chiefs to analyze. The info is then used to improve the car and driver's on track performance. A Spanish surf company, Pukas, is looking to bring that same practice to the world of surfing.
Partnering with research giant Tecnalia, Pukas created a smart surfboard called the SurfSens project which features sensors that analyze a surfers performance when out hitting the waves. Pukas hopes the technology will help it build a better surfboard as well as help surfers improve their technique.
The SurfSens is loaded with a computer and a range of sensors—pressure sensor, flex sensor, compass, and accelerometers—that adds a 1.4 lbs to the board, but can send sets of data to a computer running the Robot Operating System, an open source system that plots the data in a number of different forms including a 3D animation that shows the board's various positions. Engineers and designers can then use the data to see what makes a good surfer and a good surfboard. We have a feeling the sport will never be the same.