Brett’s Hollow Wooden Surfboard
By Brett Chicotka from San Jose, CA
Added on October 11, 2012
I used to shape surfboards while in college at my apartment in southern California with my brother, who is also an avid surfer. So when I started getting into woodworking, I figured I would try my hand at making a hollow wooden longboard as a gift for him. I bought the frame from a company specializing in wooden surfboards, and is made from 1/4″ Mahogany ply, but for my next board I will cut these out myself. It was just a bit easier to do it this way for a first attempt at a board.
The ribs and spar of the frame were first assembled in the correct order, adjusted to make sure they were straight and at 90 degree angels to each other, then hot glued to a sacrificial table. The deck and base of the board are composed of ~3/8″ x 1 1/2″ strips of Redwood and Paulownia, with each strip glued to ribs and the adjacent strip. The board was then rough cut into the general final shape, and the rails of the surfboard were attached by bending and gluing long thin strips of Redwood and Paulownia to the outside of the rough cut shape. This gives a large, thick piece of solid wood surrounding the whole board, which was later shaped by hand using chisels and a belt sander, into the proper shape for surfboard rails. Nose and tail blocks of layered balsa and redwood were then attached and shaped by hand to blend into the rest of the board. It was finished with 2 layers of 6 oz fiberglass on the top and 1 layer of 6 oz on the base, and several coats of glassing and polishing resin.
Took it out in San Diego and it rides great!