Picking right measurements

Ok, so I’m in the final stretch with my first board. It’s glassed and has the deck hotcoated. Just need to hotcoat the bottom and finish the cleanup work. So before I get started on #2, I need some help. This first board was copied from another board I had that I basically enlarged an inch around the entire template. But now I’ll be starting from scratch since I don’t have anything else to work from. I know I’ve seen a chart somewhere that listed rough estimates for nose, width, tail, length, and thickness based on the rider’s height/weight but I can’t seem to find it anywhere. So let’s say I’m a heavier rider (not that I am!) and I want to make it about 22" wide and 7’6". How do I know about how wide to make the nose and tail? And what effect do these widths have on the behavior of the board? I’ve tried to find it in the archives but all I find is how to find the dimensions, not how to pick them. Any input greatly appreciated.

My advice would be to visit some surf shops (or friends) and take measurements (template some boards). A big cardboard box can be cut open make a perfectly decent template. You can always adjust the template i.e. go a bit wider when tracing out the outline on your next blank. measure twice, cut once [smile]

Is it common for shops to allow you to do this? I was just told a story about how someone here asked a shaper for permission to trace one of his boards he saw (the shop said he needed permission first) and the poor guy got blasted by the shaper. Not sure how long ago this happened. I was hoping to trace some templates from cleanlines but unless I misread the archives, he got rid of everything last year.

Create your own templates–you will lose out on the overall experience if you don’t. Just go with what curves look good to you. Check out the photo archives, friends boards, or pictures of boards online until you see something you like, then interpret it to your liking with the tried-and-true method of a sail baton, fishing rod, or long-grained wood (like ash). These will give you nice, consistent curves, and the satisfaction of having created your ‘own’ board.

Surfshops usually don’t like you coming in and grabing measurements… once you get a little more figured out you can go in there and sneak measurements for smaller stuff, like maybe how far up So-and-so puts the trailer fin on his 6’3 thrusters, or something. But there’s probably not many store owners that will let you take all the measurements necessary for making the board. First you need an idea of what type of board you want, shortboard, egg, hybrid, spoon nose vs. a point, squash tail vs. pin, etc. From there you have a couple of options. 1. The best is to find a friend with a similar board and use those measurements. I believe it was Gregg L that had a pretty good sounding method of scaling from that point. Check the archives, if you can’t find it let me know and I’ll repost it. 2. There’s a couple articles out there, check resources (I think Dave Parmenter had a good one) that lists the generic dimensions of different shapes. Again, you can find something close then use Gregg’s method to scale it to what you want. 3. I liked (before I had my templates) to grab pictures off the web, or in the photo archives, or boards that I liked the outline, or fraction of. I would take that into Illustrator grab all the dimension off there… actually you can even scale it up and print out full sized templates. Those three methods should get you started. You can just go with the previous advise and do whatever you feel; but I think for the first couple you should go with something tried and true - shaping has enough difficult elements to it. Of course, I’ve been wrong many times before. Template all your boards, and any of your friends that you like (the boards, not your friend). Even just some craft paper will do - but transfering to masonite or something is really nice. If your shaping, it helps to template the board before you start hiting the rails - right after you outline. Once you get a couple templates that you like, your set. You’ll be suprised at how much it speeds things up.

Surfnerd, I’m 6’2" 210 lbs and ride this 7’6" design, its a knock off of a Chapman Brewer that’s about 2 years old: 12" nose x 20" width x 14" tail 3 1/8 thick. Tail design is a baby swallow tail. The foil is pretty thick tip through tail, I like to think of it as no wasted space on the board. Now the little guys will think, wow what a clunky piece of foam, but this is the same equalized volume of a 150 lb guy surfing a 6’6". I’ve got surfing buddys that weight 250 lbs that surf 8’0" “short boards” and they rip on them. It’s all in the equalized weight to floatation volume. So just design something that looks pleasing to the eye, look in the archives about bottom design, rail foil, fin placement, and rocker. It’s these last 4 elements that will make the board good. -Jay

totally agree with white lung.make your own templates.draw right on the blank if youve got to/i did in places.good experience…now going into shops?probably wouldnt do it unless you’re friends w/atleast have the crew.know what i mean?

