Hi, I am an intermediate surfer with little experience designing surfboards although my dad has been producing them for upward of ten years. I am currently designing a board on akushaper as part of a school contest, which if you win, they make the board for you at a local surfboard factory. I live on nsw coast and my local spot is a pointbreak that can pump out consistently good surf. I am most confident in surf from 2-4 foot but have surfed 5-6 foot and felt fine.
I want to design a step up for the school competition. 6’1-6’3, but I don’t know what tail shape, tail thickness, rail thickness to do. Or if I should add wings to narrow out the tail, and if so where I should add them? And where should the board be thicker and thinner ( majority of foam underfoot?) and should I add channels?, would they have benifit?, and what about rocker?
Thanks to anyone willing to answer a struggling groms questions
That’s a really tough question to answer without a ton more info and even then you’re going to get wildly different recommendations.
I’d suggest going to your local shop and ask if you can measure a bunch of boards. At minimum put your hands all over them and see what they are like. Find one you think is closest to what you want and try and use it as a guide.
Ask your dad?
I swear that I don’t want to be rude or anything, but…
- Your father has been making boards for ten years but you’re still wondering how/what to design?
- Your school contest is about designing a board with a computer program. OK, that’s fine, you will learn how to use a computer program. Now, who will judge the results and, more importantly, do they ask you to define some specific features first, i.e. is that board for you, what are your measurements, where do you plan to use it, typical wave height it’s designed for, how long have you been surfing/what’s your level, aso, and then who will check that your final result matches perfectly those first requirements?
3)Let’s say you win. One could imagine that the “prize” would be spending a lot of time with a famous shaper who would help you shape (and hopefully glass) your first surfboard, showing you what you should do and what you shouldn’t. No. Your “file” goes to the nearest shaping machine, then to the nearest glass shop.
4)Just a question: when was the last time you used your hands and eyes creating something?
If you’re planning on winning the contest, you should ask about the judging criteria, if they can’t explain that to you then you should at least find out who will be judging (pro surfer / shaper / industry guy) because they will have different views about what a surfboard is about (aesthetics, shape, originality…)
I think you really should try to make the best board for yourself, for what you usually surf (for example on a small quality point break I would personally ride a fish)
Once you know what type of board you want to ride and why you can start searching for the board’s characteristics, which you should find easily (rocker, concaves, fin positioning, etc…)
Designing / shaping a board is very “visual” (even if you can measure nearly every step), let your eye help you when you’re creating, and if you’re unsure, you can always look at some real boards to help you out with what you like / don’t like
PS : If your dad is a board builder he can help you with every step
Kinda agree with Guilhem though, it’s way more fun to shape your board with your hands, you will learn a lot more this way