Home Made Board Thread

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birdfood started the topic in Thursday, 23 Apr 2020 at 10:36pm

Show us your home made boards! Here's my first three from right to left (took me about 2 years from first to last):

Board 1 5'10"x21x2 3/4 PU/PE horrible cut lap gouges, heaps of volume, I rode it pretty much exclusively for the 12 months after making it. I'd still be riding it now but it's out of action with a busted fin.
Board 2 5'10"x20x2 1/2 PU/PE ugh I seem to have a habit of doing something the second time much worse than the first. Super boxy rails. I haven't ridden this one much. Cut from a fish blank so it's got a very flat rocker.
Board 3 5'8"x19x2 1/2 PU/Epoxy with an acrylic fade brushed on. I still ride this one. Again, this one is cut from a fish blank. I tried to increase tail rocker and shape in double concaves through the fins and a vee off the tail. It technically has all of these features but at the confluence of the three it's got these weird hip bone curves right where the side fins are facing outwards from the bottom. I used peel ply for this one and a foam roller. No sanding and you can see the squeegee lines in the hot coat.

Board 4 5'2"x19x2 1/2 I re-shaped a factory second machine shape that was very kindly given to me when I when to buy a marko blank. Stringerless EPS with two layers of 4oz on the bottom and three layers on the deck. I used peel ply again this time with a squeegee and a roller for the rails. This is my go to board (or the fade thruster). It's super light and super fast and realistically it's pretty uncommon to get waves on the GC that this board can't handle. I hand sanded the rails and bottom using wet sand paper and left the deck unsanded.

Board 6 5'10"x19x2 1/3 I'm currently building. I've had the machine shaped blank for about 18 months but now with the lock down I've got a pretty good excuse to finish it. First time using the Surf Flex resin from Sanded and I'm pretty impressed with it. Coming back the following day after laminating it was really easy to cut through the glass with a razor so I reckon I might attempt a cut lap again on Board 7 or 8. This will be my most "conventional" short board. Not sure how I'm going to find riding it as I'm not used to having to generate speed. Definitely the best shape out of the boards I've done and I'll be almost certainly getting my next boards machine shaped.


I'm finding the glassing to be the part of the process I'm most interested in. All of my boards have mistakes and bubbles and insects in the glass. I'd love to be able to do this more often but need to work out how to make it cheaper / get more time. I reckon once I'm past board 10 I might be less sentimental about them and will probably start trying to sell them used to help fund the next one.

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udo Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 2:49pm

Whats it costing you in material to make one ....... under $250 eh..?
Are you using a fresh blade everytime on the cut laps and try to do cut just after the Lam Gells
Do they have a full length hard edge on the bottoms ...or is it just in the pics?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 at 3:01pm

They look intriguing.

Cost ?

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dropwallet Wednesday, 24 Mar 2021 at 3:27am

Hi folks,
Udo suggested some homemade board share action - how can I upload pics here? Birdfood, I can't see yours, either?

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groundswell Wednesday, 24 Mar 2021 at 8:16am

go to imgur.com and put the pics on your desk top.
Then make a small screen for imgur and drag the photo into the box.
then copy the forum link in the "get link" section
post links here.

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udo Saturday, 27 Mar 2021 at 1:49pm

surfstarved have you been making any Sea Dragons ?

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birdfood Thursday, 29 Apr 2021 at 7:02pm

Ah I must have trashed the links. Here's the pics again.

Boards 3,2,1

Board 4

Board 6


Board 7 - Another machine shape and better, yet still terrible cutlap. Epoxy on PU again. 6'0"x19"x2 1/2". I feel like my glassing is starting to come together with this one

Cost wise I think the machine shaped boards are at least $300 each all up ignoring the money I'm spending buying tools and setting up my shed. No full hard edge on them, in fact in the tails I haven't done a good job of getting that crisp edge. Hopefully I'll be better on board 8. I ordered the blank a few weeks ago and I'm going to have another crack at hand shaping.

