How to Build a Surfboard Out of Wood


Surfers make the sport look easy. They just grab their boards, run into the ocean and stand up on the first wave that comes along. However, surfing isn't nearly that simple. It takes a lot of energy, physical exertion and balance to stay on that board while it gets rocked by waves. Surfboards are no longer typically made of wood, but building one as a throwback to a bygone era can give you a unique surfing experience. You can create your own wooden surfboard either from scratch or with the help of a surfboard kit.

Things You'll Need

  • Saw
  • Drill with two handles
  • 40 grit sand paper
  • Hot glue gun

Surfboard From Scratch

  • Research the type of surfboard you want to create. There are several factors to consider, including the length and width of the board, as well as its shape. If you're a beginner surfer, talk to someone experienced with the sport who can tell you not only the easiest kind of surfboard to build, but also what type of board works best for a beginner.

  • Purchase wood. Choose from balsa, cedar, timer or paulownia.

  • Visit a website that offers surfboard templates. OloSurfer (see Resources), for example, has a variety of templates that you can download and refer to when building your wooden surfboard. You can also get templates drawn on drafting paper, making it easy to lay out all of the panels for your board.

  • Modify the surfboard template to suit your needs and preferences. You may want a longer or shorter board than the template shows, or you may prefer a wider or thinner board.

Surfboard Kits

  • Purchase a wooden surfboard kit. You'll receive already-cut pieces of your surfboard, along with instructions on how to assemble the parts. Place the parts from the kit on a work table so that it stays completely still while you're assembling your board.

  • Build the frame. Assemble the ribs and spar onto the wing-shaped frame by matching up the numbers on both pieces and using a hot glue gun.

  • Install the fin box and leash cup by following the directions come with your kit. Finish putting the board together by adding the bottom planks to the bottom of the board.

  • Sand the edges and bottom of the board until smooth using 40 grit sandpaper.

  • Add rails to the board by layering the pieces of wood included in the kit.

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