Wednesday, July 16, 2014

In The Shaping Room

There is something about making your own surfboard. Maybe it's the idea, the shaping act or the first time you get to ride your very own board. If you are a builder and surfer you must have at least thought about it at some point. Time and place was right for me and I needed a special board to attach to my new Moses hydrofoilREAD MORE...

The hole thing is a constant learning process and there is no two ways about it, you will make mistakes. I managed to keep the typical beginner failures to a minimum, uneven foam shape, glassing night mares or massive burn throughs when sanding. Things I won't do again is to use contact adhesive in any application, hard pen pressure on the blank and allowing air pockets of any kind in the blank.

During the process of shaping we actually moved houses and I had to finalize my board in a smaller shed. In the previous house I had a massive garage and a flat table. You actually don't need much space at all as long as you have enough room to walk around the board, its fine. I made this stand which was very helpful for shaping, glassing and even painting. Costed me 20$.

One thing you'll notice along the way is the amount of work that goes into these boards. You really get to appreciate a shapers work or production boards of any other brand, wether in kiteboarding or surfing. I spend about 2 months, on and off shaping the final board and it costed me about half the price of a normal surfboard. Yes you can make it faster and I surely finalize the 2nd board in 2-3 weeks but this was me going step by step and trying to avoid any mistakes along the way. Personally I enjoyed experimenting with shapes I had in mind for a while. To see them become reallity in foam and glass was a very rewarding experience.

 I guess if you make one board it is very possible you make another one (first attempt will be far from perfect). I like the idea of never having to buy a board, just make one when necessary or just for fun. It's a nice project for the winter time when you have more time on offer, just watch out for the temperature either cold or hot. This is why I was doing particular jobs like glassing inside the house to control the temperature.

After a I rode the board a few times I figured what to improve on the next one. I made the rails quite sharp all the way around the board but really the back is where it  needs sharp edges. Refining your current board is a cool part, keeping the good characteristics and adding new features to improve the way you want to ride. Soon I'll be back on the road exploring a few hidden places in Indonesia. I'm looking forward to visit this beautiful country and ride some waves as the swell season is on. Feel free to follow me along the way for some travel stories and more videos.


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