Yesterday I had 3 of the Shapers Australia blanks. The 6’10 I cut down to a 6’2 fish. 7’11 I cut to a 7’6 mini tanker and a 9’0 made from the 9’4.
All three of the blanks were very nicely proportioned and the over all workmanship was really good. The stringers were the best I’ve worked with, small ‘T’ bands, never seen anything like them before. And the glue ups were tight and flawless but, 2 of the blanks the stringers didn’t reach the blank surface so if you needed to keep thickness it would have been a problem. I don’t know what the glue was they use, looked like it could have been Gorilla Glue but it was white. The glue being like Gorilla Glue means it’s not hard on your tools, a real plus in my book. As well, in the fine sanding portion of working the blank there is no residual resin crystals that get caught in your screens and scratch the blank.
The blanks came with flat bottoms and crowned decks and are nicely proportioned through out. Good foil. The foam itself is tough and resists shaping similar to a Clark. But this foam tears like make scared. Even on slow passes and light cuts it would tear. When I was spooning the deck of the 7’11 I was thinking ‘where have I seen this kind of tearing?? oh I know, when you cut a Clark blank that is about 4 years old.’ That’s how much this blank tears. Using a grinder on them for initial clean up is the way to go.
Finishing the blank. You’ve got to scrub them good with 50 or 60 grit paper and work your way to screens though the heavy grit paper doesn’t leave bad scratches. Surform will leave small tares that a coarse grit paper is needed to clean up. Finger plane on stringers is like butter.
Over all the blanks are very white with real consistent foam structure. There were some small voids in the bottoms of all 3 blanks, pukas maybe as large as a tack head. But no snail trails anywhere, no soft spots. They were hard and the areas where I cut a fare amount of foam off the blank the density showed little change. Finished the blanks looked real nice with the look and feel of a white cotton t-shirt, similar to a Clark. The paper that came with the blanks said ‘premium’ surfboard blanks. I concur.
BTW, your mileage may vary.