Segway Composites...Ken....And the APS 3000 machine

Ok, I have to eat crow here.  I've never been a fan of machine shaping...why? well because I've never seen one in action, and I've never been around someone that knows the witchcraft to be bug your files and make them perfect.

A few week ago there was a post of some guy that got the wrong shape from some guys and his APEmaster 3000. He gave the machine something drawn on a cocktail napkin in crayon, and the guy had to decode it into a surfboard.needless to say it didn't turn out exactly what the guy wanted.

Fast forward to me and Segway Composites.  I've been making this california gun for a few people around, and I feel pretty good at hand shaping it, So I say to myself  "maybe I'll download Aku Shaper and save it in a file....just talking about the outline here."  So I do that.   Then I call Ken for a few EPS blanks and we get to talking about the rocker, and cutting eps, etc, etc....So now I get to thinking "wow wouldn't it be nice if the outline was precut, and the deck was slightly roughed out, like a poly blank, or marko foam"  just the initial stuff, lord knows i wouldn't want a machine to finish (MY CUSTOM DESIGN!) I ask him, and he says "well if your going to do that why not do the rails, bottom. rocker?"  So I say, sure let's do that.....he says well what about the bottom contours?   I say,What! it can't do that?, thats blasphmey!  Well it did.......and I'm still alive.

So game on. I go back to the AKU shaper software mess around with it for about 30 minutes, trying to do the rails, rocker, bottom concaves etc....and this is what I come up with (see above)   The picture above is the finished blank in 1.5 EPS exactly how it came off of the machine.  Fricking Amazing, exactly accurate. All I need to do is rail edges and nose & tail clean up. and a little sand up.

I can't say enough about Ken and his Aloha spirit. There were so many "file errors" in my program, and design F-ups that if the computer could have run the file as is, it would have been a complete oportion of a surfboard.  were talking complete custom here! Ken built a custom EPS rocker blank, cleaned my file up in the APS 3000, cut the shape, all the while smiling and being Ken.  And it was all at, very competitive price, actually cheaper than some poly blanks I have bought lately.  So what if I had to drive a little bit....It was like an educational field trip.  My first computer shape turned out exactly as I visioned it....and not like the boondogle computer file I sent over.

What I have done now for enjoyment or horror of those reading this post is taken the human error out of my shapes, given my boards an accurate, solid core for the foundation of different build materials.   It's still a one off, and it's still custom.

So, as I finish off the last morsel of crow..I want to thank Ken and his help on this board.

If you guys need or want to try this kind of service, I'd giving Ken a call.

did you know that llilibel uses machine shapes too?


I’ll never look at him the same again…

Glassing schedule and fins?



I see it as the future for the home building industry

lockdown a couple of your all favorite shapes programmatically yourself through detailed accurate measurements (the crux of surfboard design)

and have a machine shop willing to cut blanks for you between their mass production runs

and you're set for life

of course you'll need to know how to finish them properly (the most important part)

and glass them of course (which most mass production shapers have forgotton how to)

cutting machines and CAD/CAM design programs will be to surfboard making

as what the worldwide web has done to information communication and delivery

its the great equalizer

the hollow wood board builders are using it, Mike Sheldrake is using is to build his cardboard surfboards as will many others in the all formats of board building.

the technology will eventually improve to the point where cheap home CNC machines will become readily available for every backyarder taking the place of the expensive Skill 100's. It will be mainstream by the end of the next decade.  The surfboard shapers Roomba device.

eventually finding inexpensive good electric handplaners and other hand power tools will become more and more difficult over time.

Be interesting to see what 2020 has instore for all this

I'd like to second what Jay said about Ken being a great guy. 

It might be worth noting that he has managed to extend the frame on his machine to accommodate huge boards, outrigger hulls, etc.

I believe his CNC hot wire profile cutter goes to 24' and the shaping machine to 21'.

I think he told me he can translate different file types (besides AKU) to be used on his machine.

Ken is super patient and helpful if you're new to the computer game.

Nice job on the board resinhead, it looks great! That aku is a great program to use. The APS300 is an awesome machine too. If there are any NorCal guy looking for machine cuts I run an aps3000 in Pacifica. We also have Surfblanks America, marko EPS blanks and glassing supplies on hand. Now go design and build. oh, and don’t forget to surf.



You didn’t! You outed me? That’s like going on the internet and saying a girl has fake boobs!

