How to Make the Perfect Surfboard for Summer's Smaller Waves

How to Make the Perfect Surfboard for Summer's Smaller Waves

The quickest way to gain an appreciation for the art and design of board making is to DIY.
February 3, 2017, 6:40pm

This article is part of our VICE Weekends summer series, presented by Weis

Lyndsay Noyes has made a living out of surfing. This summer, she upped the ante, spending some time in the Misfit Shapes shaping factory to make her very own summer board—one that's perfect for smaller waves and having fun. 

Summer in Sydney means warm seas and tiny waves, with equally as many people in the lineup as on the sand. To battle the crowd, I wanted a summer board that would keep things fun and be more buoyant and forgiving. My friends at Misfit Shapes make beautiful boards, so I asked if I could try my hand at shaping one of my very own.

Every board starts off as a blank block of foam. After I chose my custom dimensions the foam was put through a machine that pops out a rough shape.

Dave has been shaping for 16 years so I asked him to pass on some knowledge and give me a run down of the basics.

The nose, rail and tail are the main elements that make a surfboard work. It's crucial to get the balance of all these just right—there's a fine line between a magic board and a dud.

I tried my hand at some sanding, wanting to refine the board even more. It was nerve-racking feeling like one slip and you could ruin the whole thing.

Chongy and Dave kept me in check, assessing the board's progress. Shaping and building boards is a functional form of art; there's such great attention to detail in making each and every one. It's imperative to make a board that's appeasing to the eye and pleasing to the feet.

I had a hard time deciding on just one colour for the spray.

The surfboard goes through many hands on its way to the beach. This is Fez taking control of the spraying.

The glassing room was full of fumes and required a full face mask. A layer of fiberglass cloth was placed down over the board and then resin poured over the top.

After setting the fins in place my new board was ready to test out!

The anticipation of that first wave on a brand new board never gets old.

Even though the waves were typically tiny I still felt the board come alive under my feet.

I escaped reality in the warm afternoon glow of summer, with a new appreciation for the art and design of surfboard making.

This article is presented by Weis