5'6 fish, help needed

hey guys i'm new to this forum. i'm from brisbane australia and i'm about to shape my first board. i'm looking at doing a 5'5 or 5'6 x 19 fish/ shortboard and am after some nose and tail measurements of the everyday modern fish you see in surfshops. or better still if anyone from brisbane/ gold/sunshine coast has got a template i can borrow. cheers

Welcome!  Hope you're gonna share pics and tell us all the gruesome details of your first board.

you can get templates from greenlight supply. check their website



Try this as a starting point Rowdy


thanks heaps for the links guys. i'm also having trouble using that aku shaper. i downloaded the general non machine version but cant work it out. it wont let me type in boxes like length width etc. anyone know what the go is?

alright i've worked out the basics now just trying to workout how to get rail measurements and tails etc. also how can you transfer the template off akushaper to life size because obviously you cant print on home printer

hey guys i've got my template sorted and i'm finally about to start this board. i'm just curious on a couple of things, firstly my blank is 6,4 and my board is gonna be 5,6, should i take the excess of the tail or nose of the blank or centre the template. also how far in is the soft foam?  i'm worried i'm going to have to take too much off the blank as it's about 3 inches thick and my boards going to  be 2 1/4, any help would be appreciated. cheers

where you position the template will depend on desired rocker, you want to take excess off the bottom and just skim the crust off the deck of the blank....

thanks for the reply. what i don't get though is i've got 10 inches to lose off the length of this blank. wouldnt positioning the template forward or back change the position of the transition between entry and exit rocker if you know what i mean. or would it be best to take 5 inches off either end

well, how much nose rocker does the blank have and how much tail rocker does it have? assuming neither is super high or super low, I would position so you are taking 5" off of each end. at 5’6" I wouldn’t want to have more than 3 3/4" nose rocker or 1 3/4" tail rocker. If one end has more rocker than you want in the finished product, move the template away from that end. to lower the rocker more take foam from the center, if you want to add it take it from the ends. As the shaper it is your job to create the transition of the rockers, rails, and bottom contours, otherwise we would be templaters.


Rowdy- you can do what you want to your board… But I heard it’s good to ‘Center’ your blank first to your desired length of your board. So if you have a 6’5" blank and your board is 5’6" you’ll need to take off even amount nose and tail sections off blank first. Then you draw template on.

thanks for the replies guys and that's how i see it shapaholic but the guy at the blank shop reckons take it all off the nose why i don't know. the way i see it if i take the whole 10 inches off the nose i'm left with pretty much zero nose rocker and pushes the apex of the rocker forward and the thickest point not in the centre. i know i'm overthinking the whole thing anyway. thanks

I’m no expert, but rather new @ shaping, but all the boards that where ever any good seemed to have the apex/ thick point under the stance? Also, I even looked @ mr. Parmenter’s how to build site and he hints to centering out the blank first. It makes sense though! Figuring once you add more nose or tail rocker- shouldn’t it be kinda even? I would think so. but putting the apex back by cutting the nose section off would prob put the gas pedel too forward? Think of the apex as a pivot-point in your balance… Now if you set the thick point back in theory, imagine a teeter effect- your front foot would be constantly on the gas… Might be real fast, but prob more prone to pearling if the whole front end sinks under the water being too thin?
Put the apex too far forward I bet the board would prob be a bit stiffer? Not positive? Maybe a shaping guru would chime in?
Common sense says to me, put the apex under the front foot at or near center- depending on where your wp at. Check out some basic boards you own or look at most boards you see and you’ll notice the THICK point or apex is about at stance or near center. Setting it far back I’m betting would make board stiff but fast. Prob not the end of the world!? Just not standard I geuss? Anyone have any thoughts?

Actually, the thickest point or apex doesn’t have to be in center… On a small fish I would prob put my wp 3" forward center. Infact, I’m planning on shaping a monstor fish(6’4" x 21") 2 1/4" thick w/down hard rails. I’m setting wp in center as it will be long… But on a shorter board think of the natural placement of the front foot sliding forward a bit… I would prob say 2-3" up forward center would prob be about right?

Go with a lowish rocker 1.5" tail rocker, 3"- 3.5" nose rocker, flat bottom, vee in tail all the way up to about 1/3 way up tail toward center… Make the vee feel hard between fins. Fyi- I borrowed a 5’4" kneeboard out n 3;4’ surf for first time awile ago! Had learned about sum insanity! Lol. At 6’2l tall and 200 lbs on a 5’4 kneeboard I snuck out(sisters toy) I inadvetantly borrowed for 2 days @ pleasure points offshore point break rights that where perfect for that week…
I can’t even describe in words- short of the word: “INsANITY”… Insane rail tip on turns…zig zag cut backs, floaters etc… Too damned crazy loose for average surfing for me though! But one fun x perience I won’t ever forget! Go with a flattish rocker, vee, flat bottom, low hard rails-with roll in nose. Might try flattening apex a bit(not dead flat) for speed… Just my feedback on board I had learned about.

Rowdy- it looks VERY nice! Take your time and you should be fine. Have fun!

well i've finally cut the outline today so tell me what u guys think. if you look at the left side of the nose you can see that it dips in a bit ( not happy with it ) as i didn't put the surform straight. i was constantly checking with a square but realised when i got to the other side to get it square at the nose you gotta put the set square on an angle with the rocker. oh well that's my first lesson learned. i'm hoping by the time i thin it out and put rails on won't be so obvious. i think i also should clean up my shaping area but was too keen to get started haha

hey guys i'm still playing around with templates. i think the hardest part for me is getting an outline i'm happy with. just after your opinions on the curves of this outline. the tail looks narrow but it's actually about 2 inches up i just hadn't cut the excess off yet

thanks. i like the design should be a good small wave board. another thing i'm concerned about is hitting the soft foam as i've still got 3/4" to take off

Rowdy- I’m still on my trip ouit of town… But I too am workin on a plan shape. If your not happy with it, try other numbers to see if it ‘fits the curves’ you want. Use your surfing exp as it helps here, also you body should fit here as well. Example: a 12" tail prob would be too narrow if your foot itself was 11"-12", or a 5’5" fish would suck a** if your 6’3" X 260lbs… Good luck.

So try to make the curves fit in with your wp, wp to nose, and wp to tail. If it looks irregular- go with another num # till it fits. I’m taking my time on mine as I want it right. “Haste makes waste.”

Cut the 2" off and draw in your tail-let’s see it! It looks a bit curvy? Might slightly straighten it out-just a bit. Just looks a sliver too much curve? Can’t tell until you do the cut off? :/?looks close.