Gearing up to shape my first board

I’m getting ready to shape my first board. I’m a new surfer, only been surfing about 2 months, but I’ve always wanted to learn to shape. Figured it would be dumb to learn to shape until I was at least surfing. I’m working on my racks now and thinking about what to shape.

I definitely want to shape something I can ride, but I’m not really sure what to make. I just bought a used 8’ egg (and I do mean just…like 20 minutes ago). I don’t want to have 2 boards the same unless that makes sense from a learning perspective, but I’m not sure what other kind of shape would be good for a beginning surfer (beside long boards anyway). I’m not really sure I want to make a longboard yet, since it seems like if it’s bigger, I’ll be more likely to screw it up. I’ve pretty much determined to go with a close tolerance blank and just work on shaping to the blank, rather than using a template (since I don’t have any, lol).

Anyway, what kind of shapes would be good for me to start with? I’m 6’1" and 215-220 lbs. Someone had mentioned a large fish or something, but I’m really not sure. I don’t want anything too difficult to shape on my first go round. I plan on doing everything myself, including glassing, unless I chicken out. So what do you all think?


You might want to do something that’s like your current board in outline & thickness but meant for different conditions. For example, if your egg is very flat through the rocker and has soft rails and one fin, you could make one the same basic shape (so you can trace the outline and copy the thickness if they work for you) but put in more rocker in the nose and hard rails in the back and 2+1 fins - you’d then have a board (your original) for ankle-shoulder high surf, and a new one that would be similarly familiar but better suited for chest to head+ surf.

That’s about what I did in making my first longboard - I copied different elements I liked from other boards I have and then stretched the tail out to a round pin from the outline of a squash tail I had (adding 3" of length in the process). Turned out great. Its like having the same board, but definitely for different waves…


really depends on where youre surfing but anyways

if your a beginner though i would say that you should go with a 6’8 or 6’9 fish…

Make it thick (better for paddling and will support your weight)…

Give yourself a low rocker (easier for catching waves), a swallow tail, and a good sized width…

Follow this and your board should be really easy to get up on…

Ive got one like this and its provided on ankle high days (i live in texas) and head high days…

Good luck!!

I was really thinking about doing exactly that…a fat, thick fish, but I was thinking 6’10" - 7’. Which blank would be good for a board like that?

Also, the swallow tail seems like an advanced concept. Are they pretty hard to get right? Would I need to get a template from somewhere to shape a fish?


A good, full sized blank that i like is the 7’4R. That has plenty of thickness and width in it. GO SHAPE IT and enjoy

Swallow tails can be tricky - a squash vs a swallow really wouldnt make too big of a difference

Make the template yourself - get dimensions you like and put them on your blank

or you can just get a big wooden stick that bends good - get a friend to bend it in a shape you like - then trace it on the blank