Jake's first board

My son Jake is 17 and just started surfing this year. He grew up going to my contests until I stopped competing when he was 10 but this was the first time he has really gotten into it. He also decided that he wanted to build his own board.
The blank started as an 8’0" Marko close tolerance, but he wants a fish. It will be 5’9" and more of a modern shape than a true fish.

Nice. I first got into making boards because my son wanted to make one for s school project. We made his board and a couple years later taped it up and did a nice rattle can, pastel, rising sun spray on the top with paint left over from another one his projects. The design and finish on the original board is rough but the memories are good.

…as a boardbuilder I could suggest you several things, a few are:

-put all your (his) time in develop an “eye” and have the RIGHT templates curves. This is THE MOST important factor, no other factor is more important than these items.
If you do not have right curves in the templates you cannot obtain a clean perfect rail (an outline) so with good lights/shadows (an good eye) you can be frustrated trying to finish with the intended rail, curves etc. Many hours you will spend to fix that.

-you cannot obtain a perfect outline without a right template and an electric planer. You cannot obtain that with a surform or a hand plane only.
Never get rid of the bumps that way.

-Use the right lights to obtain the right shadows. This is the second most important stuff.

-do long passes with all the tools.

-If he understand pretty good the basics, is almost half of the path walked.

Made some templetes, he needs to get the thickness closer first and unfortunately my electric planer just died. I’m working on a way to get some side lighting but I don’t own the place, my landlord is cool with me working on stuff in the garage but doesn’t want anything changed.

…regarding lights and landlords: buy those sets of fluorescent tubes. Its only need to connect to electricity. One per side without transforming anything in that room. Put black poster paper (with tape) in those windows and just that. Level the tubes with the racks you are working until you can see the shadows etc.

-regarding outline and templates: most rookies believe that they can have a good enough curve there, however, when you put the shape on rails in the U racks and start to move it and check with a trained eye and side lights you will see all the problems that I mentioned.
Check mainly in the transitions. At around 12-16 inches from nose, for example.
-you mention the thickness, but remember that when you touch the thickness you are changing the rocker numbers too; bear in mind that before continue.

I think I’m going to put up a shelf with lights under it on one side and just make it easy to take down and on the other side put them in the preexisting cabinet. We are planning on trying to take most of the extra foam out of the deck. If there is a better way I’m all ears.

Got some lights set up, still need to black out the windows.