First board on XPS how do you see it?

Hello Hello from Belgium,

I just finished to put together a blank in XPS and “shaped” it to what it may look like a surfboard! great

I attach some pictures so you guys can give me your opinion on the job done and led me know if I should go for lamination or ther are big errors that I may correct before.

Thanks for your help critiks and opinions


From the pics that board doesn’t look bad for a new shaper.   You could send it to glassing and the board would definitely surf. 

Or, you can spend a little more time and effort on the blank to really refine the outline curve and maybe bring the thicknesses down at both ends (the tips) a little.  From the  pics it looks like you have a couple little flat spots and wobbles in the outline, and by little I do mean just that - real small.    

 A little more clean up on the blank will make it easier for the glasser and the sander to return a solid glass job.   I’m not talking about making any big changes, just a little more clean up.  

One way to do it would be to put the blank in the racks on its side so one side is facing up.   Take a pencil and draw a line on the apex of the rail from one end to the other.  Then take a sanding block (one hand on each end) and walk it from end to end a couple times.  That will wipe out most of your pencil mark. Any portion of the line that’s still exposed is a low spot so you just work your curve until you wipe those lines out, too.    Then refinish your rail.   A light hand on your sanding block is all it will take.   You’re not trying to make the board narrower, you just want a clean curve with little or no flat spots.  .      


Not bad as is.  But listen to gdaddy’s advice and tidy it up a bit.


Tonight I will work on the outline and post the evolution.

About thinnering the nose and tail… I’m just not really confident on touching the stringer if I do  a mess there it will be prety bad I assume. Is there a safe way to do it?

Many thanks Masters!


(I’m just another backyard builder.  McDing and others are the pros).  

If you’re nervous about working the foil on the nose and tail then just leave it.  I’ve seen retail boards in this length in the shops that have a really fat foil and massive rails, so some people actually like that.  

For next time, just keep in mind the idea that the bottom has a rocker, but the deck has a rocker, too.  For most designs you want a clean curve on both.   A lot of shapers take their thickness and foil off the bottom and only make minor adjustments to the deck in order to clean it up or flatten that panel from side to side.   Iin order to do that you might have to order your blanks with less bottom rocker than you intend for your design so that you’ll have room to add the bottom rocker and whatever bottom contour you’re doing in the nose and tail.   

It takes a certain amount of planning before you even touch a blank.   You want to visualize what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it, and you’ll save yourself a lot of grief if you include your blank and rocker choices in those consideration while you’re doing that planning.  That includes where on the blank you’re going to   It’s a pain in the ass to try and get a flatter rocker out of a blank that came with too much rocker.       Enough so that most backyarders won’t do it, me included.   I’ll switch a design up to one that uses the rocker I’ve got rather than to try to fight it.    

well… the point is that I did the rocker my self and all the proces of gluing, wirecutting, etc etc etc

Key Word;  “Visualize”.   Train yourself to see the board within the blank.  This is easier to do if you start with a blank that will accommodate your shape.  A blank that has basic or close to rocker of the desired shape.  Then there will be room for any minor adjustments in rocker and still be able to achieve desired thickness and foil.  Lowel

I hot wired my one blank too. I try to be as near as possible to finish rocker and foil so I don’t have to touch them. Just cut outline rolled deck, turn rails and shape bottom. 

Hello again,

So… to make the nose and the tail of the board thinner how do I have to face it? do I have to remove material from the deck or from the bottom?

I assume is from the bottom because the deck is almost flat and if I reduce there I have to trim the full deck if I want to keep a nice mellow curve.

Second point: I made the stringer with 8 mm playwood, if I touch it, it most probably splint a bit… decisions decisions… what to do what to do

Thanks for your patience


Let it as it is, reduce thickness must be done first, before rail shape. After only shapers with lot of hand shaping experience can do it and blend rail to a nice result. So from know you can try to work your rail a bit like gdaddy explain you and go to lam party, an other great playing with lot of questions, LOL. 

I finally found the time to work on the outline and rails. I also recived the fiberglass and the resin today so getting closer to glassing fun.


The board didn’t look bad before, and now it looks better.  How are you feeling about it right now?   

I think I will work a bit more on the rail at the nose… it still feels  a bit square

Okay, but as you did in your latest round of adjustments, you want to continue to use a light hand as you further refine your shape.   Remember, we already told you that you could have sent the board to the glasser the way it was and the board would surf.  So you don’t actually NEED to do anything more than you’ve already done.    At this point we’re just talking about optional refinements that you can add but don’t necessarily need to add.   

This type of teardop shape template that you’re using comes directly from longboards so those are the bottom and rail profiles you want to be looking at.   And the reason I include the bottom in this comment is because the board engages with the wave from the bottom to the rail - they work in combination, not isolation.  Fin setup figure heavily into these combinations, too.   

From where you’re at now there are several ways you could go, it just depends on how you intend to surf the board.   If you want to set the board up with a fin cluster and surf the board actively then the bottoms and rails they use on the high performance longboards will make for a more lively ride that will quickly transition from side to side.   These will ride more on top of the wave rather than sinking into it.   

Here’s a screenshot of a high performance longboard nose (Todd Proctor) that some of the HPLB shapers use.  Walden’s Magic is probably the most widely recognized example.   This particular board appears to have a concave along the entire bottom  up to the nose and a 3" wide chine (bevel) transitioning to the thinner rail section.  I don’t recommend you try doing the concave on your board because you’re just starting out, but you could use a more subtle chine to bring the thickness from your bottom into a thinner and more responsive rail.   Some of these shapers run that bevel all the way back to their tails.   Aside from the concave, flat to chine to rails would work on your shape if that’s how you want to surf the board.   




On the other end of the bottom-to-rail spectrum is using a combination of belly transitioning directly into the rail.   Here are a couple pics of how Greg Liddle does his bottoms - it’s an extreme example but if you tone it down you’ll still get some of the effect.  These will ride lower in the water and provide a smoother rail-to-rail, but it will also be a bit slower going rail to rail than the bottoms that are designed to ride higher.   

You could go from flat to roll to rail with your board.   

The other thing I should mention is that using chines and roll in your bottoms will act as control surfaces.   So from where you’re at right now I’d recommend using them sparingly in your first few boards.  A little goes a long way and it’s easy to overdo them without adding the other elements these shapers use in their boards to make them ride as intended.   Backyarders are notorious for overdoing these little “upgrades”, so you don’t want to be that guy.    Far better to do nothing more than to do too much.   


“Far better to do nothing more than to do too much.”  So true.   Bill Stewart took the Chine Rail HPLB (High Performance LongBoard) to da max with the Hydro Hull and then what I consider the “Best of the Best” in that genre;  the Jeff Kramer Model.  He did this beginning in the 80’s and on thru the 2000’s.  Stewart sometimes acts similar to a couple of guys we hear from here at Sways from time to time.  He has a tendency to take credit for everything Surfing.  And although he did not come up with the “Hydro”;  He certainly can take credit for its refinement and application to longboards.

New step!

6oz bottom + 6 + 6 deck lamination, quite happy to be the first time.


I think that board will surf.  It looks better than my first board, and it surfed.   

You’ve done well.  You should be happy with it…

One step further!

Now it will be patience and sand paper…