January 28, 2009

No. 4 Surfboard Template Design

Here is a new surfboard template that I just designed called "the No.4". It's the fourth template of the growing list of surfboards I want to build. Excited to know how it's going to ride with the funky tail that I put on it. I am expecting  it very loose but controlled. With the sqwirly tail shape, it has more surface area for tighter turns and the outward curves has a venturi effect, causing suction. I may be wrong though.

If you are interested in building this board or want to see a better view of it, like always, I included the template (PDF Format)  that you can download and print up.  Click here to download the template.

If you do end up building this before I do, let me know the hurdles you came across building this and of course - how it rides! I am sure the tail going to be a little hard to wrap the rails when glassing because all the curves. 


yunsok said...

looks interesting. thanks for the templates, i may work off the simmons one you put up. whats the purpose of the scooped nose that the minisimmons tend to have and also what are good dimensions for the fins?

yunsok said...

interesting design. thanks for putting up the templates, i may work off the simmons one you put up. whats the purpose of the scooped design and what are good dimensions for the fins? are they basic no rake fish type twin fins?

BoardSide said...


Not exactly sure about the scooped deck design on such a small board. My understanding is that it can serve several purposes.

1. Lower the center of gravity of the board while providing floatation.

2. Decreases the volume of the nose for easier turns. Kind of like a step deck.

Both of which, at least what I see, don't really make a difference in such a short board. I may be wrong though.

The dimensions for the fins I will be using for the mini-bob simmons will be about 7.5" base x 4.5" tall.

Anonymous said...

I've been checking out your blog for a while, I've been thinking about building my own board and I really like the look of the mini simmons. Question about planers...before I commit to an expensive planer, what are the downsides of going with a cheapie model? Tearing the foam or just slower cuts?

BoardSide said...

I am currently using a pretty cheap planer (Bosch) and seems to work alright. Don't know if it's better or worse than the ones at Harbor Freight.

If you have the money, I would invest in a good planer. The Clark Foam converted Hitachi is the industry standard. It has been modified specifically for shaping boards. Primarily with the depth adjustments. Best of all it is now available again. I think you can purchase it over at Foam EZ.

My Bosh does the job though. The thing that bugs me about it is the stiff depth adjustment knob and the clicking mechanism that it has when turning it. One of these days I'll invest in a better one.

Hope this helps!!

BoardSide said...

Sorry, I forgot to answer all your questions. The cheap models tend to have cheap parts, like the ball bearings or even just bushings. Just won't last. Bosch makes pretty good tools, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with it. If you plan on just doing a few boards, get a cheap one. They will do the job.

As for the speed of the cuts, I'm not sure. My planer has only one blade vs. the typical two. I think because of this, it takes gouges out of the foam when stripping the hard skin. After getting through that, its smoooooooth.

Anonymous said...

yeah, you read my mind. I was thinking about going with the Harbor Freight until I figure out if it's something that I want to stick with.

If you don't mind I have a few more questions. And I'm asking you because your boards look totally pro and I see that you're working out of your garage. Which leads me to my next question...you're garage is super clean kinda like mine. I want it to stay that way, does shaping a board totally cover the walls and everything in it with foam? Would you recommend a catch bag on a planer?

Also, your color work is awesome and your boards look pro. What's the trick? Most home made boards I see look like they were made in a garage, yours look like the were made by a master craftsman.

Would you recommend a shaping kit like the ones from Greenlight or Foam-EZ? How did you start?


BoardSide said...

Yah, I try to keep my garage pretty clean. The foam kinda goes everywhere. I usually cover up what I can and use a shop vac to clean everything. The foam isn't a real problem for me, it's the glassing that can be a pain. If you don't have a drip tray like me, resin tracks everywhere with the shoes.. When glassing, I place a plastic sheet, then paper down just in case. Maybe an overkill, but there are times when the paper cover sticks to the shoes from the resin and rips the paper up.

As for the quality of the boards, I am far from perfect. I think it'll take years to master. But thanks for the complement. The only advice I have is to really plan ahead, read as much as you can and maybe get some videos. As long as you plan ahead and take your time, you'll do just fine.

The kits may be helpful, as some come with instructional videos. I didn't take that route. I just read as much as I can.

Good luck! Let me know if I can help you further.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, right now your blog is my inspiration. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get closer to the shaping part. Never used a planer before, I'm a little nervous about how the rail bands are going to turn out. I think that part is going to be my biggest challenge.

