Have you ever wanted to shape your own surfboard? I did, but thought it was going to cost a ton of money. In fact, I didn’t even know where to get the tools and materials. That problem has been solved. Thanks to Foam E-Z, if you have a few hundred bucks and a free Saturday, you can make your own surfboard.
Foam E-Z is surfboard material supply shop in Orange County, CA. They sell blanks, fiberglass, resin, tools and everything else you need to make/repair surfboards. They also have a shaping room out back that you can rent out by the hour. Pretty sweet deal. It comes stocked with all of the tools you need.
For about $50-100 you can buy a big chunk of foam like this. They have blanks in every size from shortboard to retro to longboard. They also have PU & EPS available. I would strongly recommend PU for your first board since EPS is much harder to work with.
They sell a few DVDs that teach you how to shape. I got Shaping 101 by John Carper of JC Hawaii. After watching that DVD about 4 times you should have a pretty good idea of what you’ll need to do to make your first board.
You can rent the shaping bay by the day or hour. Its $10 an hour if you have your own tools, $20 an hour if you need tools and $50 for the day. Professional shapers can make a board in an hour or two, but your first board will probably take more like 5-6 hours. That being said, just rent the room for a day, its a fun way to spend a Saturday!
The setup is just like the shaping rooms your favorite shapers use. The lights on the side are there so you can see even the smallest imperfections in your surfboard. Because they are to the side, bumps and scratches cast shadows that make it easy to know where you need to sand.
I decided to finish working on my asymmetrical surfboard. I had a great conversation with Carl Ekstrom about the benefits of them and wanted to try it out for myself. The right half of the board is based on a 6’3″ squash tail thruster I really like and the left half is based on a 5’11” round tail thruster that is super smooth. My idea was to create a board for Newport rights that raced down the line and held a nice wide cutback. I think it will be fun for places like Upper Trestles and Rincon as well. Who knows though… maybe it won’t work at all. Either way it was fun to make!
If you would like to try shaping a board, here is what you need to do. Call Foam E-Z at 1(714)896-8233 or just visit their website. Order the Shaping 101 DVD. After you’ve watched it a few times, reserve the shaping bay for the day. They are located in Westminster, CA which is just by Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach.
If you don’t live in So-Cal, you can still order a blank and the tools you need. You can also get most of the tools at your local hardware store.
Seriously, go shape a board, its a ton of fun and will make you appreciate your other surfboards!