Designer;First to say, beyond the basic conventional purpose the manufactures of watercraft originally intended the plate attached below the pump housing on a watercraft to be, as they have chosen to call it to date, a pump cover or skid plate. This component when created correctly will tremendously enhance the functional handling characteristics of a personal watercraft and even do the unheard of, increase the watercraft’s acceleration and overall speed in mph, as proven time and time again. Then this component is called a "RIDE PLATE".
Functions of a "Ride Plate" in simple terms! Not to long ago I posted the information below on an Internet message board after a person asked, "I am new to this sport and I see numerous postings on the subject of Ride Plates, what is a ride plate and what is it suppose to do"?
To begin, recently I watched a program on TV about high performance cars; the man speaking was the CEO of Ferrari. The subject matter was about the most important component on a new 800 HP Ferrari, which the CEO stated without hesitation or doubt, is the palm size contact of the tires to the road surface. Further, all other components (motor, transmission, the aerodynamic body) are relevant to the tires, because all maneuverability, high-speed tracking control, suspension, and of course on a car, power and braking is distributed from the car through the tires to the roads surface. The same is true about a ride plate on the bottom of the hull of a personal watercraft. Why, because the ride plate is located at the lowest central point of the hull at its rear, which makes the ride plate the only component that is always in contact with the water, no matter what the speed. Although once on plane at high speed with 70% of the hull not contacting the water, the ride plate is the only remaining hull component that is still in contact with the water. This gives a ride plate numerous functional responsibilities and makes the ride plate the most vital piece of the watercraft’s handling puzzle. Example; first to assist the motor in lifting the craft up onto plane, lift like down flaps of an aircraft. Then to maintain the watercraft’s correct pitch angle in relationship to the water surface, which eliminates porposing. Next an extremely important, to hold an all speed tracking-line without the hulls nose V or chines hull hunting (as I call it, the uncontrollable wandering ghost effect). Further and most important, to control the turning of the craft at all speeds without the common and well known hull control hesitation caused by tail slide and hull drift. Furthermore, the ride plate must give the small craft the capability of cutting through rough water like they say, "like a knife through hot butter", for a much needed smooth and controllable ride. Once a ride plate is created correctly it will have the capability to be the maneuverability control factor of the craft in all conditions, even with power on or off, simply by leaning. In my opinion this qualifies a functional ride plate as a "life saving device", since watercraft have no braking ability just maneuverability for obstacles.
As we all currently know many stock OEM (Original Manufacture Equipment) watercraft are sold out of the box doing speeds of up to 68 mph. The way I look at it is, after millions of dollars of research and development time is spent on manufacturing a new watercraft the (OEM) pump cover technology sold to you on a new watercraft serves only one purpose, firing off a ballistic missile without any tail fins! Which basically gives you when riding on your very expensive stock watercraft the control and lateral stability of riding on a wet bar of soap at 68 mph.
Only recently within the past few years have many acknowledged the capabilities of "V" bottom ride plate technology, many have even attempted their own watered-down imitations of the U.S. Patented Shred Master "V", rejecting licensing the real deal. You asked why would they manufacture a low quality "V" bottom knock-off for your very expensive stock watercraft? Any knock-off "V" design is better than their prior pump cover designs of the past and it fits their optimistic big corporate bottom-line, somewhat "V" bottom ride plate technology for free. To me it is beyond imitation how anyone could ignore the real deal "V" technology which has been proven time and time again over the last 12 years which simply needs to be bolted on to solve handling problems of a stock PWC? But obviously some people only think about one thing when designing your new PWC, saving $$$ instead offering real handling performance?
Honestly people as a ride plate designer for over 15 years there is no doubt from my perspective "a multi-functional ride plate is the most vital piece of the handling puzzle and should have been the first and #1 component researched when developing a new PWC, again why, "what is power without control". Although to date a ride plate even when proven designed correctly is still the most under-rated component sold at the lowest of price for a multi-functional performance aftermarket product. Hopefully in time the PWC manufactures will get beyond the primitive mentality of the past pump cover, skid plate designs, possibly then include the genuine article "V" bottom ride plate technology in on your now very expensive stock OEM watercraft package. Obviously this will do my company a lot of good, although a lot more for you or your family members when it is your butt riding on a stock 68 mph personal watercraft.
Bob Morgan> Shred Master Performance