So I decided to try to shape a mini-simmons using your template. I need to have another look at a the rails on the ones in the local surf shop. The look pretty fishy to me. I've seen some homemade boards with lumpy rails which is my biggest fear.

I bought the lumber today for the shaping stand. Yours is the best homemade stand that I've seen so far. I've already blown the whole planning thing, walked into Home Depot grabbed a bunch of 2x4's some wood screws and angle brackets. I already know I need to get back and pick up some more brackets and longer wood screws. I'll start planning better the next time around.

BTW, the color and art on your boards looks insane.


BoardSide said...


Thanks for the compliment!! Don't be nervous with planing. Get a thick blank so you have some wiggle room to play around with your planer. You'll get the hang of it pretty quick. As for the rail bands, that is tricky. Just take your time. There is also a thing called the freddy tool. I read that it makes it easier. I was thinking of building one. But as usual, not enough time in the day. Good luck with your project and let me know how it goes!

Gorka Uriarte Altuna said...

It's funny, I must be some kind of clone from Dave, I passed through the same thaughts 3 months agó, when I find this blog.
In that time was a discover for me to see a first board with such a pro finish, that helps me to make the decission on starting my first board too (thanks BoardSide) and this is one of the most enjoyables activities i've ever done, apart from surfin' off course. I made an stand following the template and with minor modifications in mobile parts fixings. I also have the same doubts with the planner, the rails and the same lack of plannification in the starting of the stand...

Ok thanks again for the great blog, it helps me a lot. I havent write before due to my poor english.

BoardSide said...


Thanks for the complement!! I am absolutely pleased to hear that you are starting your first board!! Keep us updated on your project and let me know if you have any questions.

Gorka Uriarte Altuna said...

Well I started on December, now I'm finishing the second.... Something little more sophisticated in shape and colours, but far from your 4 colours Blunt model and your "viola da gamba" nº4. :)

Keep on with the designs, they are great¡


Anonymous said...

So I go down to my local surfshop (Mitches, Solana Beach) to have a look at a Swift mini-Simmons and buy some some shaping supplies (a screen and a block plane) and the guy behind the counter takes an interest in what I'm up to so he asks me what I'm planning to shape. I told him a mini-simmons and he just said flat out..."Don't do it, it won't work" followed by "they're really difficult to shape". To my inexperience eyes, it doesn't look any more difficult than an egg or a fish. The rails are parallel for the most part, the tail is square. I planned on doing a flat bottom, boxy rails maybe a little scoop in the nose of the deck but for the most part keep it simple. Well, now I'm spooked and I'm thinking of doing my alternate plan.

I bought a Fineline GeeBee a few months ago and it's really hard to ride. I love the outline, I was going to shape one as more of a fun shape instead of a hull, more rail...egg-ish.

So what do you think should I blow off this guys advice and stick with the mini-simmons or should I try something "easier" for my first attempt?


BoardSide said...


In my opinion, if you are going to keep it pretty simple, shaping shouldn't be a problem. The small size of the mini-simmons with the thickness of the board makes it easier. Plus if you are not going to do any concaves or scooped decks, it'll be pretty easy. Having said that, that guy you spoke to is more than likely more knowledgeable than I. Although, he may be thinking of scooped decks and maybe some channeling. Don't know....

The only thing that may take some work is the glassed on fin. I just envision a sanding nightmare. I hate sanding!!!

I do plan on building the ShortSider which is an offshoot of the Bob-Simmons this weekend. Well, Maybe... being Valentines and all. Wife will probably be upset. But, I'll document all the steps like I did with the Displacement Hull.

BoardSide said...

By the way Dave, it's always a bummer when someone discourages you from doing anything. My take on it is to just go for it. If it doesn't turn out, well... It's a learning experience and it will just make your next board better :)

Anonymous said...

what is the advantage of the square shaped nose?

BoardSide said...

No advantage really for the square shaped nose other than more flotation, and you don't poke your eye out. More aesthetics than anything.

Kajsa said...

I'm about making some design for a friend shaping a board this shape and size. Awsome template! Just wandering, whats the most important, to follow the two lines on the template making the outline fit with them (cous some of the parts means they are layer on layer a little bit) - or just follow the outline even if the lines in the middle doesnt always fit by every mm?


Latasha said...

The outline of a surfboard. The template is the outside line that encompasses the surfboards entire dimensions as illustrated in the image above. Rounder more curved template perform rounder, tighter turns while longer straighter curves result in a template that performs longer more drawn out turns.

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