I've since put quad boxes in the purple and red board and I feel it goes way better that way than as a thruster. The tail tip is about 9 (?) inches wide with 2.4 inches of tail rocker. I took it out a little while ago in waist high but barreling waves at snapper and it felt pretty good! I think the wide yet rockered combo is good for small steep waves.

Post images from imgur in tags like: [ img ] link [ /img ] (without the spaces)

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Friday, 30 Apr 2021 at 11:56am

Seems like you’re enjoying it Birdfood! Stoked for you. The best bit about shaping your own board is that if you’re capable with the tools, you can get exactly the board you visualise in your head, without the unavoidable discrepancies inherent when someone else makes it for you. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends upon your design skills ....or lack of.

The journey is interesting enough.

I just out of the water on a board I finished from a machine blank then got glassed by someone else.Available glassers are very hard come by at the moment! Best beach break board I’ve ridden in some time.

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udo Friday, 30 Apr 2021 at 12:22pm

Birdy you need that hard edge and its no drama to add to filler coat after sanding to get it + add some more if needed - adding the edge will change the board, like Brutus once said sand the edge off a board and feel the difference ...
Swaylocks is your friend - Zillions of pages of tips n tricks
Stick your nose in nearest Glassing shop and watch a few lams and fillers get laid and sanded
Its invaluable what you will pick up watching a Tradesman at work..
https://www.swaylocks.com/forum/99386/sharp-edge-foam-or-build-resin?page=1

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birdfood Friday, 30 Apr 2021 at 6:33pm

I definitely can not put into foam what's in my head! I wish there was a cheaper way to practice shaping to get the skills up. What sort of board are you on Blowin? There's something extra special about a good session on a board you made hey

Udo, I don't know why I never thought of it but you made me realise I should go and add the edge to the purple / red board! It's a good thing about making boards your self is modifying them doesn't feel like such a leap, more just a continuation of making the board?

I think I've spent more time on swaylocks than I have actually making boards... My problem is I hate sanding and the mess is makes. I think on the next board I'll try to be more conventional with my sanding. It has to be the most under-rated step in the board making process.

I'd love to hang around a good glass shop (mad house comes to mind) to watch the magic happen. I can really imagine that glassing 6 boards in a day would absolutely propel your abilities compared to one every 6 months or so where you feel like you're re-learning the basics each time. But with a 9 month old at home I'm pretty time poor currently. Looking forward to making him his first board though :)

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udo Friday, 30 Apr 2021 at 7:09pm

Yep go ahead and add the Hard Filler edge be cool to get your ride report.

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garyg1412 Friday, 30 Apr 2021 at 7:58pm

My first and only attempt. 6'4"x21"x3'. A bit too buoyant but at the time I couldn't be fagged taking the extra 1/2" of foam off but in hindsight should have. I call it the Mini Mini Mal!!! Cost was about $300 all up.

20160223-191913

20160223-191936

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zenagain Friday, 30 Apr 2021 at 9:33pm

Fun looking little shape you got going on there Gary. Looks good.

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birdfood Sunday, 2 May 2021 at 8:04am

That does look fun, been thinking about making a similar shape at some point for the tiny days when I don't feel like taking a long board. How's it go?

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Blowin Sunday, 2 May 2021 at 10:52am

Here you go Birdfood. It’s 5’11”. Not sure about the other dimensions- it just feels and looks right! I’m in love with it at the moment. It’s nice to be still experiencing new sensations from surfing as I approach the big 5-0 and that’s what this board does, gives me access to turns and lines I’ve not done before. Goes where you want it to go which is the ultimate aim , I guess.

GaryG- That design looks intriguing. I saw something similar in a shaping bay a couple of weeks ago and felt like running out the door with it to go play in some cruises walls.

Udo- It’s all about those hard edges!


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Island Bay Sunday, 2 May 2021 at 5:58pm

How tall/heavy are you, Blowin?

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garyg1412 Monday, 3 May 2021 at 10:47am

Birdfood suprisingly it went better in a solid 6 foot session I had than in the small stuff.
I based the shape off a 6'8" which I had shaped for me a few years back, which is honestly the best board I have ever had so I tend to gravitate back to that board most of the time.
I'm going to have another crack at this one shortly and get the thickness right this time around. If you're interested I have some pretty accurate dimensions of the 6'8" you could use if you need a starting point.

