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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Virginia Beach

    Shaping your own board?

    I was thinking of giving shaping a board a try. I think it would be a really intresting expirience and it is something I am interested in. Has anyone ever tried it and succeeded? (or failed?) any advice, comnents anything? Figured this post could be all about the art of surfboard shaping.


    P.S. I am selling a brand new with tags Quiksilver Ignite LFS 4/3 (size ST) that i got that is too small. PM me if your interested, I can send pics

  2. If you don't mind me offering some straight advice here.... there are three things you should do before you attempt anything (if you want to do this correctly and not waste a lot of money on mistakes that others have made a thousand times before you):

    #1. Purchase Shaping 101
    #2. Purchace Glassing 101
    #3. Go to and begin utilizing the search feature.

    Honestly, these two videos have been used by amature shapers since the days of vhs first came around.

    SHAPING 101

    “Shaping 101” is the industry standard teaching tool on surfboard shaping , design and theory. It is the only video available featuring a top surfboard company.

    “Surfer Magazine” says every surfer must watch “Shaping 101” at least once. Carl Ackerman's award winning “Shaping 101” has World Famous Boardmaker John Carper of JC/Hawaii as your personal shaping instructor. John's 40 years of professional shaping experince and his natural ability as a teacher made him the logical choice for this groundbreaking instructional.

    “Shaping 101” starts with the tools you need and how to use them. JC shows you how to make a tool that he and Dave Parmenter invented to insure that your rails have the correct angle on the “tucked under edge”. John then shows you how to select a blank followed by a lesson on templating and then step by step intructs the viewer how to make the rough blank into a refined shape ready to fiberglass. The teaching includes graphics to make the concepts easy to understand. You will learn how to shape surfboards the right way, quickly and efficiently.

    “Shaping 101” includes tons of incredible surfing footage of the JC Hawaii team getting slotted all over the world making it a top notch surfing film as well. The soundtrack has blues great Roy Buchanon and hot rock tracks from Earl's Son and Mercy House.

    At 96 minutes you'll surely feel that this program is money well spent.

    96 minutes
    $30 - $2 below retail

    GLASSING 101

    “Glassing 101” is the industry standard and only instructional film which teaches professional laminating, hotcoating and sanding.

    Learn to fiberglass surfboards at the state of the art JC Hawaii surfboard factory. John Carper’s top notch tradesmen teach you step by step how to waterproof the board, glass on fins, leash plugs and sand the right way.

    This program is hosted by John Carper and made by Carl Ackerman. A second betacam was mounted on the ceiling giving the student a top view of laminating and hotcoating, making it easy to quickly learn techniques .

    Expect to learn everything you need to know to get that shaped blank into the water, making Glassing 101 the perfect match to Shaping 101.

    Awesome surfing footage is included of the JC Hawaii surf team ripping worldwide.

    You’ll sure to make back the cost of this video just on the materials you save glassing your first board !

    80 minutes
    $30 - $2 below retail

    Both can be found here:

    Now, regarding Swaylocks, this will be your "go to" site for information. Chances are you will not need to actually post anything or any questions, you will just need to utilize the search feature. Heads up though, if you post any questions without using the search feature first, you will be flamed and then mocked. Or mocked and then flamed. I forget which goes first, it's been awhile. If you absolutly can't find what it is that you need the answer to, "post up!". They love new shapers. Create a thread and document your first board with all the victorious moments along with the bitter failures, it's all good there and it will be a wealth of information for you.

    Good luck. I hope this helps... It's always way cooler to ride your own board, even if its a pig.

  3. #3
    I stripped the fiber glass off an old fun shape and shaped a small wave 5'7". Waiting to glass it now.

    working around the fcs plugs was a pain in the ass though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    va beach, 24th
    Quote Originally Posted by lax8810 View Post
    I stripped the fiber glass off an old fun shape and shaped a small wave 5'7". Waiting to glass it now.

    working around the fcs plugs was a pain in the ass though.
    how do you strip the glass off... just sand it?

  5. #5
    i made one in the beggining of the summer. i went the unconventional route and use insulation foam from home depot. i figured this first board was going to be a big learning process in a lot of areas so i wanted to make it as cheap as possible. it was fun to do, but there are definitely a lot of things i am going to do different next time. still, i'm happy with how it came out. i based everything off of this thread, pretty informative-

    and this is what came out of it. making a shortboard wasn't the best idea, but at the time i didn't have a functioning shortboard, so why not. next time it will be a retro fish shape.

    i still had some sanding to do when these pictures were taken. board works and is pretty fun

  6. #6
    you can sand it down, maybe with a dremel or a power sander, but it just peels off after that. Be careful it's very sharp, I cut my fore-arm and still have a scary there. My board had a huge nose/rail dent like 6-8 inches long so i started there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    milton delaware
    Quote Originally Posted by backside-killa View Post
    how do you strip the glass off... just sand it?
    I've stripped and reshaped a few old boards.

    Much easier than just grinding away with a power sander and coarse grit sandpaper is to use a dremel tool with small cutting wheel attachment. Cut a few lines in the deck and bottom glass lengthwise maybe 6 inches apart cutting just down to the foam. Once you get it started, the glass will peel off in the deck and bottom in strips usually leaving the foam intact without many divots where tiny chunks of foam stuck to the glass you pulled off. You should expect to lose at least an 1/8 - 1/4 inch in board thickness since you will want to re-sand the top and bottom foam to smooth the divots.

    Rails are more tedious because there the foam really does want to stick to the glass and pull out with it. Cut lengthwise lines along the rail about 1/2" apart and have a razor blade handy to separate the foam from the glass and avoid pulling out any major divots. Again, you will have to reshape the rails and lose maybe 1/4"+ width on each rail due to heavy sanding but if you are stripping a 21"+ wide funshape or longboard, you will easily have enough width left to make a 20" fish or shortboard.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    definitely give shaping a try. the greenlight kits are a good bargain and come with all the tools plus the instructional videos. talk to local shapers. read swaylocks. read all surfboard manufacturer websites. remember:

    1. you will f*** up. that's okay. just roll with it.
    2. you will find a great connection to surfing and feel great about yourself.
    3. you will never look at an 'off the rack' board the same way.
    4. you will learn that surfing is more than a collection of measurements and dimensions.--fuzzy logic will prevail.
    5. nothing feels better than riding a stick you made with your own two hands. what could be more custom than a made for/by you ridden by you.
    6. your wife/girlfriend/parents will not completely understand why you spend so much time in the garage d***ing around with your board. that's oay, too. guys/gals who have made a board or two (or more) will understand, and will send you messages like this one to encourage you.

    go for it.

  9. #9
    my friend shaped a board... then it looked like a lot of fun and i wanted to give it try.. i asked him if i should do it he told me to save my time and money

  10. #10
    i am on board 7.

    its a ton of fun. once you start shaping different sizes, shapes, and bottom contours you figure out what works for you. then when you figure out a good shape and understand how the boards work you can order boards to your dimensions from places like coil.

    i havent reached that point yet.