Balsa wood Surfboards

I have been told that balsa boards are more difficult to ride as well as being heavier than foam boards.  Can anyone recommend a balsa shaper or shapers that are good and reputable?

Man, you sure ask for a lot, good and REPUTABLE all in one sentence

jimthegenius. is good and reputable and would shape you one for free if you asked !!! PS how come you got 3 points for one post anyway ?

Just so you know who replied to your question:



“balsa boards are more difficult to ride as well as being heavier than foam boards”

Not really, not necessarily.


Heavier? Usually. A lot of people don’t like the way they ride. Others wouldn’t ride anything but.

I would recomend Jim Phillips who answered your post above. He can build you one that’s just like whatever your favorite foam board is and it will probably weigh the same and surf better.Or anything else for that matter. And I do mean anything else. You will be happy with it.

Are they really more difficult to ride? Only with a movie camera in your hand:



   Howzit Wood_Ogre, I think anyone who starts a thread gets an automatic 3 points and I think I saw one where the guy got even more than 3. I have no idea of how they figure out how many points a post is worth and maybe we should start a thread about it and also find out who makes the decisions on that topic. I understand the trades are back and hope the surf is great for you guys. Aloha,Kokua

It won't be soon, but one thing i am absolutely gunna do, is build a balsa surfboard. Solid, or chambered, whatever, im gunna build one. I don't mind heavy boards, and i think a bit of weight has positives to it.

I have no idea why I got 3 points.

I wonder if anyone can provide input on boards shaped by Skip Kozminski in Ecuador. The guy has been shaping balsa boards for 40 years, so I assume he knows what he is doing.

A friend of mine had one and absolutely loved it. And he surfed very well on it.

His board was very untraditional from the glue up to the rocker to the outline to the rails. It was really light. Not my cup of tea but hey, that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla.


Thanks. Do you think the lightness of the board was due to the fact that the interior was chambered rather than solid balsa?

I have yet to see one of his boards that was of very high quality, now I haven’t seen every one he built, so there is a possibility I’ve seen by chance the ones that did not look professional


The one my friend had was very inexpensive. About the same or less than you’d pay for a run of the mill off the rack handshaped PU and less than a Surftech. He loved the way it rode and he loved the price. I’ll just leave it at that.

Every once in a while someone will stop in the shop with a balsa board they’ve bought while on a trip to Central America. Boards without names usually. Often they are trying to sell them for outrageous prices. Maybe they bought two or three and they want to keep one and sell the others. I’m polite but I tell them I’m not interested. Sometimes they’ll want me to take them on consignment. Again I’m polite but tell them no thanks.




I have been told that balsa boards are (1)  more difficult to ride as well as being(2)  heavier than foam boards.  Can anyone recommend a(3) balsa shaper or shapers that are good (4) and reputable?


(1)    No

(2)   Sometimes

(3)   Jim Phillips

(4)   Jim Phillips

This is rather bizarre, but soon after reading your response to my query I went out and checked my mail only to discover the current issue of The Surfers Journal. Lo and behold, there is an article in it on Jim "the genius" Phillips!

That type of "meaningful coincidence" was described by Jung as synchronicity.

Excellent article, by the way.

So now jlas! has 2 posts and 9 points. rowepsy1 has 2 posts and 2 points. The 2 guys with the most knowledge and many posts are really screwed on points (jimthegeniuse and Bill Thrailkill )  So the guys with the most knowledge and least points should refuse to shape any balsa boards  untill they get more points and the guys with to many points have to pay their points to the guys with the most knowledge untill  the points are more even. Mean while you should buy a balsa board from me cause I will really screw you on the price but the quality of the board will be much higher than a Dick Brewer balsa. If Dick reads this he will pobly throw  rocks at me next time I dig through his garbage can !! And this post dosen't really have anything to do with anything except I just finished a big job yesterday and need to blow of some steam before the next job. And maybe I can cut some balsa for Ambrose so he can make somethin. Kokua is right, we need to start a new post to investigate how points a given out and do they have any value and for what !

I will gladly give you my 9 points if you want them.  I thought, from comments, that I had won a prize.  I have no clue about these points and what they are for.

I like Ecuador.

The Ecuadorian Balsa surfboard history is a interesting story.

There are guys down there trying really hard to make nice boards. Most are very receptive to any help they can get to make there boards better. Considering the conditions they have to work in. The inability to get good basic materials, fiberglass has to be “smuggled” in. Most of them have never seen a “real” shaping room and how to use the lights etc. The resin is “old school”.  Some of them make really nice boards some so so. But they are at least willing to learn.

Skip “Gringo Andres” is Skip.

Ecuador is where the wood is.