How hard is it to shape? How much money will it cost to get started?

Hey im very interested in surfboard shaping and glassing. I was just wondering how hard is it? i know it’s pretty hard but i was wondering what your take is on it and if this is really something that i should be getting into …

Also how much money are we looking at this is going to cost including: foam blank, resin, tools etc.

i think i can speak for everyone when i say the best thing to do is just dive right in and give it a shot. there are enough resources out there to give you a good feel for the process, and if you know a shaper that you can watch that’s just a huge bonus. as for cost, figure a longboard blank + cloth + resin will run you about $150, and then tack on another 20 for some basic hand tools (surform, sandpaper, block planer). that’s really all ya need…i say go for it. and if you can meet up with someone on here who lives in your area and maybe get a little group project going, that’d be even better for ya.


I’ve been surfing for over 30 years and assumed I couldn’t shape. I asked a friend who shaped me a couple of boards if I could watch and throw him some extra $$$. He said no,but then told me, “Mike, it’s just a procedure, like anything else.” I thought,‘shit, I can learn a procedure.’ Since then I have shaped 26 boards with a blank in the garage calling me right now. Many would still tell me I can’t shape and I would be the first to agree. But, I can shape a board that is fun for me to ride and looks pretty good too if you don’t look too close. If I can do it, so can you. Do it. Blanks cost bettween 55 and 125 bucks. If I laminate and make my own fins I can make a short board(7’6" and under) for about 150 dollars. Your going to need a couple basic tools and sand paper. You are on the correct web site for help. Do it. Mike

You can’t go wrong if you glass up an unshaped blank, they have nice soft rails and lots of buoyancy. :wink: Roy

Alright, sounds good. Im excited already!

I was thinking of shaping a Real Fish … would that be too hard to start off on because of the big swallow tail? or would i be fine?

Are there any places/shops in san diego/north county that carry everything that i would need to get started?

One pair of easy N County sources:

Blank, resin, catalyst, glass, tape, stirring sticks, etc: Mitch’s Surf Shop in Solana Beach

(If you want to add surfacing agent to the laminating resin instead of buying sanding/hotcoating resin: Encinitas Surfboards)

Surform, sandpaper, block plane, etc.: Home Depot or Lowes

okay, cool i know where Mitch’s is …

what’s the difference between adding a surfacing agent to the laminateing resin and sanding/hotcoating resin …

newbie question … what’s a block plane used for?


You can do a fish. You have lots of good examples to look at in SD. My second board was a fish. I still have it. Funny to look at. Rides pretty good, though. Obviously, have to shape two tails. No big deal. Get the right tool for the butt crack. Laminating the crack is a bit tricky,but totally doable. Spend a couple of hours in the archives. Tons of info on fishes. Mr. Spitzer is back on. Maybe he’ll jump in for some help. He knows fishes as well as anyone. I have fish and fin templates. Be glad to mail you some. You can do it. Do it. Mike

Thanks rooster,

I guess im going to start looking in the archives.

And yeah could you send some fish and fin templates that would be awesome.

Waves to everyone


Send me a message with an address and I’ll put them on paper and snail mail them. Mike

Can i email you my adress? i don’t really want to post it on the forum … just because

EDIT: … nevermind … didn’t know what a message was but now i found it

You could get experience by stripping the glass of a $5 shitter and reshaping the blank.

yeah, i was actually thinking of that …

I have a small old beat up shortboard that i could use … it’s already pretty small so i don’t know what i would shape it into

It’s also reaaaally yellow.


I just finished shaping my first blank. Since here in Finland there aren’t any shops that sell blanks, I just went to the local shop that sells construction stuff and bought a polyurethane piece big enough for my project. Cutted that in half, shaped the stringer to the drawings I made with my computer, and attached the stringer to the PU pieces with epoxy. It cured overnight, then I drew the sidecut shapes and then I just started shaping. First with a surform we accidentally had in the garage and then with 60-grit paper with all kinds of sanding blocks & hand.

Had no idea if that was the right procedure, but I think it worked. Now I just have to go and get some glassfiber and epoxy and finish the thing. Even though I’m more unexperienced than a rookie with surfing, I thought that if the foam, epoxy and glass costs about 50 euros / bucks it’s worth a try. And with my pre-rookie skills and the shitty, messy, onshore max 2,5 foot waves we get here in Finland, I thought that if the board floats and goes somewhat straight, it’s a damn success! But we’ll see… Anyway, it was fun and even somewhat rewarding to shape that foam and see it turning into something that distantly resembles a surfboard!

Hey rooster,

Sent you a pm…thanks…

Sean W.