Archive for October, 2009

There is no limit!

October 19, 2009

I’ve been having a good time “chatting” with Dave (a beginning shaper) about board design. I’ve already suggested “hot-rodding” the blank he’s got to better achieve the desired shape.

One point I’d like to make is don’t let your materials limit your creativity. Years ago, I stopped buying surfboard blanks, because much of what I was experimenting with lay outside their boundaries. My first move was to the blue Styrofoam insulation. It comes in 2ft X 8ft X varying thicknesses. I bent the rocker into the blank and could make any shape with no boundaries.

Blue Styrofoam is 2# per cubic foot and tougher than polyurethane of similar density. It does require epoxy for glassing, since polyester resin dissolves Styrofoam. Well the price of Styrofoam went up and I shifted to expanded polystyrene (EPS).

During this time I was also developing “Sailien”, my exotic high-speed sailboat and EPS was the best core material for the waterborne parts. See:   I started using 1#/cu. ft. foam and I can buy a billet and cut my cores (hot wire) out of that. I now cut the bottom rocker curve and deck with a hotwire. Note that 1# EPS is not strong so extra glass is required, but the core is very light and again, epoxy resin must be used.

What I’m doing would not be good for a production shaper, but I just wanted to tell you that not only can you “think outside the box” but you can also “shape outside the blank”. There is no limit to what you can create, except the limit you put on yourself and that is simply the limit of your imagination.