shaping machine news

found this on surfersvillage this morning!

Global surfboard industry revolutionized by new APS 3000

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 08 April 2004: - - Australian owned Surf Management Systems, has released a revolutionary surfboard shaping machine which is now available for international sale.

Utilizing new technology and user-friendly software solutions derived from years of development, the APS 3000 boasts the ability to produce close to finished surfboard shapes while still matching current production times.

Before the introduction of the APS 3000, shaping machines have only been able to produce shapes at the rate of four surfboards per hour with all incomplete shapes requiring additional and costly hand finishing. Now, with the APS 3000 comes the ability to equal this rate while performing technical cutting and finishing techniques with ultimate precision that result in a shape almost ready to fiberglass.

The APS 3000 boasts cutting features such as full-rail cutting with tucked edges, single and double concaves, vees, subtle hips to hard wings. Over and above this, the technology provides the ability to design and cut custom boards or replicate existing designs.

In a world first for an in-demand shaper, Nev Hyman of “Nev Surfboards” no longer uses “ghost shapers”, subsequently assuming complete control of his shaping and design. Nev has been for the past 5 years instrumental in the development and “beta” testing of the APS3000.

Other world-renowned shapers such as Australia´s thruster inventor Simon Anderson, ´reverse-vee´ pioneer Maurice Cole, DHD´s Darren Handley, Pipedreams Murray Bourton, Rod Dahlberg and design guru Greg Webber are astounded with the machine´s capabilities, with Webber describing its performance as “absolutely breathtaking”.

Six-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater of the USA admitted his mind was “racing with possibilities” after viewing the machine´s capabilities and its potential to consistently reproduce the ´magic board´.

The APS 3000 and its software have been designed for ease of use with even the most computer illiterate able to learn its applications. Data can easily be stored and simply recalled at a later date allowing anything from slight modifications to thorough refinements across existing designs. In this the APS 3000 will deliver groundbreaking leaps forward in global surfboard design and production.

Most importantly perhaps, is the machine´s ability to capture the “character” of any one shaper´s designs via its precision, a quality often lost in the numerical process of copying original boards for data input used by other systems, and of course human error.

Billabong founder and surfboard shaper Gordon Merchant, has been the first to buy an APS 3000 following extensive research into the other machines currently available. Considering his renown contribution to the evolution of long to short boards in the 60’s and the “tucked under edge?E rail innovation, Merchant sees what limitless opportunities the APS 3000 can deliver. Indeed, Queensland based Surf Management Systems are also awaiting order confirmations from other internationally renowned shapers who are ready and committed to buy and become part of this new industry revolution.

Priced at AUD$75,000 (USD$55,000) the APS 3000 is not only more cost effective than other shaping machines but it can handle large scale manufacturers requirements easily. One person can run three machines at once, resulting in 12 surfboards per hour.

The “APS” in APS 3000 stands for “Ants Pants Shaper”. In Australia “ants pants” is a cheeky colloquial term which means unequivocally ´the best´.

More Australasian Surfing News available here

Check the latest Australasian Surf Reports and Forecasts

For more information regarding this product: Jamie Corker

+61 (0) 407 123 210

Impressive, the costs of the other C&C machines will have to come down to compete with that machine. I think some of the other machines cost at least as much or more than the 55K this new mahine goes for.

Fantastic looking machine, but check the fine print on the pricing. There is a $2.50 “Royalty” on very board cut. If I understand it right,the machine won’t start cutting untill payment of royalty is actioned via the net. It’s an attractive model for makers of anything digital, as it gives you an on going income stream and I’d imagine the market for shaping machines is limited. From the shapers point of view, most people would say AUD$2.50 isn’t much, however the e-royalty model is like an umbilical cord between you and the machine maker. The Royalty could be increased or in the case of a contractual dispute with the maker, your machine could be effectively turned off from afar.

Sorry if I missed it - but where did you see a picture of the machine?

er… when i read it i understood it as option A but at $55,000usd or option B lease at $2.50 royalty

Check the costs spreadsheet on the benefits page

Sorry xv - should have been fantastic sounding machine.

What is maximum length of board it produces (I saw the 10’2" gun)? Also it didn’t talk much about the software. I couldn’t find if it scans boards or not. How does it scale a board up and down or can you scale up and down?

How many folks out there are actually designing boards on computers mainly and only doing a few hand shapes?

