What is perfection in a surfboard?


Not too long Bill T commented something along the lines of -striving for perfection - on some sanding thread.

So i am curious what everybody deems perfection?

For me i can name a few:

- no bubles in the lamination

- no weave showing

- silky surface, without scatches showing  up [but not polished]

- certain hardness to the feel: not glass-hard, but stiff like

- evenness: fins in the same positions, same cant, etc

Can you add some to the list by using the quote function below?

Curious as to what our common 10.000 years plus knowledge of building boards will give?


oh, and as far as the eye goes, i really like colors to, the perfect board has wither black or red color in it somewhere!


Perfect board…Magic board.  They are rare but they do exist.  In 30 years of surfing I’ve only had a couple of them.  The board that goes exactly where you want on the face of a wave without any extra effort.  

I would submit that the yellow beat up board in the photo below is a perfect board.


perfection according to a checklist criterion

is a  constitution document to establish  a guild.

A guild by the way is what the ‘‘surfing industry’’

is currently short of on achieving  maturity.

To say what is required to call a surfboard acceptably

prepared for sale as a finished product would go a long way

to achieving and identifing perfection.

 As far as grading agricultural products,

as the san bernadino chapter has brought up,

the grading of peaches ,tomatoes,potatos and other edibles 

has gone a long way to establish a finite way to judge the

appearance of stuff we all buy ,sell and eat .


On the flip side of the universe we have the nebulous

performance and this is a non constant like paris fashion.

This years air is yesteryears headip or slashback

and of course the ubiquidous and archaic shooting the curl.

the judging staff in the plastic scaffolding on the cliff

spend hours days weeks and months what is the

contemporary perfection,god bless 'em its a thankless job.

The perfection the ‘Judges’ achieve is a snapshot

of a moment in time and no more.

the perfection we achieve personally is only O.C.D.

when confronted by slack criterion.


A philosophical perfection is almost a cop-out

to let go of self abusive criticism and enjoy the as -is ness

that we must accept to proceed in life without

going the route of the classic japanese potters

who make teacups only to destroy them one by one

in quest of the perfection *continuum.


compiling a list of requirments for the ‘perfect Job’

completion of a ‘surfboard’ would go a long way

to clearing up  confusion, Good Luck.


oh and by the way you might consider aquiring a patent

for this criterion you may be able to establish an independent

testing facility selling stickers to surf industry .


perfection is a word to use when you decide to stop

working on a board and go surfing.When you start   

wrecking a “Perfect board” AAAAWWWOOOOOOOO!



 I looked it up

to spell it right.

Rob, new start up lable, OCD surfboards, sent a couple back recently for re-sand and re-gloss, they were NOT optically smooth, the glosses looked like rain drops hitting smooth water, not the glossers fault, but sanded until there was no shine, but NOT flattened though

perfection is all about how it surfs and i like them fast , free, and easy .




I was not too clear about it, i am looking for info on the build, the result of labor.


Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.    For me, beyond symmetry in the shape, is a distortion free reflections in the finished (glossed) surface of the board.    Hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.    I hope this is helpful.

well said…I’ll second that

.    For me, beyond symmetry in the shape, is a distortion free reflections in the finished (glossed) surface of the board.    Hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. 

A flat finish with no wobble from a poor lamination then a shitty hot coat topped with a novice sand job. I can always tell by looking at the deck reflecting the lights off the deck. If it’s not mirror like it’s not done professionally. To get this kind of finish you have to have screwed up a lot of boards figuring out how. Also you have to work for someone who cares.

Perfection in a surfboard is a surfboard that goes effortlessly where the rider’s mind wants it to go.  Its as simple as that.


Perfection in a surfboard is a surfboard that goes effortlessly where the rider's mind wants it to go.  Its as simple as that.


With all respect, I submit that that's magic.

I have mixed feelings on this one, but I'm definitely not in the "blemish-free" camp.

Which I guess is odd, since I do try to make every board a work of art in it's own right. 

Perfection, to me, means that it fulfills its purpose completely.  Cosmetically blemish-free is a worthwhile goal, but I don't see it as vital to a surfboard's fulfilling its purpose for being.

As machines have taken over a greater and greater share of manufacturing processes throughout our society, perfection has come to be associated with the lack of cosmetic irregularities.  This beauty is largely skin deep, but it has become of the highest importance in our collective mind.

Commercial fruit is grown with hormones and chemicals, with the goal of cosmetic appeal - but it doesn't taste anywhere near as good as the delicious fruit home grown, often with unsightly blemishes (that pale in light of the abundance of flavor).  But cosmetic appeal sells.

Women risk cancer by implanting foreign matter in their breasts, they inject a form of botulism into their lips, they cut and stretch their skin, spray paint their skin, dye their hair, glue false lashes on their real ones, and so on and so forth.  They might not spend an hour a month expanding their mind, developing character, or improving their personality, but they'll spend countless hours and bundles of money on their looks.

Its a choice, maybe its an acquired taste, but (despite loving the look of a flawless, shiny glass job!) I'll take the blemishes of the "imperfect" board handcrafted with love and stoke.  Having rejected the modern fixation with cosmetics, I accept the imperfection of the hand-made object as having more character and greater value than the surface perfection that is the norm of the machine-made object.

Like the song says, love is that perfect imperfection. 

I have been trying to do it, and haven’t, and I have never seen it.  Still I have seen some really great work through the years by teams of great craftsmen.  Hard enough to master one aspect of the game let alone have it all come together-perfectly.  What I have noticed is great teams make great boards.  Yeah my eyes are trained to go right to the bad, and they don’t stop till they find something.

The trick to perfection is to have a desire to learn from your mistakes and strive to do the next one better then the last one. To say as long as its surf like a dream defeats the purpose of the question. To reach perfection is a quest that few ever reach because they have no desire. This is a matter of natural skill and talent. Something that can’t be taught. Its like you almost have to have OCD or something. 

What perfection is what you perceive as Perfect no matter what anyone else thinks.