In the interest of clarity…I asked Ken if I could have rocker custom cut. I always felt the Segway/Leohr designs have a bit more flip than necessary. He said, “Of course, just send me an APS3000 “brd” file.” I made the board 1/8" thicker than my intended finished shape (added to the deck) and sent him the file. I thought he’d just plot out the stringer and hot wire my blank. In the meantime, since I’d successfully repaired the broken “Red Snapper” whichI was going to replicate, I decided I would do something more fishy.

When my blanks came they were completely cut. What?!? I had to shape them down anyways, as my 1/8" thicker was more like 1/4" thicker. Also I was stuck with an outline of the “Snapper”. I couldn’t make it wider (so instead I’ve slimmed her down). But, that said, I have to say a couple of positive things- a lot of just “busy” work- making templates, outlining, truing up the outline, was done. My wife loves it- less dust! Also, I found a very smooth single concave on the small board. It must have been in the generic board’s file because I never mess with the sections in APS. I usually just print the outline to make the template. I just mess with the foil to get an IDEA of the volume. I find concaves very hard to shape so when I found this single I figured I’d leave it there.

I have to say I’m tempted to really design the entire board with APS…but for me and my two or three boards a year, SHAPING IS THE MOST FUN PART. I’m going back the the regular blanks in the future, unless…unless I’m making a board for someone else, then maybe I’d consider it. When I do it all by hand, my final shape is never NEVER exactly what I had in mind prior to shaping. If I had a demanding customer maybe I’d use the computert to make he/she gets what he wants. Of course, I haven’t made a board for someone else since high school… but now, as my personal stash has reached my board storage capacity, if I want to keep making boards I’m going to have to start making them for others…

I guess my business card will have to read “Computer Shaping hack/ compsand conspirator”

blah blah blah, excuses, excuses!

The board is going to be covered in veneer, 4 under, 6 over, top & bottom. Probably a  Tri & quad set up.

Also one more thing about Ken. In a industry littered with flakes, losers, cheats, and blowhards. Ken is a guy that has proven to me over time that he is the real deal. ethical, honest, humble.....someone that I want to deal with.

Ok I'll get off my soap box.

So maybe the question is…

If there was a shop that glassed just the way you liked, that would do graphics just the way you ordered, that had all your logos etc. on file and after all shipping and handling expenses you still made you 25% would you be tempted to start moving your established product lines towards that route of production?

And if you’d do it, but 25% wasn’t enough, what would be? For that matter would you do it for 15% or 10% profit?


Trust me I thought of that.

Kens got a full glassing facility there too.  He's got stand up paddle boards in various stages of completion...Hes got 20 ft prone paddle boards in the rafters, He's got HD parabolic railed 1 lb eps core boards being glassed.  Pretty much anything we have been talking about here on swaylocks here for the past 5 years he's been doing want it done he can do it...He even makes those hollow carbon fiber boards.. The ones that weigh 1 or 2 lbs.   I figure he could have your logo's made and put on the boards too.   it's a one stop shop for all your watercraft needs.  it's pretty impressive.

Yeah it would be an interesting proposition, send your file, APS 3000 cuts it out.  Give your epoxy glassing requirements, give your deadline..Show up, pay your money and drive off with your boards straped to your roof.  Made in America, custom designed for your specific customers needs.

How many guys have a complete shop...especially in Southern California?  Not talking China here.

A big woo hoo! Sincerely, now how much for shipping to Japan?? :slight_smile:

Will Ken let you roll around in the dust getting that shit in every orifice?  Don't forget that's part of the fun, too.  Mike

really wierd....the machine is strangely clean, there is a vac system and what not.  But the funny part was the boards made a bigger mess inside of my car than in the shop.  My car is a frigging mess with eps dust.


A big woo hoo! Sincerely, now how much for shipping to Japan?? :)



Whooo yahhh back! Shipping is probably cheaper by the dozen?

You should never doubt the capabilities of “the machine”. It’s alive you know. Alive!!

aight, 4 fish, 2 biscuits, a pumpkin seed and fill er out with rockets.

Oh the Horror!

Lillibel too.

good stuff Resinhead, its nice to see progress :slight_smile:

All that production capability and he couldn’t blow off the blank???

Just kidding. I’ll second everything you’ve said about Ken. I don’t want to give the wrong impression, but the guy has given me free blanks! Would always provide rocker tables (EPS offcuts) for free. He would drive the blanks to my work site to deliver them! I’ve got nothing but nice things to say about Ken.

Ken is the heart of all my boards…literally.