The Shaping Experiment (or D.I.Y. Surfboard)

Due to many different reasons (work, winter temperatures, keeping up foreign visas etc etc), we had to leave ‘L’Alliance’ in France during this winter and all head off to different corners of the world- from Spain and England to Canada and to the South Pacific and Australia.

As I noticed last summer how difficult and time consuming it is to re-fit a sailboat, I thought I would have ‘a go’ at a slightly smaller project – shaping and glassing a surfboard. Besides the fact that I would always rather make something myself than buy it pre-made and most likely cheaply out of a factory, making a surfboard has always been a luring thought to me. I suppose every surfer understands the feeling of joy one can get from a good surfboard, let alone one home-made, by yourself.

And, hopefully one day my board was to become part of the ‘L’Alliance’ surfboard quiver.

Thanks to a good friend of mine who has been shaping his own boards for a few years now, I got myself a surfboard blank, the use of his shed, garden and tools, his expertise advice and got started.

Similar to re-fitting a boat, making a surfboard also took longer than I expected but nevertheless after a little while of being covered in dust, breathing in toxic resin and hardeners and then more being covered in (by then) itchy dust, I finally got to take ‘Olga’ out into the waves a few of weeks ago.

All in all, my surfboard shaping mission has been quite successful and rewarding. She rides very well and much better than I thought a board I made would have ever been.

I am very sure the same will count for ‘L’Alliance’ and everything will be worth our while once she is ready to go!

(For all the surfers reading this- she is a 6’4 single fin, a little bit of an egg- like shape with maybe some hull-like features, round rails, a ’sporty’ tail and quite a bit of glass.)

Here is a little video of the process…

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