handicapped board

A friend of mine wants to build a board for a woman who is normally confined to a wheelchair, based on a 12’8" tandem blank, with a cutout to sit in. I’m willing to shape it for him and have built a tandem board before, so the size doesn’t worry me too much – but the cutout for her to sit in does, a bit. I’m concerned that it will weaken the board unduly if it is deep enough for her to actually sit securely… am thinking… multiple stringers? reinforcements? super strong deck patches tied into the sit-well? Any ideas? am also interested in handles/back support suggestions, etc… PS this is no joke, he’s done this before, see Surfer’s Journal vol 10 no 2 page 124 for a picture of the first rather makeshift board/chair combo. aloha…

I would talk to Steve Boehne at Infinity Surfboards in Dana Point. Steve is the king of the “Butt Board” and should be fairly helpful. He also made the plug for the 12-8. Sluggo

I would say that the area where the seat is you could put multiple layers of 6oz cloth(or a heavier weave}. As for the handles, you could probably route in some resin plugs, sort of like doing a resin leash plug through a fin box,then use rope as a handle. Two plugs, about 8 inches apart, on each side of the seat. first, install resin plugs(I would say about the size of a silver dollar)Drill out your holes through the resin plugs. Run rope through one hole,tie a knot(just like putting a leash tie through a fin box. Then through the other, the same way. then you have soft handles that what put her in any danger if she wipes out. Oh yeah, on the bottom side you could counter sink the hole so the rope will fit in the hole instead of on top. Put extra cloth around the resin plugs. Hope this helps, just some thoughts.