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udo Tuesday, 4 May 2021 at 8:22pm

Gary - That Planshape screams Bonzer me .

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birdfood Friday, 7 May 2021 at 5:37pm

The curves and proportions on your board do just look right Blowin! I hope I'm still able to surf something in those dimensions when I'm near 50, lately I've been riding a 6'4" x 20" x 2 3/4" channel bottom single in any and all conditions. The extra foam is a godsend for the sweep that accompanies good waves on the GC. Like you I feel like I'm surfing new lines that I haven't before.

Yes please Gary, send them through! There's something about the tail shape that looks really manoeuvrable on that board. I'm thinking I might make an egg, somewhere 5'8"-6' x 22" x 2 3/4" for my mini mini mal. Something I can put in the car with the dog and the family and a weekend of stuff and know I'll be able to have fun no matter what the waves are doing.

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linez Friday, 7 May 2021 at 6:05pm

Birdfood, did you shape the single fin?
Boards look great btw..

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birdfood Sunday, 13 Jun 2021 at 9:15am

Nah didn't shape the single fin. I think with some practice I could have a go at badly shaping the channels, but I don't think I'd be able to glass them. Definitely need a lot more glassing experience or really slow cure resin for me to attempt something like that. I've been surfing it in everything and finding that it surfs really well for my ability, knee high wind swell to overhead points.

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udo Sunday, 13 Jun 2021 at 9:33am

Birdy did you end up adding that Sharp Filler rail edge to the boards
Do you / have used Suncure resin ?

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groundswell Sunday, 13 Jun 2021 at 9:47am

i spilled suncure resin on my bed sheets yesterday...pissing myself off in my bedroom..my board racks right next to my bed. grr

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birdfood Sunday, 13 Jun 2021 at 1:08pm

Oh man what a nightmare! I used UV cure polyester for my first 2 boards but I've switched 100% to epoxy now if for no other reason than to not fume bomb my neighbours. I haven't got around to putting that edge on yet, too time poor and the waves here have been phenomenal this month. Plus I've been putting a raised floor in the shed to make the space more enjoyable to work in...

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udo Sunday, 13 Jun 2021 at 1:24pm

The Liquid UV cure i used from Shapers had nil odour .

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velocityjohnno Sunday, 13 Jun 2021 at 1:42pm

Thanks Udo that's good to know. Beginning to use epoxy here, phenomenally less VOCs

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velocityjohnno Sunday, 13 Jun 2021 at 2:43pm

Using algae nixes the cropland argument, if that algae is grown in containers or on non-farming land... although the algae will need inputs to be optimised:

https://sustainablebrands.com/read/chemistry-materials-packaging/ucsd-un...

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brutus Monday, 14 Jun 2021 at 1:42pm
velocityjohnno wrote:

Using algae nixes the cropland argument, if that algae is grown in containers or on non-farming land... although the algae will need inputs to be optimised:

https://sustainablebrands.com/read/chemistry-materials-packaging/ucsd-un...

the article is 6 years old ....Artic are not Nth America...they are made in Mexico.....I am using some of their Algae blanks here in Australia...not as white , but OK.......one of the problems was the amount of energy used to make Algae into oil ........as the algae blanks are still oil based , not fossil fuel though....

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velocityjohnno Monday, 14 Jun 2021 at 2:05pm

Thanks Brutus, are the algae blanks a thicker density near the crust like a modern blank? And yes, at almost every stage there will be a roadblock like increased energy (eg to make hydrogen for fuel cells electrolysis is energy intensive). I guess you could make the algae blanks in a factory with full solar roof (then you'd have to replace the panels every 25years, the inverter probably sooner)

It's almost more appealing to go back to (sustainable) wood :)

Or keep good boards for a long, long time - if they last.

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brutus Saturday, 19 Jun 2021 at 10:11am

Yeah the Artic /Algae blanks are just not as white as normal PU ...but shape the same like a modern blank....Artic is based in Mexico where the EPA laws are no where near the California laws.......
The algae actually has to be refined into oil , so there is a refinery needed to do volume........I still think that a new US Blank , the red 2.0 . is by far the best blank...so lite and strong , put an Appelcore laminated stringer in the blank then get the board infused with Bio-epoxy , and that's by far the most sustainable board on the planet.

