How to Build a Hollow Wood Surfboard

Written by timburgone
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How to Build a Hollow Wood Surfboard
Customise your homemade surfboard to your specific needs. (man with surfboard image by jimcox40 from

In the heat of summer, there's nothing more enjoyable and exciting than going surfing. To fully enjoy the sport, you need to be equipped with a sturdy surfboard, fit for your build and surfing expertise. You can build your own hollow wood surfboard with just a few tools and materials. Building your surfboard from hollow wood will ensure its durability and fine finish. While the entire process may take some time to finish, the output is well worth the wait.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Premade surfboard template with your desired shape and dimensions
  • Thin sheet of plywood
  • Jigsaw
  • Foam blank
  • Electric planer
  • Workhorse
  • Resin with catalyst
  • Squeegee
  • Fibreglass cloth
  • Fin kit
  • Electric driller
  • Utility knife
  • Electric sander
  • Wet-dry sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Create the template for your hollow wood surfboard by finding a model surfboard close to your desired shape. Lay your board upside down on top of your thin sheet of plywood and trace the outline of the board with your pencil. Make sure that your pencil is perpendicular to your plywood at all times, as the line should be solidly drawn so that it is easy to see.

  2. 2

    Cut out your surfboard template from your thin sheet of plywood with your jigsaw. Make sure that the plywood is well locked in place prior to cutting.

  3. 3

    Pick up your blank foam core and check the density level of the foam. See to it that you get a blank that can support your body weight.

  4. 4

    Shape the board and place your template on top of the blank while you trace the pattern on the top and bottom parts of the form. The same template will be used for the top and bottom part of your hollow wood surfboard. Cut it using your jigsaw.

  5. 5

    Use your electric planer to shave the foam to your desired shape. Shape your board's rails, tail and nose and shave the bottom and top parts of your blank to achieve your desired density. Use your hand planer to fine tune the shape of the tail and nose.

  6. 6

    Flip the board over and onto the bottom side, as you clamp it onto your workhorse. Roll the sheet of fibreglass over the board and make sure that some extra hangs over the blank and rail edges.

  7. 7

    Mix your catalyst and resin and pour it over the centre of your board. Spread your resin across your board with a squeegee. Fold your fibreglass cloth over its edges while you work in the resin. Allow it to dry overnight before repeating the process for the deck, which is the top side of your surfboard.

  8. 8

    Get your fin kit and install the fins at the bottom part of your board. Apply one layer of hot resin coat at the bottom of your board and let it dry for five to six hours before repeating the same process for the board deck.

  9. 9

    Use your electric driller to drill a hole at the bottom of your board. Cut away the excess foam with your utility knife and add more resin mix into the hole. Insert the leash plug into your hole and cover it with more resin. Let this dry for three hours.

  10. 10

    Make sure that your board is free of any residue or dust, and use an electric sander to fully sand its surface. Wet down your board, and sand it with your wet-dry sandpaper to provide a glossy and smooth finish.

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