7'8 Magic Template - Build and Ride Report

Recently I started playing with the idea of an all around board with some paddle power that I could take on road trips to the inlaws on the central coast and to my uncle’s place in northern California. I figured out that 7’8 is the longest board I can fit in the bed of my 6’ bed Tacoma with the shell and cab window closed; this board’s intent is to serve as an all around back of the truck board that can have fun in anything from chest high to a bit overhead. 

I’d made an 8’4 magic last year, and it goes well despite my mediocre rookie attempt at a resin tint. This new shape, I decided to postpone attempting another resin tint so I’d have a better shot at the board’s cosmetics looking good. I like to have some color on a board to prevent suntan and extend the life of the board. I like light colors that don’t melt wax and don’t have as much risk of delaminating. 

I decided to keep it simple, and went with a single fin.

The bottom is a very very sligtly rolled entry, mostly flat, continuing pretty flat through the chest, then a slight bit of double concave/vee(?) (not sure the proper term) just basically a few perpendicular swipes of sandpaper on a foam padded sanding block across the stringer right before the fin, fading away out the back. 

Thickness is 3". I weigh 195-200 lbs, I’m 6’1, I like riding big old pigs, I’ve got plenty of leverage and I like foam. For rails, I domed the deck a little and foiled the rails to feel slimmer than the 3" thickness measurement would suggest. The  deck is domed down to an only slightly eggy rail. The deck mostly comes down to a slim but boxy rail with a very slight tuck and a tucked boxy edge in back, probably more resembling a modern shortboard rail and foil than a true retro magic. 

Width is 22". The board this template came from was a 1981 8’4 Skip Frye magic with a glassed on single fin, owned by my neighbor. That board was 23" wide, so narrowing it a bit took some playing with the curves. Cutting 8" from the template though to get to 7’8 did help with narrowing it. I was able to locate a very straight section at the widepoint where the line could be shortened and still come back together nicely. 

Anyways, the board rides well. This summer it’s gone to Mexico, Costa Rica, and had several days at our local jetty. Fun, predictable, quick board that goes where you point it. 

My wife caught a few photos of a wave I got on one of our trips - proof the board got wet and floats at least. 

Next up I’ll probably make another pig - my combo birthday gift this year from my wife and inlaws was a pile of balsa, enough for a board. Work has been busy so I havent touched the pile, but the wood is exceptionally light. I’m looking forward to weighing it. 





Nice work!!

My favorite board is also based on a “magic” template. 

Do you have any shots of the rails?

Had a “Magic” templated board back in the late '80’s.  A little fuller nose than yours with a “squash” tail. Very close to the original.  Full thickness and rocker.  Worked good in all sorts of Santa Cruz conditions.

Oh yeah, in the early to mid 1970s the Gordon and Smith “Magic” was a board I much admired but never actually got my hands on.

Your board has the fin much further forward and a more pointy nose IIRC, but modern times… if you like it, it’s good.

Oh yeah, in the early to mid 1970s the Gordon and Smith “Magic” was a board I much admired but never actually got my hands on.

Your board has the fin much further forward and a more pointy nose IIRC, but modern times… if you like it, it’s good.

I see they still sell them, for $815, yikes!  No wonder we make our own.

Thanks! I’d grab some photos of the rails but I traded this board away last week to make room for new projects. The rails are less of a vintage pinched eggy rail and more of a modern shortboard tucked, boxed rail. 

I’ll make sure to take more rail photos on the next one! 

Thanks! This board’s template came from a 1981 Skip single fin 8’4 that I compressed into this 7’8" length - I actually didnt sharpen the nose line, just compressed the curve where it straightened out around the widepoint. 


The fin isn’t in any revolutionary forward position in the board; I’m 200lbs and like a bit of drive - I think what may be happening is some distortion in that upside down board photo, I may have used a bit of wide angle effect to fit the whole thing in the frame, making it look farther up the board than it is. 


Either way, thanks for taking a look and for your note! 

Heh heh, want drive?  I’m 300 lbs, six foot six.  Unstoppable, or unspeakable.

I’ve done scale copies of magazine pictures - they distort pretty quickly.  You can’t just shrink the length, they get piggy; if you stretch them they quickly turn into needles.  There’s more to it than simply scaling it off and multiplying by some factor.  Fortunately a CAD program (I use AutoCad) will show that pretty quickly.

The rail line for the Magics from G&S circa 1969