Re: plywood surfboard

Posted by George K on Nov 1, 2006

The glass, of course, does play a part in the strength of the board but the stringer, the piece of wood or PVC down the center of the board, adds quite a bit of strength. The normal set-up for a board is one stringer, around 3/16" thick. If a board is to be surfed in larger conditions than normally found in the states (Costa Rica, for instance, where the waves can get 15' or more on a fairly consistent basis) it's not unusual to have two stringers, equal distance from the center. A longboard, 8'+, surfed in the same conditions may have three stringers. There have been quite a few wooden boards made in the past few years, Paul Jenson, as you have seen, makes beautiful boards, but they aren't anywhere near the light weight of a foam board. A nine foot solid balse board can weigh upwards of 40 pounds, a nine foot foam board is 15-20, depending on the glass lay-up. A nine foot hollow wooden board is around 25-30 pounds. The trade off in weight is that these boards ride differently than foam boards and the guys who build 'em and ride 'em swear by them. I may have to build one some day but I like my 7 pound 6'6"! I would highly recommend that anyone who is seriously thinking of building one spend a lot of time on swaylocks forum. They've been there, done it and do it well.

Sorry for rambling but surfing is just as much a passion of mine as boat building and kayaking.

George K

In Response to: Re: plywood surfboard by Jim E on Oct 31, 2006


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