planing techniques

I was wondering if anyone has advice on using the electric plane. I’ve shaped one board, but only used the electric plane to skin surface foam. The rest I did with a surform and sandpaper/screens. The shape came out nice because of the amount of time and detail I put into it; I was afraid to take off too much foam with the electric plane and felt uncomfortable making passes with it. Anyone have any advice on controlling depth and making reliable passes with the planer? Also, I’m looking into making my own templates as I don’t want to just take them from the shapers at the factory I’ve just started working at. Any ideas? Thanks in advance for any info.

I also use my planer to skin the board and partially shape the rails. The rest is done with sandpaper. Only the pros use the planer to fully shape the basic design. Set the planer to a minimal cut setting to keep mistakes a minimum.