On the wood front am working with my son on a new all balsa sustainable surfboard with a Co called Varuna...to be cont'd.....so far very good.... https://www.varuna.surf/

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velocityjohnno Saturday, 19 Jun 2021 at 6:26pm

Cheers Brutus, did a chambered paulownia 6ft Hypto-Krypto type board with my son for his Yr11 woodwork project, have fun with the balsa, the paulownia surfs with a different momentum and seems to gravitate into the pocket, wood was a lot of fun and you can walk the shavings through the house and it's not toxic haha

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philosurphizing... Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 6:19am

Here you go fellas
Gene Cooper ultimate craftsman project, chambers heavy high density foam and cedar.

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brutus Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 9:48am
velocityjohnno wrote:

Cheers Brutus, did a chambered paulownia 6ft Hypto-Krypto type board with my son for his Yr11 woodwork project, have fun with the balsa, the paulownia surfs with a different momentum and seems to gravitate into the pocket, wood was a lot of fun and you can walk the shavings through the house and it's not toxic haha

what a great project for you and ya young fella.....and yeah wood feels completely different in the water as it has completely different flex and torsion properties.......

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zenagain Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 10:10am

VJ, great father/son project and a quite left of centre than the standard bookshelf school project.

Did your son get a good mark?

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velocityjohnno Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 1:26pm

Thanks crew, yeah he did, 2nd in class that year (then the Yr12 prize doing an electric 12 string cutaway hollow Gibson Les Paul copy with all the nice timbers!) - he's been that way since when he was born I reckon, able to build things nearly perfectly and very hands on, maybe a Gen Z thing. (His mates broke a front axle offroad on their 105 Series Cruiser, they just removed it where it was, put it back together and kept going in 2wd, I was blown away...) Now he's got an apprenticeship with a very good builder and crew in the region and he's going well beyond the surfboard skills I taught him. So I'm very happy with the results... He suffered in VCE as things like woodwork and VCD get scaled down, but the experience will set him up well - work is diverse and was recently on a high end architect designed place and he came home going "This is what I want to do!" He was a spun out kid, on kindy day when the kids made pipe-cleaner insects and they all went running out to the parents with these mangled things at home-time, he bought a beetle with perfectly proportioned head, thorax, abdomen, correct number of legs in correct places, bent at perfect angles... Also when learning to write would comfortably write in all 4 directions (as Da Vinci did) - it was sad teaching him to write only one way... Could catch any animal as a kid too, was asked if I wanted a lizard/bird/fish etc as we traveled around Oz... You wonder where their souls come from...

The board itself had a bit of an impact. Walking in the hallways with it shaped to go into the shop, heads were turning and a little year 8 came up and exclaimed "No fukkin waaay!". I think the teachers got into it as well, as since he has left I've heard a few of them have done their own wooden boards.

Hopefully we can make more. I have a plank on frame one I've got half done and will try to laminate it as eco-friendly/stone age tech as I can :)

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megzee Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 1:39pm

Wow VJ, he sounds like a super talented and switched on young fella, with a healthy respect for nature as well...
You and Mrs. VJ must be super proud....

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simba Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 1:43pm

another legend of shaping...

&ab_channel=WarrenLuke

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philosurphizing... Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 2:29pm

Shaping in long ugh boots.....that made me laugh, wonder how much foam dust he tips out of them at the end of the day.

Would love to try out a bunch of his designs at the "Surf Ranch''.

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zenagain Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 3:09pm

What a champ VJ. I have to agree, where does that stuff come from?

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udo Sunday, 20 Jun 2021 at 5:07pm

This is cool vac bag Carbon Build - Part 1 of ....

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spidermonkey Wednesday, 22 Sep 2021 at 8:56am
udo's picture
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udo Wednesday, 22 Sep 2021 at 5:07pm

Birdfood
Did you add the Hard Resin Edge to any Boards......?