Senior Editor
Kai Lenny shaping surfboard

Kai Lenny, eying up the glass job on his hand-shape. Photo: YouTube//Screenshot

The Inertia

A little while ago, Kai Lenny was on the lookout for a surfboard that his twin daughters could ride. That proved to be a tall order, since the girls are only two years old, so he took a broken longboard, cut all the glass off, and took the planer to it. What came out was an incredibly fun looking surfboard, if not a tad on the small size.

He’s been getting his hands in the foam a lot more than usual as of late, and in the video you see here, he crafts a surfboard that’s famously difficult to get right: the high-performance shortboard.

“When I was thinking about what I should shape next,” he says, “my immediate thought was ‘Try to do something that might be the hardest board to really nail.'”

It’s a classically Kai attitude — when he does things, he doesn’t use half steps — so he decided he’d hand shape a high-performance shortboard. For professionals, “high-performance” is a bit different than it is for the rest of us. Thinner glass, lower volume, etcetera.

“There are so many subtleties and nuances that go into making a board actually works at a high-level,” he explains.

But given the fact that this is the third surfboard Kai has ever shaped, it looks as though he did what he came to do. The proof, of course, is at the back half of the video when Kai takes it for its maiden voyage.


Only the best. We promise.


Join our community of contributors.