Hey Guys,

I’m looking to build a handboard similar to the ones “The Handboard Company” has. I’m thinking I’ll use some leftover 5/8" corecell, carbon, epoxy and then pop her in my adjustable rocker table… could be pretty sweet!

I got a couple Q’s that I would appreciate any input on:

  • Any ideas on why ‘The Handboard Companys’ don’t have rocker?

  • What are your opinions on using a crescent tail, rather than the ‘oldschool’ looking pin?

  • Does anyone know the average width of a ‘handboard comp.’ style board? I noticed this post referring to a 12" width… wondering how common it is? http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=168818;search_string=handboard;#168818

  • Any thoughts on how to determine the right length. I’m thinking the distance from my finger to elbow?

Also, I’m referring to the following site: www.thehandboardcompany.com



yeah i have put some thought into building a handboard with some left over foam. the dimensions sound about right to me i might go a little wider then 12 inches though. but the finger tip to elbow sounds about right.

personaly i would put a little nose rocker in the thing, to keep it from pearling. and go with the cresect tail.

a hand board is flat and is just bigger than the size of your hand say a lillte bigger than a letter size piece of paper

Turbohog, Thanks for the input. I’m thinking 19"Lx14"Wx5/8". 3/4" rocker sounds about right. Was also thinking this board might benifit from a bat tail, rather than the crescent= more surface area, similar manuverablitity. I’m going to use some Rainbow surfdog kite fins that I have laying around as mini bolt-on skegs!

pierpontscott, I was thinking I would build the “Handboard Company” style board, rather than a conventional single hand strap-on… thanks anyways.



19" long might rip your arm off it’s ball sockets.

Your hand is semi attached to the board thru a slot, so lots of wrenching when you dive into the wave to get out with a board that big.

My commercially bought handboard is single concave, app 14" long by 9" wide, slight nose rocker, and possibly on the big side for my size of 5’10" and 145 lbs., in bigger surf.

Might be perfect for 4-6’ surf, but I’ve never had it out in that size

A handboard is basically body surfing with the ability to unweight/wet, so you can climb and drop faster than just a convex body pushing thru the water.

i recommend a little kick in the nose to prevent from getting sprayed in the face

Here’s one I made. And if I had to do it over I would have NOT made any rocker. I think it slows the board down (pushes water and makes spray).

Keep it flat.


During 2005 The League of Lamaroos was and is focused on two-handed handboards (AKA mini-paipos and cubit boards.) One constant was maintained. The lengths of the boards were all One Royal Egyptian Cubit in length. That’s about 20 1/2 inches. Different widths, tail shapes and rockers have been tested. Rockers have been dead flat with a nose handle, rocker in the nose only, and a continuos rocker. Cutting up a ratty old, wood skimboard is a quick and easy way to get started. You can easily modify the shape, then seal and varnish.

Cosmo is the easiest to make. It’s a modified wood skimboard.


Aker the paddle template is made from a pine 1X12. The nose kick is both boil-bent and sanded. You can’t see it in the photo, but the bottom has a concave that flares out parallel to the flare of the template.


Tefnut the roundnose fish is made from poplar 1X12. It’s less than $4.00 per foot, and is about half the weight of oak. The streaks of green, gold, brown and black are natural.


Bobhotep the Big Boy Fish Cubit is made from low-grade 7 ply 3/8" plywood. The nose handle is a double thickness of the same wood. If you ignore the plywood construction, then this model more closely resembles the traditional Egyptian Lap Desk Paipo that was first ridden by Bobhotep of Buto.


Of course the Handelindanoz (handle in the nose) stye of paipos were “invented” independently by various cultures at different times around the globe. The handle has the advantages of pearling prevention, sufficient grip for one-handed riding and most importantly…it keeps the scribe’s posca pens from rolling off the front of the lap desk.


I have a couple more in the testing stage. Another fish and a bat tail. I’ll add those photo links in a few days. My advice to you Alex is to make a few differnet ones. You’ll probably like them all of them. I don’t use a leash or straps. Ride them somewhere that’s not too crowded if you don’t want to leash it. They are easier to hang onto than you might think. Plus they are easier to pull out of a near-pearling situation, because of the elbow leverage and the nose-to-tail response is quick like the rail-to-rail response of a surfboard. As far as the length…I usually ride with at least one hand near the nose, not on the nose. So your board length shoud be at least from your elbow to fist plus a few inches more for a kicked nose. A nose-handle board like the Bobhotep model can be a little shorter.

More boards and measurements at http://www.larryobrien.com/cubits.htm

Thanks Poobah,

Your handboards look super fun. I like how they are easy to modify and seal.

My question for you is this, would there be any reason to build one from an old cut-down PU blank? It seems like you would get more float. Is that important with handboards?

Thanks a lot for the good feedback/info guys.

Poobah, great stuff… I had no idea that what I was planning to build is called a ‘cubit board’ or ‘mini paipo’. I suppose I’ll make one that looks like it will work, as it seems the design of these things might be more personal preference, than a single standard. If it doesn’t work… well at least I only lost $15.00 of materials!

When I’m done, I’ll post some pics and final specs.




Thanks Poobah,

My question for you is this, would there be any reason to build one from an old cut-down PU blank? It seems like you would get more float. Is that important with handboards?

There are good reasons to use PU and glass, but I don’t think float is one of them. The ease of making compound curves would be a good reason. Perhaps little catamaran hulls or wing bulbs. Too much float could interfere with manuevering. I haven’t put fins on the bottom of my boards (yet) because the board becomes a fin when you want it to. It’s all in the arms and wrist.


That makes good sense. Now I have a use for all my extra PE resin (lots of broken boards).

I think the most exciting thing for me will be expeimenting with the bottom contours and foam distribution.

I will keep you posted in the future with pics of any handboards I build.

Wow, this thread is getting me stoked! I’ll be making some handboards over Holiday Break using PE foam and maybe wood. Not really sure which type of wood yet (any suggestions), or the templates yet. I’m kind of leaning towards the smaller handboards that are just a little bit larger than the hand. However, the Handboard Company style handboards would be cool to experiment with too. I’ll post when they are done.


Yea, getting me stoked too. I was just thinking, an old skate deck cut-down (maple) might work well if there is not too much concave. But who knows, the concave might be an added bonus.

It’s all new to me.

Let me know what you do. I’m really interested.


Here’s a couple more modified wood skimboards…a fish and a bat. Both are a little over 20 inches long. I cut these a little farther back from the nose of the skimmer so I wouldn’t have too much nose rocker like I did on the yellow one (Cosmo) pictured previously in this thread


Here’s an old fart cubit in final shaping. Solid poplar with a tail block made of light and dark poplar. The template looks asymetrical, but it’s not. I just tweaked the photo too much. Board is 24 inches long.



Another one in shaping. A dead-flat plywood model with “canard runners” made from the arms of a broken chair.


So ya, there’s lots of different tangents you can take with design and materials. Remember the adventure is in the journey, not the destination. Some out of the box options might be staring you in the face…or even spinning close to your head, like this PVC ceiling fan blade that I nose-kicked simply by putting one end into a pot of boiling water and bending it. It came with holes already drilled in useful spots. I’ll work out the straps later. It’s a one-handed handboard, and that’s just not my focus this year.


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