Ride Number Applied: Jordy Smith @ Bells
Futures' proprietary performance rating system, Ride Number, is making its way into the hearts of our team riders on the World Tour. Jordy Smith applied the concepts to suit his need and take home a runner-up finish at the Rip Curl Pro last weekend at Bells Beach. The Ride Number scale categorizes the feel of individual fin sets and places them into three main categories; Speed Generating, Balanced or Speed Control based on the construction of the set, with each set having its own unique performance number. The performance numbers are consistent along the Ride Number scale within Futures' variety of fin constructions, creating a different performance and feeling for each construction.
At stop #2 on the WSL World Tour, Jordy Smith utilized two different fin constructions of his preferred AM2 template in his heats and free surf sessions. As conditions went from clean and fun to wild and critical, by simply making a material change Jordy was able to dial in the performance feel of his equipment to suit the day's offering. His go to construction is Honeycomb, which lies within the Balanced category on the Ride Number scale. Honeycomb fins provide an all-around feel, in average to good waves. Nice consistent flex allowing for spring through turns, but enough stability to hold a drawn out carve. The AM2 Honeycomb has a specific ride number of 4.6.
Throughout the event window, Bells presented a few different scenarios for the competitors. Both Easter Sunday and Finals day were quite solid, with well overhead sets and wind-affected conditions. Jordy saw this as the exact time to ride the AM2 Techflex, effectively lowering the Ride Number to the Speed Control category. It feels more stable and predictable and will increase drive and hold in the powerful conditions these days offered. The AM2 Techflex has a specific Ride Number of 3.0.
In this application, Jordy isn't using the entire Ride Number range from 1-10, but rather a smaller differential from 4.6 to 3.0. He's going from Balanced to Speed Control categories, and with the change in fins he can feel the difference in performance to suit the changing conditions. Riding the same AM2 template in both constructions minimized the overall change to just the feeling of Balanced vs. Speed Control, without the addition of a template change.