paipo template - anyone have leads?

I’m thinking of doing an old-school Hawaiian (marine?) plywood paipo, ala Val Valentine’s.

I guess I could rough one out, but a tracing template would be much more accurate in trying to duplicate - any suggestions for sources?

I’ve found a few techniques for bending ply (for the margins of the paipo), but am unsure of the best technique.



You may find what you want here:

or Here:

Or Here:

Paul Lindberg's HPD's


This interview with Jim Growney describes how they built the boards without any pressing. It also contains some pics of their boards


Paul Lindbergh’s HPD site contains the basic dimensions of his boards here:


Paul’s current boards are a refined version of the original Waidelich/Growney design. The interview with Sean Ross has some pics of  wooden paipo as does Paul’s site.

Paul’s boards were pressed in a concrete mould. I have interviewed Paul who talks about his boards but I am awaiting his ok before it is put online. He now makes fibreglass versions of the original wooden design.  Without something to hold the shape, Paul told me many of these wooden boards returned back to their flat shape.


My basic advice is give it a go - other than pride in workmanship, a less than perfect shape won’t be critical. Flat bottom, some nose lift, hard rails - away you go. Then you have to give some thought to finish - oil, fibreglass or varnish are the basic options. Old style - was house paint.












Thanks, Uncle Grumpy and bgreen!

Yeah, that’s the stuff!

If I lived in Hawaii, I’d probably start with a Lindbergh, and then make one out of ply based on that, but being inland now and only making it to the water a few times a year changes things a bit. I kind of wish he still had some of the plywood ones around.

The Wall at Kapahulu always seems like the core of old Hawaiian stoke to me, more so than the North Shore, all the local kids just at home in the water, the enthusiasm and energy level.

Good starting points, thanks.

Now, getting that curve in the front there…that will be the trick.

Hi Moss, 

 Not sure where you live/surf? but I have one of Paul's newer HPD's and for me, unless the surf is really pumping that real wide guitar pick shape does not work so well in most California waves. Also, if you only get in the water a few times a year you might be wishing you had something with a little more flotation..........   If you are stuck using ply you have to get over to and check out the prone boards other folks have made with plywood. That particular compound curve shape is tough to reproduce in ply without a lot of pressure.  IMO, the longer, leaner alaia type paipo is much more user friendly in a wider variety of waves.

Check This Out........



Best of Luck!



David Swanson and Val Valentine's
Paipo Collection, Haleiwa, 2000.
Photo and article by David Pu'u
The Surfer's Journal,
Vol 9 No 3, 2000 Pages 122-123