Homemade blank and board

Hallo all!

the first week of October I’m going to Sardinia (Italy) for a surf trip. Sardinia is an italian island, right in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and

italian surfers consider it the Mecca of surfing in the Med Sea.

October is a good month for surfing there: the water is still warm and the first swells are generated.

The good thing about Sardinia is that winds blowing from west (Maestrale and Libeccio winds) have the biggest fetch in the mediterraenan sea to generate waves.

Apart from that I hope not to get a real big swell, I wouldn’t be able to survive :wink: I’m not a skilled surfer…

My board (a beginners board that you can see in this thread: http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=235867;search_string=tavlas;#235867 ) has again a serious delamination, and on september I’ll try to fix it,

but I want a new board for the trip.

I was thinking to copy a friend’s board, a Robert August - Mark Martinson X model (length 7’2", 15’ Tail, 22’ width, 16’ nose, singlefin).

You can take a look at it here: http://www.robertaugust.com/fast/index.htm

His board is made in Tuflite and obviously I can’t use the same materials. I’ll use EPS (or similar), fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin.

It’s not easy to buy a surfboard blank so I looked older threads to see how to make one. Benny1 gave me several ideas about.

I was thinking to buy thermical insulation panels and shape them. My questions are:

  • is it necessary to put a wooden stinger? The other board I made (see thread: http://www.swaylocks.com/forum/gforum.cgi?post=234740;search_string=tavlas;#234740 ) has a strange stinger, and I guess it works. It gives extra strength and the board is still very flexible.

  • the panlels are 80mm thick, the maximum length available is 2500mm and the max width is 500mm. I can not use a single panel to make a board, I have to glue two of them together to get enough thickness to have the wanted rocker. By your opinion, is a good choice to glue together two panels one over the other (see image part 1)? Or is it beeter to cut the two panels in many stripes and then glue them (see image part 2)?

Thank you in advance!


hi Tavlas,

did you check this thread?


it seems like option 1 is easier… but, i’ve never done either…

one thing though, unless you want to apply (vacuum bag or ???) a higher density “deck”,

you need to make sure that you get at least 2 pound density foam (sorry, i don’t know how to convert that to metric).

the insulation foam that i have seen around here is mostly 1 pound foam… i don’t know what you have available over

there. if you don’t, you are likely to get a lot of dings…

let us know how the project progresses.

Hi Tavlas - I think you’ll find that blank #1 (this is the way I make mine) will be more flexable than blank #2.

Neither is ‘the best’ it just depends on how you want your board to ride.

As to you question about wooden stringer? No, you can do a balsacomp with perimeter stringers (still a wood stringer though) or denser foam on the rails or if you need to go with out a stringer do blank #2, that should give you the strength you need.

YOu could even do a number 1 blank and glass it 3x4oz. top and 2x4oz bottom should be strong enough.

Have fun and let us know what you come up with.

IT all works and it’s all fun!


Hi ChrisP,

wow! thanks for the link that’s what I was looking for. I looked in the older thereads but I wasn’t able to find this one. I guess it’s my english…

I checked the conversion and the foam I found is 35kg/m3 which is almost 1pound/ft3.

I’ll think something about it, maybe a multiple layer of fiberglass on the top, or a layer of thin wood.

Thanks for the input, i’ll post what goes on.


Hallo Tridrles,

thank you for the opinion about the blank. Today I went to check out some panels before sunday work (I’ll make my boss pay me extra for this) but they only had small panels available. I saw the “project frog” thread and I guess it’sa good and relatively easy way for me to proceed. I think to use a central stinger. I have no experience of flexible or non-flexible boards, so I can’t really tell the difference. I’m just concerned about the resistance in breaking under my weight. I have to say that the other board I made (you can check the link is in the first post of this thread) didn’t give me any problems. I surfed it twice (is on my parent’s island Kythira that I visit on summer holidays, and last year there was just one small two-day swell)and it has no relevant dings.

Just a spider crack on the deck because my little sister rode it on flat sea the day after I finished it - the resin had not cured yet.

I glassed with one layer of medium fiberglass both sides, but I used too much epoxy resin, so it turned out pretty heavy. I have not enough experience to say if it’s stronger than a board made with the same amount of glass and less resin.

Thanks for your input and encouragement!

I hope to post progression info soon.


Depending on what type of glue you use will have a big impact on doing it one way or the other.

Using epoxy to glue the foam together will make it much harder to shape #2 becuase the epoxy will be very hard when it’s dry.

