9-6 Glider, build thread

I have been wanting this board for a long time.  But things got crazy, and I had to put this on the backburner.  It was about 2 years ago I shaped my last board from a solid chunk of western red cedar, and about that time I purchased this blank from Fiberglass Hawaii in Ventura.

i really shouldn’t be doing this now, seeing as how I’m backlogged on so many other more important projects, but the wife is out of town for a few days so it seemed like a good time to make dust and noise :slight_smile:

I didn’t make a specific tempate like I usually do, I just used a couple of different templates to get the shape I wanted. I got the outline cut a little oversze so I can clean in up a bit later, and maybe finish skinning the blank later today.

What is your definition of a glider?

all the best 

Single fin longboard rounded pin tail and pulled-in nose (narrower than a standard longboard)

As opposed to saying “longboard” which tends to conjure images of square tails and wide rounded noses.

I skinned the blank, thinned the nose & tail a little, and cleaned up the outline a little better. I’m on my way!

unlike the pros & the guys who do this a lot, I try to proceed slowly, reminding myself its easier to take more foam off than add it back.

very stoked to be building my first board in a couple years!!

Looks perfect from here.  You got this!

Nice. Looking forward to seeing the end result. 

I’m curious about the rocker numbers. Thanks for starting this thread. Will fill. 

all the best 

Looks good huck.   Keep it going.  My favorite boards throughout life have all been three stringer.  A Phil Edwards, Ole “Bumble Bee”, Pearson “Classic” a “coke bottle green” old style template Yater.   And a special day at Secos on a three stringer Tom Hale.  Remember the trick about shaping multiple stringer boards;  Wood first, then bring the foam down to match.  Lowel

Thnx John, I hope so. Didn’t go into this with a boatload of confidence, but feeling a little better about it now that its actually started

Greg - I disremember which blank I bought for this, I’ll try to see if I can find it. Do you have specific recommendations on rocker? Let me know, I’m at a point in shaping where I could tweak the rocker a little if I wanted to.  Otherwise I will just leave the rocker as it came and foil from the deck side.

Thanks uncleGrumpy!  I have some ideas for the finished board that i hope make it a cool board.  I know I probably won’t be shaping a whole lot more boards, at least not for myself, so I want this to be a keeper that looks good and holds up well.  I also want to incorporate a few things as a sentimental connection to my late family, kind of a memorial board so to speak.  That was my plan when I purchased the blank way back when, with my daughter in mind.

Lowel - thanks, this is my first time shaping a 3-stringer blank.  Center is standard (birch I think) the outer two stringers are balsa.

Greg - I am not 100%  positive cuz its been a couple years but 90% sure this is the blank (its a Yater), and the spec sheet has the numbers you requested. The numbers at the tips are a match.

If you look close at the spec sheet you’ll see where Rennie says the natural rocker in the blank is at the middle of the demand curve, but to my eye it looks like a pretty flat rocker.  Which I decided is OK for my board, gliders traditionally have a pretty flat rocker.  I really wouldn’t want to go any less, but thats just my gut feeling, I’m not an expert. I hate when my nose catches water on a steeper takeoff, then I feel like a total kook, lol.

I saw an interesting exchange on IG, I can’t find it now but it was a post from a guy who broke his jaw surfing Mavs on a glider, and in the comments Maurice Cole called out the flat entry rocker as the culprit.  It looked very flat, and that was my first thought also. If you watch the video you see exactly why, but the poster said he intentionally bailed to avoid hitting someone.  Not that I will ever surf Mavs but its just the agonizing feeling of watching that nose catch water on a steep takeoff.  Anyway, I think the natural rocker in the blank will work for me, as shown in the pic of the blank catalog.  


I have gone back and forth in my mind on rail and bottom contours.  I have had a couple boards with similar planshape (but a little smaller) that I really liked, and two completely different contours.  But this shape below (1st pic) by Josh.Martin, a shaper I follow on IG, and the comments, match that board which I sold a long time ago.  

So I’m thnking that’s what I’m going to go with - the first description, with belly in the nose and rolled V in the tail - although not exactly sure what “rolled V” is, but it will have V in the fin area.

My board had a definite belly in the nose, transitioning to pinched rails, so about 3" from the rail the bottom contour started to taper up, making the rails a little thinner, and kinda giving a “belly” type effect through the middle of the board. Not sure if this is any similarity to what Josh Martin calls “foiled rails”.


I had a friend who told me “nice rails - if this was the 1970s”, haha, but that board had a very different feel from my down rail boards. It felt really “attached” to the wave face, and acceleration was more gradual than my more standard shapes. It was different but very cool and I have been wanting to try to duplicate it for some time now.

Being older and less nimble then I used to be, I find that outline and bottom contour to be the most functional board I can ride. I consider it a speed shape rather then a noserider and find that the proper rocker is the most important aspect to making them work properly. 

Yes, me too.  I’m 67 now, and I find that my go-to board is my 9 foot round pintail.  But its old and beaten up, so this will hopefully be its replacement as my new daily driver.

I definitely don’t consider this a noserider, although you can trim these boards from pretty far forward under the right circumstances. But def not going with a concave in the nose, belly instead - the exact opposite.

I eventually added quad option to my 9 footer, and I liked it as a quad, but finally went back to single fin.  I do think it is faster as a quad, at least feels that way to me, but I still prefer riding it as a single in most conditions.

As far as rocker - I can’t claim to much beyond just picking a blank with a rocker that looked good to me for my shape - I didn’t want a longboard blank with a lot of lift in the tail, like for a noserider, and I didn’t want a flip in the nose like a gun blank, and I didn’t want the nose rocker to be real flat, so this is what I ended up with.  Beyond that I haven’t altered the rocker in any way, so I hope it all works out.

Great looking outline, really like the continuous curve with no straight spots. 

Yeah, the boards I’m riding now have belly to vee out the back. Up rails in the nose transitioning to 60/40 in the middle, with a hard edge in the tail. And, like you did, low rocker with no flip in tail or nose. 

Today I got it rough shaped.  I think I will thin the tail and nose a little more, before I start cleaning it up and blending the curves.

Hand shaping is one of the most challenging but satisfying part of building my own boards.  I always start with a little trepidation, but by the time I finish, I’m always a little sad that part is over.

I never build enough boards consecutively to get really good at it, but I find if I take my time and don’t try to hurry, I can usually get a passable job done.  I’ve been pretty lucky that so far most my boards have worked well for me, hope this one will too!

Thanks, this is the kind of feedback I was hoping for.  I think that’s pretty much exactly what I’m going to shoot for when I do the rails.

Huck, one other thing you should consider if making as a single fin, is installing the fin box a little more forward then you’re used to. All the speed shapes/ gliders that I’ve had work better with the fin up. 

Was always referred to as a “Speed” Shape even with a square tail.  Hyson’s “Red Fin” and the Hobie Phil Edwards were both great examples and one borrowed from the other.  Of course neither was 11’ long like Frye’s quote unquote “Gliders”.

Thanks! I will do that. I notice my 9 footer does best with fin all the way forward, and not a lot of rake. So that makes total sense.

Mctavish out glidering Frye