First ride on first made board is crap. Oh well, I don't care!

I finally finished my board. A 6ft. fish, hollow wooden core with foam outer layer. I took it out in nasty chop just cause I was so excited. The first wave I caught, doesn’t turn hardly at all. Oh well I don’t care cause I made it myself. Ten waves later I’m walking to the beach, I turn the board on it’s side and water is sloshing around. Oh well, I still don’t care. After all the time and mistakes I made, I can’t wait to get started on my next one because now I know what I did wrong and how to fix them. I’m more excited now than before my first one. Thanks Swaylocks for all the info and I’d love to hear all of your “the first board I made was crap” stories so maybe I can learn even more. Thanks

Monkstar -

first time out on first ever home made board was devastating. I was 18 and made it in a “boat building” class in high school. Yes, public school. Anyways, I read what I could find and even found a video on “How to …” It was an 8’ long board with tri fin. First wave I took I pearled and got pummeled into the sand. I continued to surf and eventually got the hang of the thing. It quickly became a community board for all my friends that wanted to learn to surf. It was so thick and the rails were so soft that an elephant could have stood on the thing. I eventually tired of the shape - I ripped of the glass, took out over an inch of volume and turned it into a higher performance egg/long board. The thing rips in its second life. I just broke it and am saving it purely for nostalgia and as a template.

Keep at it - you’ll never be sorry!!!


The first board I shaped, well I kept trying to get the nose exactally the same on each side so I ended up taking most of it off. After relizing I did this I stopped shaping it and left the tail wide as anything. I should have glassed it myself and learned from the start. But I ended up sending it out for glassing.

The first board I glassed, 4’th shape, was even worse. I had a pretty good shape, a quazi copy of a 6’0" shortboard I have. After glassing the fins were all off line and the thing weighed over 15lbs. I thought that there should be no sign of the cloth after the lam coat. This lead me to put about half a gallon of lam on each side which also made those laps less than ideal. The hot coat went better but it was still very thick. After the resin disaster the sanding messed it up even more. Sanded through the rails and fins (glass-on) who knows how many times. Since the board was so thin and small to start with I didn’t have much float left.

I took it out two or three times, it was slow, had no drive, if it ever got going the fins felt like they were shaking and dragging a towel. I ended up giving it to a friend who still surfs it every now and then. So in the end I learned a lot about glassing and he got a free board.

Monkstar, You have one of the most important qualities of a successful person: You’re looking at your mistakes as opportunities to learn. Good on ya!

Talk to any really good shaper or anything, and they’ll have a whole list of mistakes they made. A mistake is just a little road sign saying: “Don’t go here”.

Good luck on your next one, and post some pictures. Doug

the first board i shaped turned out as a wild success, it was a high school project and i got my local shaper to let me use his shaping room. Designed it myself and i had him just watch over me. i had a very very basic knowledge of what i was actually doing. The board ripped its a 7’10 hybrid short long board thing. i havent really found a good classification for it. but it rips in crappy summer waves just as well as it does in head high plus waves. i loaned it out to my girlfriend and she broke the nose of it and cracked the stringer. i fixed it back up and it rides just as well, but the nose looks like crap. oh well i guess it was beginers luck.

Read everything you can on surfboards here on swaylocks, look at every board you come across and take as many measurements as possible. Take measurements off your favorite boards and use that as a guide. Youll figure it out eventually.