Longboard design suggestions, please

Hi all,

I’ve wanted to build my own board for a while and I’m finally going to take the plunge. I’ve decided I want a longboard to make my east-coast summers a little less boring. I’m considering something in the 9’0 to 9’2" range, and I’d like to have the best of both worlds: a good nose-rider combined with the ability to be fairly maneuverable.

I studied the boards people have submitted to the Resources page and it seems that the ballpark for measurements would be 17 3/4" x 22 1/2" x 14 1/4" x 2 3/4". I’m 5’9" and weigh 155 in trunks and generally surf boards from 6’0 thrusters to a 7’8" funboard. I don’t see this board as being a big-wave board, but something to use in knee-high junk up through head-high waves.

I’m open to any and all suggestions on the design options. Should I worry about putting concaves or V on the bottom, and if so, where? Rails: 50/50 for most of the length, going harder as I get near the back third of the board? I feel like I’m starting on page 1 of an entire encyclopedia. :slight_smile:



You should surf a log first, then look at the bottom closely, and decide for YOURSELF what you want to change.

Most surfers don’t know what works, why, and how, so maybe just copy an existing log. You can adapt to IT"S characteristics easier than trying to make a board suitable for YOU…unless you have already made hundreds of boards.

Bascally, everything and anything works.

ahhh, the voice of reason and wisdom

put me down for that too…

get the blank draw the template shape the rails make the deck look about right and glassit! 22 3/4 or 1/2 or 2 3/4 0r three inches thick

dont get anal about the dimensions

make a board that feels about right and looks about right and there you’ll have it,the best board in the history of mankind and or the chinese empire whichever is greater,

the chinese history is older

…all the advise in the wold is worth about …zzzzzz

compared to the practical experience its the goal …go daddy!!!



…“dont get anal about the dimensions …”

“no pants mance” revisited… or is it “butthole surfer” ? [sorry , “sweet lady surf” …look away … ]

Consider opening up the tail to about 14 5/8" or 15" or so. It’ll work much better in the smaller surf you’re planning to ride. The board will be a more maneuverable, get into waves a little more easily and go a little faster with the wider tail. I prefer rounded pins but put what suits you on it. The other specks are fine. 2 3/4" to 3.0" thickness will be good. Rocker is key on this board. Something close to my 9.0" attached sill suit I’m sure. Be sure to check out some professional work particullar the rails of you know performs well before you fire up the planer. Hope it turns out well for you.

Mahalo, Rich

hi Rich !

what are the tail and rocker measurements on that board , please ?

thanks !


and is it my eyes, or are they two large TWIN fins on that ?? … if so, how do they go ?

get the tail of your best shortboard (back 3 feet ) and use it as the tail of a longboard …

forget 50/50 if you want anything near performance …

look at your shortboard that works real well , just add 3 feet and make the front look like a mal …

same rails etc …

youll have performance and of coarse it will go like a longboard as well because youll have the size to nose ride …



id probably take the nose to between 18 and 18.5 …

Hey Chipfish61,

Here are your specks and some photos.

It’s Freeline (John Mel) custom built about 4 years ago. 6 oz bottom 6oz deck with a 6oz deck patch. Traditional gloss and polish poly glass job from New Beginnings Glassworks here in Santa Cruz.

9’0"x19.75"x23"x15.0"x3" rounded pin tail, Length is measured on the rocker so the board is actually 8’11".

3.5" nose rocker – 3.25 tail rocker. Triple cedar 1/8" stingers give the board nice flex patter and resilience.

½” beautifully blended nose concave finishes with rocker at about 3’ back ~ center section (3’) is flat subtle vee starts 3’ up in tail - very simple combination of old and new. Rails are modern and rather boxy.

The fin set-up (5.25" mental rails ~ 6.75" spinner center) is what I have settled on after experimenting with many different ones. The board responds well but is very calm and stable as a single. You can spend a week on the nose on one wave, but it comes to life with the fins that are on it and is highly maneveurable accelerating quite well off the top and bottom while still rose rides beautifully. The tail will break out in a steep face if I step too far forward so nose riding is about stalling on this baby. It’s the best board I have of for small crowded summer conditions. When the waves get fast it keeps up well until it gets a little over head high and then it’s maxed out. If the walls aren’t too steep you can drive it all over the place in bigger surf. It trims soooo sweeeet and surfs effortlessly.

Hope this helps –

Three photos attached.

18 x 23 x 15 x 3 double concave in nose, even rocker flow, not too prounounced. hull in the tail. Single fin.

i have an APS3000 file that might interest you…lemme know and i’d be happy to PM it to you.

At the moment I am shaping a 9’2 x 22&1/2 x 3. For me I am 5’11 95kg. It is rounder than pinner I am not sure on the tail but about 16 at a foot and the nose is about 19 at a foot. It will have a rolled bottom and double concave thru the tail.fairly flat thru the nose and the rocker is a standard burford 9’3. With 7.5 mm stringer. It will be glassed with 6oz under and 6 and 4 oz top. rails are secret . polyester resin. ofishl fiberglass tt sideys and a 8&1/4 dolphin fin by ofishl.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! My next step is going to be to choose which blank might be most suited to producing a board using these ballpark measurements. Would the Clark 9’5"S or 9’4"B be an appropriate blank to work with. I was figuring on staying with the natural rocker, or would that not be a wise choice?



Hey Sunburn,

Because of the rocker I’d be looking and 3" thickness I’d be look toward toward, if I was going with a Clark Foam blank it’d be a 9-4H. The rocker at both ends is very close to what I’d be shooting for and there is plenty of meat in the blank to adjust that and foil the ends to your liking. In the end, getting the rocker and taper in the ends is what I look for in choosing a blank but I’m a rank amature so my choice is not as well informed as some of the pros here at Swaylocks.

How you are going to fin the board will have a lot to do with how you rocker it in the tail. When it comes to the nose rocker if it exceeds 4.5" I think you’ll begin to loose a measure of your performance edge.

Hope it goes well and my posts are of some help.

No Worries, Rich

Thanks to everyone’s help, and especially the archives here, I was able to complete my first board all the way from the creating a template through the final polishing of the gloss coat. I broke the in the board during the weekend before Ophelia evacuated the Outer Banks. The board handled the head-OH conditions beautifully. It also does well in the waist-high junk Va Beach had last weekend, so I’m very happy with the versatility I can get out of it. Of course, I already have ideas on design changes for the next one…

Hopefully, the picture will post.

Thanks again for all the help,