/*23 Breaths: Surfing boards*/

Monday, March 23, 2009

Surfing boards


To continue where I left off with the Surfing post.

I mentioned several other surf craft you should explore to maximize your experience.


I promised to address surfboards  next so here goes.

Make one yourself!

You can be a vintage rail fondler but if you haven't taken saw to blank you're missing out.

The magic starts by deciding what to make.

This isn't a "my dream quiver" exercise. 

This is what am I going to design, shape and glass then ride until it dies.

Something you will be able to surf at your local break on a regular basis.

Big diff.

If you are playing along with the home game I would suggest either a stubbie or a fish.

You will maximize your chances for success by keeping it simple.

Now both of those shapes can be a made with a magical mix of concaves, V's and rocker but let's save that for the next one.

As to the specifics of shaping and glassing I will point you to the fine folks at Swaylocks as they beat the subject (and occasionally each other) to death on a regular basis.

The raw materials ie blanks, resin, glass etc try one of the packages from a reputable dealer, they have everything you need.

One thing I would suggest is that while you can put a leash plug in the board make an effort not to use it.

The idea here is to get a deeper understanding of the surfboard by being forced to attend to each of the thousand little details.

Big tip, allow yourself enough time.  Don't rush to try and get it done by the weekend if you are starting on Friday night.

After you finish you will have learned several very important things you didn't know before.

First off the whole process is a terrible mess and your wife, husband, significant other, dog or roommate will hate you.  This can't be avoided and it's best if they know this about you anyway.

Second the design of surfboards is, at the same time both simple and terribly complex.  If you don't think so, next time try blending concaves into the rail of a double winger. 

Thirdly, before the resin in tacky on the gloss coat you will either have planed to make several more boards or will be trying to find my home address to kill me for suggesting this exercise.

Forth the information you get back from surfing that board will be one of the most insightful experiences of your surfing life! (Especially when you combine it with the experiences you gained in the first post.  You are body surfing regularly aren't you?)

Fifth and final point is that even if you don't start shaping and glassing ten boards a week the experience of making a board from start to finish will have given you insightes into the shaping and glassing process that you wouldn't be able to get any other way.  

That and when you find out it will take six months for the shaper to get to your order, it will be no big deal, you will be stoked that someone who can produce a superfine quality shaped  blanks is still available and hasn't been run out of business entirely. 

And when it's rained for the last two weeks straight, the whole production schedule at the glass shop is behind and resin has gone up AGAIN so they are barely able to cover costs you'll know enough to shut your trap and just say "OK cool just let me know when it's ready".

3 comments:

pranaglider said...

If you are interested in great surfboards, this Sunday is the AnythingButThree event in Oceanside. Stop by to see a ton of boards by pros and semi pros alike. A great place to help decide what to shape next!

pranaglider said...

Yes I will bring my mat!

Anonymous said...

Most excellent! You are the man!!!