Here's my take on attempting to shape your first board... Jumping straight to a fresh blank, even with all the right tools, will still end up leaving you with a dented wallet and a whittled little piece of foam that you're too ashamed to take to a glass shop.
I had been buying boards off the rack, or pro models used off of craigslist for years. I was still learning, and was naive as anyone else when looking at new surfboards. I wanted to ride what Andy Irons rode, what Taj was getting barreled on.I thought if I watched enough of their clips, got the board they were on, I would eventually get the hang of it, right?
For nearly 8 years now I've been creating custom boards for myself and others and I really haven't looked back. There really isn't anything quite like running across the sand and watching other surfers stare at my board with 100 questions they'd like to ask. And that's just where it starts, out of the water. So, without further interruption, here's why I simply must go custom...
When surfing first became popular as a sport 50 odd years ago, surfboards were made out of wood. These surfboards were extremely heavy, easily damaged, and difficult to repair. The surfboards of today are much lighter, float better, are easier to repair, and are capable of great maneuvers on the wave. What's made the huge difference?
Ever wondered what keeps your surfboard floating in the water with your body weight on it? Well, since the 1950's, after surfboard makers moved away from the wood off trees, you'll pretty much always find a foam core at the center of your board. There are a couple of different foam substances available for use in surfboard manufacture.