The First Board YOU made!

Hey guys, this place has so many fantastic shapers, glassers and craftsmen etc!

I continue to see the most amazing boards, shapes colours and designs!

I’d love to see people’s first boards they’ve shaped and glassed etc! Or boards where things have gone WRONG!

I’ll start things off with this baby. Air bubbles in the lam! Still sold it for cost though! 




Here’s my very first one :


… and the “vintage” thread that went with it :

Very first board I made was this one (rather a kid’s board or a kneeboard, actually). We made it in Paris, in 1969, “we” being my friend Daniel (guy on the photo) and I. Foam was impossible to find in France at the time so we went for balsa which, unfortunately, was only sold in 5-foot lengths (hence a five-foot board…) It was shaped and glassed in one of my parents rooms with rather crude tools. While we were glassing it, neighbours called the firemen because they thought the smell was a gaz leakage somewhere… Eventually we finished the thing, even made a fiberglass fin ourselves and went to the Arc de Triomphe nearby to take photos as we were so proud of that first try…

Thinking about it now, it must have been so horrible… Can’t remember what happened with it…

YOU started the shortboard revolution???


In Paris??


There is surf at the Arc de Triomphe??





my first surfboard was big, yellow and lumpy. People giggled in the lineup…


Thanks to sways, it went pretty well.  Got the template from someone here, LOB I think, and all the glassing/shaping/tinting/cutlapping info as well.  Looking at it now (I still have it), it looks pretty crude and unrefined, but I still think it's a testament to what good research and planning with the sways community and archives can achieve.

6'8"x19"x2 5/8"


YOU started the shortboard revolution???

Sure. Nobody told you that before?


In Paris??

Where else?


There is surf at the Arc de Triomphe??

Ride your skateboard from there down the Avenue d’Iéna and here you are: the river Seine offers great wake-surfing behind the “bateaux-mouches” and the “péniches”…

This is my first board from '01. 7’2" single fin egg. Shaped with a Surform, sanding block and block plane. It took me a whole weekend but the board came out surprisingly well. I’ve since added Probox side fin boxes and a variety of fins. I keep it at my office and still ride it on occasion. It’s yellowed and dinged but still fun to ride.


Mine is in the resources.  It’s got a bit too much rocker in the tail, but comes in handy in bigger surf. layered Lowe’s foam blank.  Learned heaps.

hey ledge the 71st

mine was a minimal, 7ft and i forgot the rest. it was heavy and rode like shit, i sold it the day after i surfed it.

thank god number 2 went a whole lot better… [pics at bottom]

no pics of number 1 though…






















fat daddy 6’6 * 20 *

Nice Thread,

Here is a picture of my first one. Its a 6’ Fish bout 19" wide I think, Red rails. Ended up selling board to a shop so dont know where it may be now…

That was after I took it out surfing for the first time and in the one session creased it and had it hit me on the back of the head behind the ear, Ouch, still got a slight ring in that ear!

Any way fixed it and sold it for cost.
That should have put me off but as you can see on the pic I already had number two on the way.

First one was overshaped (quite thin) so the second one I overcompensated and undershaped it as the picture shows it is pretty square and chunky, actually went better than number one though and I was quite happy with the graphics.

My first went pretty well too , thanks to swaylocks n all the tips I picked up here , plus sfermag .

I had a blast building it , although a glasser friend helped ( he was supposed to watch and direct me but ended up pushing me out of the way and doing it himself !) - there’s a long thread about it somewhere.

I really really enjoyed surfing it although my taste and goals have moved on a bit now.I’m just about to put Spitzer Superchargers in it  and give it a another run.

Wow, your "FIRST" and in France of all romantic!


: )

Doncha just love the early eighties,

that board held me back for a good six months, 'til I realised just what a dog it was.
(reshaped to a much more successful paipo)

More of my 80’s efforts,

Sorry, my pic didn't attach!

I think it was that bad the Sway's wouldn't even accept it!



The first board I ever shaped, was a 10' 0'' x 21 1/2''  40 pound balsa gun (sort of shape)  made of lap jointed random lengths of wood.   The outline was drawn freehand (no templates), and the shaping was done with drawknife, jackplane, and blockplane.   Sandpaper, of course, to finish.   The glassing was done by hand, literally, and a 4 inch paintbrush.   No squeege.  

The board was ''off distance good looking'' as a freind used to say.    Up close it was a mess.    I've said many times that I would claim no knowledge of it, if it were to surface today.    My second board was a quantum leap beyond the first.    I had a template, I used a rented Skil 100 for shaping, and used a squeege for the glassing.   It looked, and rode, like a real surfboard!  The first time efforts of many here on Swaylocks are astonishingly good.   It demonstrates the impact of the shared knowledge, experiences, and guidence so freely offered by members on this forum.     To my relief, no photo exists of that first surfboard of mine.

I finished my first board last night, the shaping went well, the laminating went ok, the hotcoat on the deck was great, the fin and hot coat on the bottom went hideously wrong.  Can I sand it off and rehotcoat or should I try to just sand it?

Without seeing it it's hard to coment about the fins. But you should be able to sand it down and then do a gloss coat over the top. It may not come out 100% but you should be able to salvage it. Did you use fin plugs?

It is a glass on fin and I can fix it with sanding, but I think the hot coat is too thin

[img_assist|nid=1044906|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=371]Her name was Gina, she was my favorite.
now she is a beast shelf.


In Belgium we have an expression like that: “Schoon van ver, ma ver van schoon!”

translated: “Beautiful from far, but far from beautiful”.      ; )


My first 2 boards, the same expression applies, both XPS/epoxy. The big one on the right was my first board. It’s way to thick and I tried to do too much things my way and screwed up the rails really hard (not visible on photo).