What is your favorite part of the process?

What is your favorite part of the process? Shaping or Laminating, or anything involved with working boards. I love screening the rails and getting them dialed in, it truly comes alive.


Surfing them.  Other than that.  Shaping.  Especially, when it’s all done, before laminating.  I like to look at all that clean, smooth, ultra white foam.  Mike

Dig it Mike! Surfing them is the ultimate. It’s cool too when you make a board for someone and really stokes them out and improves their surfing. That’s pretty fun also.

Everything, from glueing custom stringers in a blank to polishing and all phases in between. I used to hate glassing but it had a lot to do with my sucking at it. The moment I started laminating rails without bubbles, I took more and more pleasure in it. Tints and swirls just get more and more astonishing as you do a lot of them. Weirdly enough, I always liked sanding; But then, sanding is just another form of shaping, maybe even more subtle… Seeing the board starting to shine as you polish is probably the greatest part. And even better is watching some guy having great fun with one of your boards.

That point between the anticipation of starting a new project and the realization that I've begun working on a new project. For me that's the peak. Probably why I have so many projects going at once and so few completed.

Other than that, shaping rails is my favorite part. That's where all the zen happens.



Surfing them.  Other than that.  Shaping.  Especially, when it's all done, before laminating.  I like to look at all that clean, smooth, ultra white foam.  Mike



Im with you rooster, surfing them is best, but when they're finished shaped, and looking white and sexy is second best!!!


 I love screening the rails and getting them dialed in, it truly comes alive.


Definitely like shaping best, and I have to agree, I love how screening just cleans it all up, blending everything into a nice smooth surface that looks ready to surf.

For me it's the planer work. But I'm a shaper. The planer work is shaping, the rest is details.

Mike, how much sanding/screening do you do? I like to get as close as possible with the planer, but there is ALWAYS room for sand paper and screens.

Also, I love screening. Call me thick… but that’s how it is.

Surffoils, Yeah , the planning of the next shape is good. I remember reading an article about how Buzzy Trent and the early Hellmen drawing out plan shapes on butcher paper and taping them to the ceiling. They’d lie back and just stare and in the mind work out the details, tweaking this and that. I’ve tried it and it is intoxicating. You can really visualize the board. Sure beats getting stoned.


Kokua, sometimes it seems you can’t get rid of the dust it is so fine. The best cure is a go out in fun waves.

Thanks for the props, tblank, much appreciated.

I'm lucky, I still really enjoy shaping. So there's not as much difference as you'd think in the way we approach our ''work''. The communication, logistics, tracking, managing production, taking the trash out, paperwork, ad nauseum; that's work. The shaping is fun. And I come from the Jim Phillips school of planer use, when we put the planer down you could glass it and ride it.

Back on topic: CNC is great, too (I do a mix). Getting a new file cut for the first time is sort of like waiting for a child to be born.

I’ve always liked buffing out the gloss coat… maybe because it means the board is done! 

1.Finishing the shaping and getting a frisson or burst of excitement about how its going to ride.

2. Checking a smooth, even reflection in the wet resin and NOT spotting bugs or other shit in the lam.

3. Waxing it up for the first time.

4. Looking at the finished board as it stands in the lounge room. Constantly rolling the dims and shape thru my head, checking it from every angle for mistakes.

 ( Gazing at it adoringly would be closer to the truth..)

5. Getting a mental hard-on working out the next design on paper, scratching out theories on scraps of paper, lying in bed theorising and visualising how the planes and curves will collide and flow. oooh baby...

    Howzit tblank, I prefer all aspects over shaping since I hate foamdust, gets in my eyes and ears. Aloha,Kokua

Oh, I still spend more time than I should with finish. Paper only on EPS, it doesn't like screen. I can obsess on a rail as good as anyone, haha.

Mike D., I know what you are saying. Plane work is where the rubber meats the road, but when the curves in the rails are blended to the rest of the shape it just seems to take on a life. It shows movement on a static piece. I realize the vast difference between making a living and shaping for fun so motives are dissimilar. By the way, You guys have a really nice product.

for me the first and last steps are the best

first - laying out the outline. at this point you visualize exactly how you want the board to turn out.

last - sanding it out. at this point you realize exactly how the board has actually turned out!

nothing like paddling a brand new board into a wave for the first time.  when you build it yourself, you have already put so much energy into it that the surfing experience is that much more rewarding.

And I come from the Jim Phillips school of planer use, when we put the planer down you could glass it and ride it.

well you could glass and ride a blank without doing any shaping to it at all - that doesnt mean it will ride any good - ha!

On a HWS, its the fine tuning of the rails and sanding for sure. Shaping the rails just right and then sanding that balsa to a fine finish… very satifying.

Running the planer and laminating … really got to like laminating a lot over the years.