Hey I’m no shaper but it seems like I could spend better time in the real world designing a board than I could on a computer. Blanks aren’t expensive and giant things like a 747 so why is there such a rush to get a board done like this? Reproduction of a popular model sure. I guess there are a dozen or so current companies (like CI) that could really need a machine like this because at an 85 or 95% done shape there really is no fine tuning is there? It’s just sanding, no? I guess one approach, that I think Harbour uses, is to only have the deck shaped and leave the underside to the shaper to finish.

sorry, i stand corrected.

i guess then, Nev, being a 1/4 shareholder in the co gets $0.60+ for every shape someone else in the world does using the machine? …not quite as much as the simon anderson thruster tax! but still a fine profitable exercise.

i think its great to see the development of such technology. but wonder how much of the future is in the classic blank/shape/polyester glassing process? maybe greg and other epoxy wizzes can see the need to develop a cheap robot hotwire machine too!


In Australia “ants pants” is a cheeky colloquial term which means unequivocally ?the best?.

In the US “ants in your pants” tends to mean impatient, skittish, or hyperactive behaviour. Really don’t want someone with “ants in the pants” shaping a board for me. The machine sounds interesting. Don’t sell them in Asia please.


I agree this is all good. Regarding the hotwire machine, the technology is here. Last year I got in touch with a group who were using a computer controlled deformable blade to cut curved shapes in eps they’d never thought of doing a surfboard. I sent them a file generated from Rhino3d - still waiting to hear how they got on. There are a few problems to be solved ie the flexibility of the blade changes with changes in temperature and controlling the speed of the blade as it changes shape is a bit tricky-but if they can be licked, machine costs should be lower than milling machines.

Hotwire shaping is something to look into. I’ve very little experience with EPS but have noticed that the hotwire both cuts and seals the blank. If a shaping hotwire could do most of the shaping, perhaps leaving the bottom to be customized, then the need for spackle and that 10 minutes could be eliminated.

Can a high energy laser cut EPS and seal the blank too?

im smiling as im reading this…i was gettin my first computer designed and cut eps blanks back in 89…

i was using computer generated curves which when tranfered to the cutting machine had a tolerance of 0.1 of a mm …it meant we could learn really fast about curves …

in the begining i had to take a disc to the cutting company ,they were brainless about surfboards , they just cut whatever was on the disc…

then as the internet kicked off i was able to email them files…

i get big blocks of eps with 6 blanks profiled inside…

im claiming i was using computer generated profiles in eps 5 years before most p/u shapers had even heard of a shaping machine…

that was the one good thing about being in southwest oz ,you dont have the whole world looking over your shoulder…the bad thing is to isolated to get noticed…

ive been building boards so light and strong that people dont even understand what im doing , which means they dont really appreciate how far ahead i am…

its like im waiting for the world to catch up ,so others will eventually realise i was actually doing something right…




No offense meant but I have seen you post boasts(sorry for the word "boast’ but I’ve seen no board pics or info given…)like this in numerous threads. My curiosity leads me to ask. Could you please post some pics or examples of your boards so that we may “catch up” a bit? Maybe including some specifics as to how you are “building boards so light and strong that people don’t even understand what I am doing” would help the world catch up. I have been messing with epoxy and eps for a little while(very little comparatively…) and would love some tips/info on producing strong and light boards. Unless these are things you are not willing to share?? Again no offense meant but I have a strong interest in what you have been able to achieve. Peace and waves…

Sean W

“In a world first for an in-demand shaper, Nev Hyman of “Nev Surfboards” no longer uses “ghost shapers”…”

Theres another side to this story... Id love to hear the opinions of Nev`s former ghost shapers.

I`ve personally been through the same process in another industry. But for better or for worse, times change and we all have to adapt.

This type of manufacturing ultimately aims for high production produced by relatively low skill, low paid labor. The idea of personal attention and true “custom” craft are the first things to be whittled down and sacrificed to The God of Most Profit.

In the years to come, there are going to be a great many talented designer/shapers/glassers who have no choice but to earn their incomes elsewhere. Arguably, whenever that happens, surfing is the less for it.

Please support our true artisans and innovators.

SO dale,

I guess that makes me an asshole for contacting them about purchasing one.


Nope. I`m an entrepreneur, too.

If we`re honest and up front about the general processes involved in producing the equipment we sell, that shows respect for our potential consumers’ intelligence.

I`m sure many of us would like to know if a surfcraft is ghost-shaped, popped out of a mold, machined by computer, manufactured by third world labor, made by the thousands or a custom one-off.

Informed choice is good… then let the marketplace decide.

People who make and sell thousands and thousands of boards have lost their right to complain about overcrowded surf spots.

its nice to know that the “ants pants” is a good thing, like the “bees knees” and the “cats pajamas”. heres mud in your eye.

There is an Italian company that makes a machine for wetting out fiberglass.THe machine rides on an overhead track and rolls out wet glass.Base cost is only around $80 Thousand Dollars including set up and delivery.I am going to get one because I’m sick of paying 85 cents apiece for paper laminating buckets.