If You find a nice board on the web somewhere, print it out on plastic film for an overhead projector. You can then project it to any size you like and trace the outline and maybe even rocker on the paper/cardboard or whatever you’re projecting on. Did you understand what I meant? Well Good luck Erik G

Hey Surfnerd! Yea, the shops kinda frown on poaching measurements. I have printed out pictures of outlines I liked to get the basic ratio. If you have access to a Zerox type copier you can scale a nice outline up to where you want it. You want a 7-6, no problem. find a nice board picture you think is in that size range and after printing it enlarge it on the copier until it is 7.5 inches long. Now your scale is 1/12. Just measure the scale picture and multiply by 12. Convert all to decimal equivalents first. Example: 1 5/8" on the picture = 1.625 x 12 = 19.5" Sometimes if the actual board in the picture is not close to the size you are after the width can get away from you. I think Greg’s scaling went something like a 5 10 starting @18 wide and adding 1/8 to the width for every inch in length. I spent a whole day recently designing a coupla’ new templates. Had a big flat table and lots of cardboard. I have a piece of PVC moulding from Home Depot that I bend curves with. Used a handfull of finishing nails to mark navigation points and drew in the curve. On a flat template be sure to add about 3/8" to the length for the rocker curve and another 1/2" for shaping loss…total 7/8" on the lenghth. I liked it because I could see everything clearly. Then I cut it out and full templated it on another sheet so I could cut that out and get a good look at it standing up and standing on it! Some of the best I’ve made yet! Krokus

hope this works

sorry I guess it didn’t

Man, some great info guys, thanks! Think I’ll pour over this tonight and tomorrow. You’ve given me a lot of good stuff and some ideas I certainly hadn’t considered. Resinhead, we’re almost exactly the same size, so your numbers’ll help. Thx for the great feedback everyone. I’ll let you know how it turns out. KR, what are ya tryin’ to do? Maybe the “nerd” part of me can help you help the “surf” part of me. [smile]

I’m the lucky bastard that has Cleanline’s templates. That fact of the matter is I rarely make a board using just one template. Sometimes I’ll use one for the nose ,another for the tail, and a third to get the outline. Heck some times I use a forth just to blend in the other three! The point is, unless the customer is totally anal about a set of certain measurements I go with a set plan in my minds eye of what the finished board should look like and if the measurements are off a little but it looks good then that’s great.

I think shapers in certain areas should get together and have template parties, masonite beer sharpies and some goo templates, everyone trades off etc if 5 people show up you can walk with 20 new templates. http://www.surfboardglassing.com

Hi Surfnerd Go to this link and download the demo version you cant print or save but if you move the crursor on the drawing you have done it will give you co-ordinates take these co-ordinates and plot them onto cardboard or any other medium. http://www.shape3d.com/frame_us.htm good luck

Hey Surfnerd Here is a basic chart that I made up for the boards that I shape, use my outline info to help deside your final dimensions. I hope it helps you. KR http://groups.msn.com/MyKRSurf/yourwebpage.msnw

Surfline has a flash page that shows a lot of ‘standard’ designs along with pictures, dimensions, and some description. It would be worth checking out, especially because it has the outlines for the dimensions given, along with rocker and thickness profiles. Ride and take dimensions off all the boards you can, so you can start to figure out what you like. And like the others said, get as many templates as you can and use multiple templates on one board, and dont be afraid to tweak them. Eventually you will get a ‘magic’ template that just seems to always fit the curves you want to draw… http://www.surfline.com/sdg/features.cfm

Hey, KR, I’ve been to your site before checking out your profiler and some other stuff. Thanks for the chart! Swifty, I downloaded the pkg and it’s slick. All you really need to do is look at the measurements dialog and it tells you at various intervals what the width should be. Very nice! Wish I wasn’t at work so I could play with it more (like changing nose/tail shapes). I like the features of the Pro version, just wish it wasn’t $500. Big jump from $95 for lite. Hey lucky bastard, er, Harry, you’re my best friend, really. :slight_smile: I know at one time cleanlines offered East Coasters the opportunity to stop by and copy his templates. Not sure where you are, but I’m in Jacksonville, FL. If you’re not too far, would you be willing to help a guy jumpstart his template collection? I’d be more than happy to load my truck up with hardboard and bring my trusty pencils! I know my local shaper uses a bunch of spin templates and various nose/tail templates like you were saying. I grabbed a pic of a board I liked and scaled it to 7.5". I think I got the measurements fine now. If I’m right, it’s only 18" wide, though. I’m going to double-check my numbers, but if it’s right, than I’ll post some re-scaled numbers bumping the width to 22 and see if I’ve scaled the other numbers correctly. I may be a nerd, but I suck at math. :-/ Thx again for all the great info!

It happened…Call it Swayaholics Anonymous 2003…

Rather than throw your questions out to an unknown group of individuals, who may or may not have any more design, shaping, or surfing experience than you do, perhaps you could approach this situation as a true designer/shaper. That is, empirically, relying on your own design sense and surfing experience; build several boards, with different dimensions, and see how they actually work in the water! A drawing board and several French or ship’s curves is a relatively inexpensive way to get a sense of developing and scaling templates. And, of course, there are a number of computer programs that can facilitate this process as well.