If you surf and you haven’t shaped a surfboard yet, you are missing out. There’s a good chance that the surfboard you shape is going to suck, but that’s not really the point. The point of shaping a surfboard is to get your hands in the foam, to put a bit of yourself into the board you’re going to ride, and to appreciate what goes into making a surfboard that actually works. On its face, shaping is relatively simple: carve a chunk of foam into something that resembles a surfboard, then cover it in fiberglass. If you do those two things you will have something that works — perhaps not well, but it’ll work. That’s probably why learning how to shape a surfboard can be daunting.
Good shapers, though, have picked up a few tricks of the trade to make their lives easier (CNC machines notwithstanding), and Tanner Bendheim was kind enough to post a time-lapse of everything that goes into a surfboard, from the blank to the glassing.
Bendheim used an EPS blank to create a replica of the Channel Islands Sampler model. The final dims were 5’8″ x 19 1/4″ x 2 3/8″, and the volume was 28 liters. He used epoxy resin on the glass job, two layers of four-ounce fiberglass cloth on the deck and one layer on the bottom with a tail patch. He’s quick to say that he’s not an expert by any means. He has, however, shaped his fair share of surfboards, and knowledge is made to be passed along, right?