shaping first board

Hello to all. There is so much great information on this site that I am inspired and intimidated all at the same time. I have been wanting to shape a surfboard for some time but have always found a way to talk myself out of it…too expensive…not enough skill…I’ll ruin it… etc., etc., etc. My plan is to shape a longboard around 9’6 somewhat of a standard shape good for summer Ventura surf. I guess what I’m looking for at this point is some advice on where to start, type of blank, initial costs, etc. I am 5’10" 175lbs., 50 years old, average surfer with desire to create something with my hands. Any advice, inspiration, warnings, will be greatly appreciated even if it is to say don’t even attempt it. Thanks to all.

Richard, I’d suggest you study some shaping video, the two I know of are the Jim Phillips and John Carper productions. From there hopefully you’ll have a decent area to shape a board. The basic tools I started off with are an electric planer (I started off with an inexpensive one then bought the Clark Hitachi planer, but I suggest to first timers to just go and get the Hitachi), surform, sanding block, 40, 80, 120 grit sandpapers, small finishing plane. I’m not sure which blank to suggest, but I would think a blank close to the length and thickness would be a good place to start. You’ll need to make some templates, I traced the nose and tails of boards that appealed to me on masonite and cut them out. I’d recommend keeping the board simple. A 17-18 inch nose, 22-23 inch width and 14 inch tail, a square tail around 5 inches wide, with the widepoint between center to plus 4 inches. My first shape had low soft rails that got a bit harder the last 2 feet toward the tail. I kept the bottom pretty flat, with some vee in the bottom the last one third. The videos would probably be your best source of information, I’d study those as much as I could before laying the planer to the blank. Good luck!!

Richard, You have to do it. You will surprise yourself I am sure. I totally agree with foamdust and remember it doesnt matter how long it takes you, your in no rush. After watching the video(s) you will easily see the individual steps and putting it simply - “dont rush” - just enjoy the art of creation. Im betting that the outcome will definitely be an enjoyable ride even if it is less than perfect / symmetrical / etc. Do it man.

Thanks foamdust and installer for the encouragement it is very much appreciated. I’m going for it just like when you are about to drop-in to that wave that’s starting to pitch. Happy new year!