First Board Shaping Attempt! Your Advice Please?

OK, heres my first attempt at foiling my first set of Twinzer fins for my first 5’11" fish that im shaping… i know that they are wrong but could someone please tell me if the trailing edge needs to be alot flatter? I just sort of had a play with the orbital sander and this is what i came up with on my first attempt while i was at work… I have loads of ply to play with so its not an issue if these are non repairable…

Another question??? Are you meant to foil rite through to the tip, i have done with these and they are very brittle and thin and am thinking they will probably snap fairly easily??

Any suggestions anyone??

Heres a few pics… And YES, i know the foil isnt even yet…

try posting photos again? Yes one foils through the tip of the fin.

The first and most important step in fin foiling is to mark where the vertical cord will be. Put a ruler horizontal with the base cord a short distance from the bottom of the template. Make a dot where you want the maximum thickness to occure. 25 to 30 percent off the leading edge is a normal place for it. What ever you percentage you decide on make a series of dot on the fin and connect them. This will be where you’ll leave maximum thickness. Naturally the thickness will taper into the tip of the fin. Start foiling at the base. Leading edge then trailing edge. Then taper the fin. Final rough foiling is done by hand with a sanding block. In the same way as a surfboard blank is finished.

Happy Scrubing, Rich

Ok, so heres a few Pics of the newly refoiled fins, the few glue spots you can see on the fins are just glue to seal the nots in the ply…

Let me know what you think… I will also post some pics of my near finished blank…

Here are a few pics of the progress of my first polyester blank shaping… I scored a free damaged 7’6" burford blank (Tail snapped off) and the dimensions were perfect for my 5’11" fish. This meant i had to mow a whole lota foam in the middle and even more in the tail…

I even had a go at using the power planer without much success but it did allow me to get the thickness down alot faster than trying to use the sureform…

I cut the rail bands with the sureform and worked out ok…

Last nite i attacked it with 120 grit paper to try and finish the foam but it still ended up with small lines… What is the usual way of finishing the foam? some sort of foam rubber wrapped in 120 grit or finer sand paper??

With a bit of luck and weather permitting, im going to have a go at glassing the bottom on saterday morning, heading out to pick the glass and resin up tonight, using a 6oz on the bottom and2x 6oz on the top… Would you recomment cutlaps or free lapping on my first attempt? i am not going to tint the resin but might do some small spray on pin lines or something on the deck…

A few more pics: Planing and rail bands

A couple of pics of my final shape with the rails all blended in, Let me know what you think… I just blended them using a long strip of 120 grit paper… is this ok? i couldnt find anywere in nz that supplied the sanding screens (where do they usually come from?)…

Im now finding that shaping outside it looks dead flat, but when i take it inside i can see all the imperfections in the foam… Will these small imperfections show up once glassed or will the small ones dissapear once glassed and sanded?

Any critisim or help is appreciated??


This forum has been the inspiration and huge help to me throughput the process!!

rails still too boxy tomo,take it down alot more in the tail at least…

Thanks for that, so take the thickness out of the bottom then?? any other advice is appreciated as im planning on glassing tomorow afternoon and want to get it rite the first time!


no! …foiling the rail from the bottom will increase your V contour…which you should have a little bit of i think ,but flat bottoms on fish are the standard…

…so take the thickness down from the deck side of the rails…

keep your edge sharp to just in front of the fins and soften em up from there to the nose…

your tail looks really wide too…if your boards too loose it could be from the wide tail or maybe the twinzer set-up that looks like it has verry low surface area…

Rather than start up a new thread im just tacking it on to the bottom of this one…

My question is, is there an alternative to using rice paper for artwork before glassing??

I drove all over auckland (New Zealand) trying to hunt some out, art and craft shops, stationary and book shops, asian shop but no one had any of the plain semi transparent rice paper, only textured rice paper that was quite thick and uneven colouring…

Soooo, is there an alternative?? Would tissue or tracing paper work?

Tracing paper may work, but I don’t know if the unprinted part will disappear under the glass. You should be able to get sanding screen wherever they sell dry wall supplies. It comes in different grits. Try 60, 80, 120 and 180 if you can get it.

Speedneedle suggests baking paper, apparently.

Check the threads ‘‘the silly method(or normal board no. 1)’’ and ''quick and dirty deck art ‘’.

Looks like you’re enjoying your project,awesome.

Try speaking to Mike at Active Screen Print on the Shore. He does logos for a lot of surf shops. Also Gordon Harris in Newmarket stocks acid free tissue paper I believe.

Hi Tomo ,

I just got home from the Swaylock’s 2007 camping trip. While helping clean up I stumbled across some paper in a box with a little sign. The sign said something like “Chiropractic face paper”. I grabed some of the paper to try out. I’m not sure what it is but over here in the States when you go to see the doctor they roll out paper over the exam table. Thats what this paper is. It’s worth a try…


Cheers, I went to gordon harris but the only rice paper they had was this real textures stuff so i went to a japanese gift shop and asked for rice paper, they couldnt understand my kiwi accent when i said “rice” but they had a fat wad of really thin tissue paper with a shiny side and a dull side, so i bedded for a bunch of it so im guna give this a go, i did a small test and it seemed to go pretty clear!!

I also glassed the fins yesterday also, two layers of 6 OZ each side… My next question is should i sand them a bit and then hot coat them before glassing them to the board, or shud i just leave them and dont bother about the hot coat untill they are on the board?

Should i use two layers of 4 or 6 oz each side when attaching them to the board? and is it better to run the patches fulley over the fins and then sand them back to the shape, or cover them with the same shape as the fiin but only smaller??

This forum has been a hug helf throught the shaping process…

Im holding off glassing the board because we have had real crappy weather latley so im guna wait untill the next warm sunny day! I need some confirmation on resin quantities please… To glass the deck with 6oz glass for a 5’11" fish 20.5 inch wide, would i use roughly 40oz resin? and if working at around 20 degrees celcius, would it be good to use 0.8% catalyst? iv been told 1% buy the guys at primal in takapuna but seen as this will be my first glass job i think ill need a bit more time??

Cheers again


I use white tissue paper. Works well. Just make sure you print on the shiny side.

Latest Update!

So i have finished the final shaping and finishing, I have glassed the fins with two layers of 6oz each side and have done the hot coat on the top surface… Im now waiting for a warm sunny day to begin glassing the board… I have attached some pics below of the latest shape…

As for the rice paper alternative, i have found some thin tissue paper and have printed some test logos onto it and then tested it with the resin, All good! the paper dries clear so will be sweet for the board! Just gota think of a better logo now!!

When glassing the butcrack, would it be advised to first lam a thin rectangle of glass rite down the crack and then glass over it in the usual way for a bit of extra strength?also would it be worth laming two more thin strips over each tail point on the V to give extra strength??


Missed this thread somehow… What a great job on your board! AS for the buttcrack…Im no glass master…but you can put a extra strip in before or after you do the glass work. Same go’s with the tips. Take your time and enjoy… Fine work.


nice fish tomo

wide tails are good on trad fishes

as are keels

i did a few

and prefer the keels

no toein

double foiled with very little angle

or whatever

well done