New to shaping and specific dimensions

hey everyone, this is my first post on swaylocks! this site is great. anyway…

so i recently started shaping due to not currently having my own board [recently buckled mine straight thru the middle :((((]

i bought two blanks, and decided on a retro fish, and a lost rocket (obviously wont be as good as the real thing but i like the shape and it has great reviews)

here’s where my dilema is… i’m 6ft 140lbs. some people say i should be happy about that, which i am, but when it comes to getting a board that’s right for me, i always seem in between on dimensions, since im tall but not too heavy. my friend let me use his original …Lost Rocket (5’6" x 19.25" x 2.25") since he said it was a tad too small for him (he’s 6’3" 170lbs, and can rip a wave to pieces on almost anything)

  1. what volume range do you think i should shoot for?? (just in general)

  2. what dims would you guys recommend for a Rocket and retro fish?

the dims i picked for the fish are 5’6" x 21" (wp 2" up from center) x 2.5" with 16.5" a foot from the nose and 16" a foot from the tail, and 11"at the tip of the tail

the dims i was thinking for the Rocket (remember i’m hand shaping it) are 5’6" x 19.2" x 2.125" 

i’d say my skill level is advanced, and i live in florida

the only reason i’m having a hard time with this is because the last time i had a board custom made for me, i was 14 years old… and now i’m 20

thanks guys! 

Volume and dimensions are subjective, I’d stay pretty close to what’s been working for you lately, and you should be fine.  When you start making your own boards there are always a million what ifs on size volume bottom rails fins etc etc, so often its just a matter of take your best guess and run with it.  Welcome to swaylocks and hope you post up some pics of your projects!

Thanks! I’m just super OCD about dimensions and things of that sort. To the point where my indecision keeps me up at night haha…

You can pre-plan the whole thing down to the tiniest detail before beginning (or have a board handy that you are duplicating), or you can just have a rough idea and make decisions on the fly based on your instincts.  Both ways have their plusses and minuses, always a bit more risk when you head off into the unknown, but then the rewards are greater too when you hit it out of the ballpark on a board you designed on the fly.  Or it might be a dog, haha.  Welcome to your new addiction!  :slight_smile:

Hello - A good starting point is to figure out how your friend’s board worked out for you… the board that he says is too small for him? Maybe it’s just right for you?  The fish will definitely have more float and easier planing capability at slow speeds than the Lost Rocket. PM me your mailing address and I can send you a couple of paper fish templates that might be worth looking at.  Since you’re such an OCD freak, either one can easily be shortened/lengthened, or shifted around to fit your needs.  HAHA - seriously, watch this Ryan Burch video and loosen up!

Thanks for the advice! I would’ve loved to try his Rocket out before shaping mine, but sadly he had buckled the tail before I asked to use it for a template :confused: what luck right? And Ryan Burch is the man!! He’s actually where I got the inspiration to shape a fish from, his rainbow fish from Psychic Migrations was sick! 


I think I’m going to shape the boards to the dims I referred to in my first post, and will hope for the best. If the Rocket ends up being too small, I might try to sell it… maybe on the Swaylocks surfshop even! If not then I’ll probably just keep it for really good/bigger days. 


And thanks for offering to send me those templates, I’ll shoot you a dm.


will post pics of both boards as soon as i start on em

…hello man, search for the modern fish thread in the archives.

Regarding size for a fish: go 8" shorter than your normal “HP” board to have the same type of flotation.

If you decide for a rocket fish go 4" shorter.

Adjust the other dimensions as necessary

ugh, throwin that at me right when i thought i had it all figured out… haha

time to lose some more sleep! 


Geez, those fish dims sound pretty close to what I might shape for myself.

I’m 6’ x 180 ish.

I agree with Huck’s first post. Stay close to what has been working for you lately.

Dimensions and volume are subjective.

…of course dimensions are relative; in fact, I do not post em in the boards; however, I have been experiencing that confusion with most customers all along these years. Guys trying to order or buy directly boards that have similar dimensions of what they know and always fail; always the boards feel bigger. Im talking when you change platforms; like changing from a “HPSB” to a fish or even a rocket fish.

Well yeah I meant if you’re making a fish then stick close to the fish size that’s been working for you, and so forth.  

Hi KS - The templates are in the mail… feel free to mix/match or just use to line the bird cage if you think they suck.