Board #001 - Stubbie

Posted this on one of my favorite blogs a few weeks ago, thought I’d throw it out there for anyone looking to start shaping or anyone that started and is now addicted like myself.

OK, technically, this board isn’t a complete homebrew board but it’s my first shape which started in my garage and ultimately finished in a shaping room. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at shaping for years but never had the inspiration to dive in until I started reading this blog. I ended up finishing the board in a shaping room at Resin Works in Escondido and let them do the glass job.

Anyways, the board is based on a Fineline GeeBee that I bought a few months ago. I wanted to shape one that could be more of an everyday board with a little more length and volume to get into waves earlier. I went 4" longer than the GeeBee (6’-4"), 22.5" wide and shaped it with boxier rails. I was surprised that I hit all of my dimension on my first attempt at shaping. If you’ve eve seen a GeeBee in person, you know that the rails are super pinched which takes a long time to get used to (at least it did for me). Tested the board out this past weekend during the recent swell and it was fun once I got the fine position dialed in. It doesn’t have the sensation of “lift” that the GeeBee has but it was fun nonetheless.

The shaping experience was great but I think I might do one more before I attempt to do my own glass job. Learned a lot from this blog and by just getting in there and doing it. There are a lot of things that I would have done differently but I guess that’s just part of the learning experience. Enjoy!!

Forgot the pics…

Nicely done!  You did a good job on the rail transition from nose to tail.  Minor suggestions for the next one; thin out the tail and soften the S-deck transion in the nose.  Look forward to a ride review!

Hey LeeV,  Thanks for the advice. As soon as I picked up the board from the glasser, I noticed the thickness in the tail. It didn't seem so bad before it was glassed but now it kinda irks me. I'm already planning on going back into the shaping room to trim some of the fat...less boxy rails, velo tail, refine to tip of the nose just a bit and smooth out that s-deck transition like you said. 

The board rides great in medium sized surf. Not sure where you are but here in San Diego we had pretty good swell a few weeks ago followed by a two week flatspell and then another little pulse just recently. I've ridden the board every day since I've gotten it, anywhere from waist high mush to head-high walled up lefts, mostly reefs. The board flies in waves chest high and up, it really has that feeling of glide that I love about longboards. The sidebites help keep it high in the pocket but I haven't noticed how they affect my turns, haven't ridden it without the sidebites yet. I had to snap out of the fish frame of mind and remind myself that this is a single fin = drawn out turns. Took it out last night in some waist-stomach, high tide surf and had a hard time getting into waves. Typically, I can sit just inside of the longboards and way outside of the shortboards and pick up some pretty decent waves but last night I couldn't scratch into anything!

Like I mentioned, I'm going back into the shaping room to refine the shape but this time I'm going to set it up so that the side bites can be swapped out back and forth for keels. To clarify, the board will be able to ride as a single, a single with sidebites or a twinnie. The twin keel idea came from a board on the Mandala website called the Twubbie. Right now, I'm all about the stubbies and I'd like to see if I can loosen it up while keeping the wide tail. If anyone has any input on the keel placement for a wide, velo-type tail, I'm all ears.

You could start with the Frye Fish Law of Fin Placement; back of fins line up with butt crack, fins line up with pin.  You just need to imagine where you would put the wedge cut in that arc tail and go from there.  The closer you put them to the back corners, the further back you can put your feet (and widen up the sweet spot).  My fishulls and regular fish have their fins further up than normal because I use the rails more and have narrower tails than you.

I just saw your fish hull on the "Show Me Your Hulls" thread and it looks incredible. Sounds like you have a lot of shaping knowledge, do you have a recommended rail shape for a stubbie? I was thinking about something a little more responsive than the boxy rail that I used on my first board. Something turned down a little more yet still forgiving. A rolled rail with a 7/8" cut on the bottom rail rather than the 3/8" cut that I get from my "Fred" tool maybe?

“Sounds like you have a lot of shaping knowledge…”

Those who can’t do, post on the internet…  Rail design kinda depends on what you want to feel in a turn…crispy; then use a boxier rail with a tucked edge, smooth; roll the bottom into 50/50.  Rail width/thickness also depends on what you want it to do for you.  Thicker; a little quicker edge to edge (pops back up quick after you unweight).  Thinner; more sensitive (you can feel the rail bite with your feet) and you can bury it easier for rail turns and will stay buried easier.  In bumpier surf the thinner rail can catch but a thicker rail will bounce around.  Slow small surf a thicker rail won’t bog, pinched rails excel in bigger better shaped waves.

It’s all a compromise.  Given what you’ve already made, you can thin down the boxy rail, keep the same shape just smaller diameter radius, that might give you the sensitivity without sacrificing too much planing area.  My personal opinion is that the shape of lower half of the rail makes the biggest difference in how the board feels and the upper half controls how it performs…