Shortest Balsa Compsand

Just thought I’d share our wakesurf (behind the boat) compsand. 54" LOA. 1/16" Balsa top and bottom, glass schedule is 2 oz bottom and sandwich layers, 4 oz top. 1# EPS core. Weight with X track traction and fins was 4 lbs and 3 oz. I forgot to write down the weight before adding that traction, but I believe it was 3 lbs and 6 oz, but don’t hold my failing memory to that. Fun project and it rides well too.

Nice to see you on sways!

Looks great!!

Hey Matt! Thanks for the props. The build was great fun. Are you planning on traveling to NorCal for that Balsa instructional? Be sure to look us up if you make the trip.


That looks like the ideal project for getting my feet wet with a compsand and vac bagging. Last summer I tried wake surfing for the first time and thought it was fun. After seeing yours (looks great) I think I will make a board as a gift for our friends that own the boat and all the water toys. Ive been reading sways for awhile now - getting a bunch of stuff (vacuum pump, etc) ready for something.

I know nothing about typical wake surf board dimensions. If you dont mind could you share some of the boards other dimensions (width, thickness, rocker, fins and fin placement) or suggestions for a build. Looks like yours works really well.

If I remember correctly the board I tried was completely flat bottom and really thin. I think the board we used was too small for the heavier adults. Even with the ideal boat (water tanks and that cool hydraulic dive plane) that threw up a good wake we still had to hang onto the rope for the occasional pull back into the wave. Yours definitely looks bigger in height and width.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Hey yoyo,

I’d be more than happy to assist, as I can. Most of the build details, I believe were posted here:

the majority of folks that wakesurf, migrate from a wakeboarding background, where “rolling your own” board is unheard of. I was like you, I wanted to get my feet wet with the composite sandwich and vacuum bagging and this project felt more “controlled” to me, due to it’s size and quite frankly the lack of critical dimensions for little 2.5 to 3’ ‘wave’.

The board in this project is loosely based on The Walker Project Bullet. My son, James, has ridden for Mike for…shoot, 3 years now, I think.

The most common length for the average rider behind the boat is 5’6". The large wake manufacturers are Hyperlite, Liquid Force and CWB. All of those offerings are molded pop-outs and like you point out are thin - maybe 3/4" thick. The concern for most folks on the boat is to make sure the board fits into a standard wakeboard rack. There are two styles of board, surf style, like the one above and skim style which is basically a skim board with a single trailing fin attached. Zap skim’mers has an offshoot called Phase 5 that makes this style of board. Calibrated, Walzer, Inland Surfer and I think Victoria all offer a board(s) in this style. They are typically 5/8" to 1" thick, flat like a skimboard and maybe 1.5" of nose rocker in the last foot or so of the nose.

The more surf style offerings from folks like TWP, Shred Stixx, Vernor, Inland Surfer, XBC…shoot the list goes on and on. :slight_smile: More closely resemble the dimensions of a shortboard.

The one above, was 4’6" long, probably too short for newbies or folks over 180 or so pounds. 20" wide at the wide point. Nose rocker is 3.5", tail rocker is .75". The fins are 11" up from the tail with 1/2" of toe-in. Standard futures rail box install so the cant is set.

It’s not uncommon to see wakesurfers that are in the 5 to 5’6" range, and the width between 19"-22"…that is dictated mostly by storage issues (rack and compartment sizes) more than anything.

Anything else I can help you with, give me a shout!

Thaks a bunch. I bookmarked the link and will definitely spend some time with it.

Looks like I may have found my winter evening hobby project…

Another cool photo – I had no idea you could get air with those things. Obviously I dont spend much time on ski boats (mostly surfing, windsurfing and sailing). Last summer was my first time trying wakeboarding and wakesurfing and I had a blast. I think it was also the first time I rode a single ski in the last 18 yrs.

Thanks again…


You are quite welcome yoyo.

Good for you getting out there and trying new things. I doubt I could even get up on a slalom ski these days.

I can’t boost air, but there are a few aerialist that go out behind the boat now and again. One of the most notable is Josh Sleigh, folks probably know Josh from the Vans/Surfing Magazine Airshow Series.

Keep us posted on your build, I’d be interested in seeing your creation. I grabbed this photo off the Wakesurfing Magazine web site.

board looks great!

any build photos?

Thanks ChrisP, I appreciate the compliment.

I didn’t really think that folks here on Sway’s would be interested in my build. I’d be happy to post some…let me dig some up off my laptop and I’ll post in the next day or two.

Well I thought I had more build photos than this, I just wasn’t prepared to share! I acquired the 1# EPS from a party store. They do themed foam carvings for large gatherings and conventions. I also acquired some 2# foam to use for my rocker bed. I plan on doing a few test builds and wanted to reuse the same bed for all of them. I hotwired the rocker into the bed and also all of the cores seen in this build.

I scavenged a piece of linoleum to cover the rocker bed. I can bag wet glass directly to it and nothing seems to stick (so far!). This is a picture of the bed in use, but it’s with a different build (Core-cell skin and Divinycell rails). I use 36" bagging tube and slide the rocker bed and build inside, then seal the end of the tube before pulling a vacuum.

I did NOT attach the bottom skin to the rails, but did so on the top skin. After I bagged the bottom skin, I trimmed the excess and attached the rail pieces. For the rails, I first attached a base of 1/16" balsa using 5 minute epoxy. After that had dried, I built up the remainder using wood glue. When all of the pieces were glued and taped, I wrapped it all in a layer of saran wrap to hold it and eliminate any voids.

I used Resin Research 2000 resin with 2100F hardener throughout this build, as mentioned earlier I used 2oz skin between the balsa and EPS. This is the top skin being bagged.

I also bagged the exterior laminations due to fear that the balsa would out-gas with a hand lamination. I had no troubles bagging the exterior glass, although I did the top and bottom in separate steps.

I believe this is a picture of the bottom skin after it came out of the bag, but before external lamination

That’s all the build photos I took ChrisP, sorry that it is skimpy.

thanks surfdadcpa!

i enjoy seein any and all compsand build photos.

i’m trying to soak up as much as i can.

i’d like to get into it asap.

Hey ChrisP,

Dennis mentioned that he met you at the workshop in Monterey. I hope that you get a chance to build a few.

Thought I’d post a few pictures of my son James riding the board. He was recovering from the flu the first time out and so stayed out of the water. This weekend, he was feeling better and so gave it a try.

yah, i got to talk with Dennis.

i was really impressed with what you guys are up to.

the boards he had really opened my mind to what is

“necessary” in regards to volume.

looks like your son rips!

thanks for the photos!