After the previous post, how does this three stringered Phil Edwards Model look to you now? To me, it seems like there's a picnic table inside the board!
When the Phil Model hit the scene, the three stringer 'look'
took on a life of it's own. It became a symbol of style and elegance. Edwards later said that the reason he used three stringers was to prevent his boards from warping...a common occurrence during the longboard era.
Imperfect stringer cuts (on single strip boards) often caused twist. Fiberglass that didn't come off the roll with the weave at a perfect 90 degree bias also led to warpage. If you sight down the deck of a 60's era longboard, it's probably twisted. But not if it's one of Phil's. They're straight and true 95% of the time. That's because the three stringer arrangement provided enough structure to keep them from warping.
As is the case with any field of design, there's usually a good reason for decisions that might seem irrational. The three stringer setup, while stiff and heavy, was grounded in practical need...to stop boards from twisting.
BTW, the serial number on the board pictured above was #103. Meaning, it was most likely the 4th Phil Edwards model ever built.