Surfboard Design

Surfboard Design

It’s more than likely that you’ve seen a surfboard at some point in time. The long narrow plank crafted from wood is unmistakable. Surfboards have existed since ancient times, with the Polynesians creating them as their essential means of transport.

As surfing developed into a sport, there have been many variations and designs of surfboards tailored to individual needs. It’s a remarkable concept that such a wooden plank can allow a human to grace the water as they do. For that to happen, there is an art to how surfboards are designed.

How is a Surfboard Made?

In ancient times, surfboards were made by hand from koa trees. It’s fascinating to think that such a delicate process could be done by hand – but since there were no modern manufacturing tools, it had to be done. Today, you will find that surfboards are designed and cut with power tools in different shapes and sizes.

Shaping surfboard

Most boards are made from polyurethane to keep their lighter weight and shape. But other materials, such as polystyrene, fiberglass, and natural woods, can be used as well. Each surfboard is commonly designed and constructed using the following process:

  • Decide on the design and size of the surfboard
  • Create a stringer (a piece of wood running through the middle of the board)
  • Glue stringer to a foam block
  • Remove bulk foam
  • Create a rough shape of the surfboard
  • Cut the shape of the board
  • Add your artwork
  • Coat it with a laminate or fiberglass
  • Sand the board
  • Finally, polish the board

How Many Types of Surfboards Are There?

There are many types of surfboards, each fitting a surfer’s unique style. There are two that are most identifiable – the longboard and the shortboard.

The shortboard you will see is most used by professionals and surf enthusiasts who want to move through the waves. They came to popularity in the 1960s when surfing began to become more competitive. They are about 7 feet in length and very maneuverable – but lack buoyancy, meaning it’s harder to catch waves.

The longboard is the traditional surfboard and the one most associated with surf history. These surfboards are usually around 9 to 12 feet in length and can support various weights and skill levels. If you’re taking up surfing for the first time, you’ll likely start with a longboard. It’s much easier to catch waves with these, given their size.

The Diversity of Design

Along with the shapes and sizes of surfboards, the artwork has become a significant part of the board. The designs are representative of an individual surfer and its significance as their identity. Today, you will see many surfers design their surfboards with unique graffiti, cultural graphics, tribal images, landscapes, and catchphrases.

How Do You Like Your Surfboard?

Everybody has a style of surfboard they prefer – whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned professional. Some prefer longboards for a chilled session, while others like shortboards to challenge themselves in the waves. Whatever your design preference – enjoying surfing is all the same. So, how do you like your surfboard?

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Surfboard Design

Surfboard design is the art of shaping wood or foam into a board. There are many shapes and styles, each fitting a surfer’s unique style.

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