first shape, cheapest place to get it glassed in/around OC

Ok going to make my first board, so it’s probably going to be a real clunker so I want to go the cheapest route. What’s the bare minimum costs? Blank, surfoam. And how much is the fiberglass and resin going to cost to glass this thing myself vs. the total minimum cost of some place/someone glassing for me.

Plus how bad an idea is it to shape a semigun for my first board? I’ve got a 6’3 modern fish, and a 6’4 that’ll get me into overhead+ but at 10ft+ I’d like a semi and that’s all I need now in my quiver.

I’ve done three boards now, and I’m still not ready to do a semi-gun…

The way I look at it, the last thing you want to happen as you’re dropping into some DOH juice is to discover that your equipment has a flaw…

I want to have confidence in my equipment for safety’s sake in bigger surf…

Rocker in any board that goes at high speeds needs to be exceptionally smooth. any miniscule dip, warble, straight line or hump in your rocker or rail line will catch…

Tip over teakettle, and hope you can penetrate instead of tumbling…

My first board was full of dips, warbles, straight lines, and humps. Might I suggest a board design that isn’t so critical? (I haven’t done a shortboard yet either for the same reason, but my third one is a hybrid fish that COOKS)

Also you might plan for the future, and decide to do three successive boards, refining each one, with the third board your goal, to be the best one…I did a fish, then two fish hybrids, and the third one is my favorite board.

If you want to work up to a semi, do a pinny fun-gun first, the design has more room for error…then work towards a tight semi in your next few…

I think my first one set me back about $250 bones total…

(counting all the buckets, dropcloth, tape, scissors, and random stuff) The next was cheaper…I rented the planer and sander


damn $250 bones is almost a new board by a good shaper. I’d want to shape to learn for myself and save money but that sounds much steeper than I thought.


That’s counting almost everything…ingenuity could almost halve that figure I suppose…my next board was only $150, with nice fins…Alot of that $250 was in reusables, like a hand plane, homemade sanding blocks, buckets and a dropcloth, etc. if you already have that stuff or can scrounge, it’s less (save those yoghurt buckets / plastic containers–I almost never have to buy buckets, unless I need the kind with a measuring gauge). Getting a blank glassed is usually $120-$150.

New boards near me are at least $350, and from a questionable shaper…


Laminate yourself and you’ll save about a 100 bucks and get the satisfaction of doing the whole board yourself. Go for the semi-gun. Guns are usually pretty simple shapes in terms of the lack of wings,concaves,etc. You can do it for about 200 bucks or less including fins and boxes. Do it. Mike

Jedi -

First off, get the “clunker” idea out of your head!

I read in a golf magazine once that worst thing to do when facing something like a water hazard on tee off was to use a crappy, beat up ball with the idea that you might lose it anyway. The author suggested that a brand new ball would be a better choice and to give it all you had with the idea that your next swing was going to be the best swing of your life.

A semi-gun shouldn’t present any more difficulty that any other board for a first attempt and I’d say give it all you’ve got with the idea that it’ll be the best board you’ve ever had. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfect, remember - plenty of surfers have made the drop (and the wave) with good timing, wave judgement and positioning skills.

There are plenty of very nice semi-guns in the archives. Blanks are essentially pre-shaped now days and with a “go-slow” approach, you can pull it off.

You didn’t give a specific size but something along the lines of Keith Melville’s 2002 8 1/2 footer (A timeless classic!) might be worth a look. Basic shape and dimensions are perfectly functional. He’d probably even give you some pointers via PM if you ask nicely.

Feel the force!

LOL I actually pull out the crappy pinnacle and top flite balls on the water hazards. I think it’s going to be pretty basic single to double concave round pin

I use to use range balls at water hazards !! Wavetools charged me to glass $170.00 plus tax that included fins, #2 i’m glassing. I hear ther’s cheaper shops call around. thanks DR

Do what John said,

You’ll be fine with a semi gun shape, just take your time. No one said you have to shape a board in 20 mins. Take 3 days to shape it…who cares. Glass it yourself too. Once you get better at glassing and shaping you can make that $200.00 in material look like a $1,000.00 board, but it doesn’t come by reading about it, you got to do it.

Go buy the 8’4"R blank shape it down to 8ft, keep the rocker just as is, thin it down to about 2 3/4, Single concave or flat to a slight vee out the back. About a 12 1/2 x 20 3/4 x 13 should work ok. The board will fly.