My interest in board building started in the summer of 1988 after seeing some boards built by a few sailors from Iowa who were sailing in the Gorge.
While living in Boise, Idaho I met Bill (Billy Boards) who allowed me to watch him build two boards. From that experience, I made myself a 30 page guideline to building boards. In the summer of 1990, I built my first board out of desperation. I had just graduated from University of Idaho (Civil Engineering) and was living in the Gorge that summer when my board broke. It was a quickly constructed 8'6"(257 cm) no frills board out of an 8'7" Angulo blank given the name "Number 1". I got a lot of looks for the poor shaping, but it worked fine.
By the summer of 1992 I had moved to Madison, Wisconsin where I constructed the next two boards, the first being 9'4"(284 cm)
copy of a Hyper Tech(Number 2) out of a 9'8" blank and a 9'0"(274 cm) slalom board(Number 3) out of a 9'2" D blank.
The Dill rocker line helped made that board nice turning and forgiving. I still use those two boards today. I had a job transfer to Oregon after that summer.
The next board I build(Summer 94) was a not to good copy of Dill(Number 4). It jumped well and was fast but very hard to control. At the end of the season I cut it in half and Number 1 in half to provide for
Number 5 was built in the Spring of 95. It was a copy of Seatrend 8'6"(257cm) with a width of 20"(51
cm). I am required to be fully power up to ride this board. It is the fastest board I have ever built. I still use it on 4.5 meter minus days in the Gorge.
Number 6(Summer of 96) was my first attempt to make a wave board. It was a 9'0 (274 cm) using a
Mistral Screamer shape outline with a wave rocker line. It could float a 230 pound (104 kg) person due
to its high volume. The board had a scooped nose that was great for getting over waves but easily broken from boom impact. I retired this board.
My first surf board was built the same summer. It was a copy of a 9'0 (274 cm) longboard. It worked
well but I later sold it and build another longboard, a copy of 9'6 (290 cm) Hobie. The board had volume only 250 pounder (114 kg) would appreciate. I later sold it and bought a board from a local builder.
It is the summer of 97, I have to admit am a good glasser but not a good shaper. My interest in wave
riding increased that year. With a lot of persuasion I talked Gary Swanson (Cascade Sailboards) into shaping a 9'0"(Number 7) and 8'4" (Number 8, my favorite board) wave boards which I finished off.
Note: both boards have plenty of volume for when the wind drops so I can keep slogging while in the surf zone. Big fins are also good if you want to keep up wind on the Oregon Coast due to the strong current.
Many a Gorge sailor has done the walk of shame because of a small fin and lack of board volume.
My last board built(Number 9) was 9´2"(279 cm) slalom board, from the last 9'8" blank I know of , in the Spring of 98. This board was also shaped by Gary Swanson. The shape was that of a slalom board with
23" (59 cm)width. It handles sail sizes from 5.0m to 7.5m. This board is fun and fast.
If and when I build my next board, it will be a hybrid of Clark Foam and Divinycell Sandwich. I know several board builders who have built hybrid boards that are within 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg) of styrofoam
boards but do not have the water retention problems if damaged. If you want super light boards styrofoam is still the way to go.
The references I use are:
1. Maui Boardbuilding and Repair by Bill Walters (ISBN 0-9630623-0-1) available at most windsurfing
2. Surfboard (How to build surfboards and related watersport equipment) by Stephen Shaw (ISBN 0
-912750-04-09) 1994. This book is written in English and Japanese. Check online book stores for availability.
3. Surfboard by Stephen Shaw (ISBN 0-912750-04-09) 1983.
4. How to Build Sailboard by Hans Fichtner / Michael Garff (ISBN 0-915160-28-5) (Out of Print)
5. Essential Surfing by George Orbelian (ISBN 0-9610548-2-4) Surf shops carry it.
6. The Ding Repair Scriptures (The complete guide to Surfboard Repair) 1986 by George Colendich. I
bought this book at Fiberglass Supply, (NEW WEB SITE with Catalog) Bingen, WA. 509-493-3464
I have "Vacuum Bag Board Building with Tom Sullivan", "Shaping 101 and Glassing 101", and "Carve it
up" all of which are great instructional videos.
If you know of any boarding building / repair books or videos not listed just send the information and I will