If you use a poly glue like elmers, or gorilla glue, you could do #2 and add several stringers to get a really strong board. It would also look pretty cool with multiple stringers, and you don’t have to worry about shaping the rocker.

i would do method 1 from personal experience. it is a lot easier, and if you do it right you can glue it so that the rocker is set whhile you glue it, eliminating the need to plane the rocker. also, i would use any type of glue to glue the pieces together (when i did this i used craft glue and spray on foam adhesive)

hey Les,

do you have any more of your videos available?

for tavlas or anyone else reading this thread?

Just want to add a little.

If you want to have a stringer, and you know what the rocker shape is, I think doing it #2 way is better. If you have a board that you can copy, you can do several simple things to bend the foam and make the rocker, but if you want to add the stringer it’s not as easy. You’ll have to cut the blank in half after you create the rocker and then glue the stringer in. It’s easy to get messed up at that point.

For a stringered board, I would draw out the top and bottom curve (board profile) onto the wood you want to use as the stringer. Use a strong but light wood. I usually lay the board on a table and support it so it doesn’t move, then take the stringer board and lay it up against the edge of the board and run a pencil flat against the board to draw the curve. If you have 6" of nose rocker you’ll need wood that is at least 6" wide, but a little wider is better.

Once you draw the profile of the board onto the wood, you can clamp multiple pieces of wood together and cut them out at one time. Then clean them up at the same time to get the exact same shape. You’ll have multiple stringers that are exactly the same rocker and profile.

I usually do 3 stringers at one time.

Then just draw that same curve onto the foam and cut out the sections. You can have a center stringer then 2 pieces of foam, an outer stringer then more foam. Be sure to keep the stringers aligned when you glue it up. Choose 2 or 3 places that are squared up to align them. You can clamp the whole thing together since it will have a square shape. A good carpenters wood glue will be strong and easy to sand through.

One thing that may occur again is the delamination. 1 lb foam is soft and the stringers are hard. You’re bound to get compressions in the foam but not where the stringers are. A thin balsa stringer between each piece of foam may stop that and still keep the board light.

You could also go stringerless using the #1 method and make the glass laps wide, 2 to 4 inches over the edge on to the other side. That should give plenty of strength. That would be the easiest, and you won’t have the hard wood and soft foam problems.

Yes I do… it’s posted in the ‘SurfShop’ here on Sways. But I’m not sure that is the way tavlas is going.

But… If any one wants instructional videos on making balsa composite surfboards with wood

perimeter stringers (I use Cherrywood) then check it out.


Chris! My (OBQ) One Board Quiver has the deck/bottom on and five fin boxes. Next are the rails! It’ll be done for the big waves at Plasket!

Hi SharkCountry!

thanks for the inputs! To say the truth I was thinking to use method n.2, but I’m a little bit scared: I don’t know if I’m skilled enough. On the other hand the blank building method you are describing is very intresting, and it’ll come out a really nice board.

You know, the problem for me is to understand how much is the stinger useful for my board. It’s all about flexibility.

But I’m not a good surfer, in my sea there are not oceanic waves (in size and consistency throughout the year), there is no way to go surfing in a regular basis (I mean 90 percent of the days the sea is flat, and when I say flat I mean flat like a swimming pool)

In few words I have not the experience to say what is best for me so I’m reading threads on the forum to understand.

You are talking about delamination problems near the stingers: it’s exactly what happened to my other board.

I’m thinking more about way n.1.

Thank you very much for your help nd may the swell come to you! (I invented it now, hope it’s a good thing to say :wink:


vibram five fingers kso shoes just an anecdotal takedown, a few
cases of transitioning too fast to natural running, or something more? The Internet Monk puts his faith to the test by walking with Jesus in his new vibram five fingers kso shoes - a religious perspective on VFFs.vibram five fingers kso shoe are hot in Charlotte, N.C. - a nice local news story (And video) on Vibrams growing popularity.Sean Pelleteir reports on a recent lecture by Chris McDougall at Frederick Community College, on the wonders of barefoot running.

Welcome! vibramfivefingers to you have come to the Vibram Fivefingers web shop. Now you can experience that same physical and visceral sensation in Vibram Five Fingers-the only footwear to offer the exhilarating joy of going barefoot with the protection and sure-footed grip of a Vibram sole. Five Fingers shoes stimulate the muscles in your feet for it puts you in touch with the earth beneath your feet and liberates you to move in a more natural, healthy way. And you could buy Vibram Fivefinger which showed on the web.

Welcome! vibramfivefingers to you have come to the Vibram Fivefingers web shop. Now you can experience that same physical and visceral sensation in Vibram Five Fingers-the only footwear to offer the exhilarating joy of going barefoot with the protection and sure-footed grip of a Vibram sole. Five Fingers shoes stimulate the muscles in your feet for it puts you in touch with the earth beneath your feet and liberates you to move in a more natural, healthy way. And you could buy Vibram Fivefinger which showed on the web.