How Much Does It Cost To Make A Surfboard
Have you been considering shaping your own surfboard?
If you talk to different shapers, some will tell you that shaping a board is easy as pie once you get the hang of it, while others will tell you it is a long and arduous process.
Of course, the thing that concerns most prospective shapers is the price.
So just how much does shaping a surfboard cost?
Well, there are many things that go into the cost, including tools, materials, and, of course, time.
Let's dig in and find out how much you can expect to spend when shaping your own shred stick!
So, How Much Will It Cost To Make A Surfboard Yourself?
Before we dig in, it is worth mentioning that you will need some tools to shape your board. If you don't have these tools handy already, you will need to add them to the cost of your surfboard shaping.
Some of the tools that you will need to use during your shaping process include:
Together, these tools and supplies will likely cost your around $150 depending on where you buy them from and the quality of the tools and supplies you purchase.
To start out, you will need to get yourself a foam blank. Foam blanks typically cost anywhere from $70-$140 depending on the size and where you buy them from. The bigger the board you want to make, the bigger the blank you will need, and the more the foam blank will cost you.
You must adjust your template towards the tail or nose of your blank depending on where you want your rocker to be, though blanks typically have rocker built-in, so you might not have to do a ton of sanding. To save yourself a bit of time, look for blanks that have a built-in rocker.
Sanding and shaping the board, especially for beginners, can take many hours. Sometimes, it may take anywhere from 6-8 hours or more, especially if you're a beginner.
You've probably heard the saying before that time = money.
The average American makes around $27.16 per hour. If we round that down to $25 per hour for ease of math, that six to eight hours turns into $150-$200. You have to choose whether or not that six hours could be better spent doing something else, such as working to make some extra cash so you can buy a board.
Once you're done shaping, it is time to start laying down your fiberglass and the resin. Again, this could take a few hours at least. You need to lay down your fiberglass and spread your resin on one side, let it dry, then repeat the process on the other side.
Again, time = money. Plus, there is the probability that you may mess something up and have to start over, especially if you don't get the resin done correctly before it settles.
At the end of the day, you will probably end up spending at least $200-$300 to make a board yourself, which doesn't include the time spent building your board.
Good Alternative: Buy A Board
While shaping surfboards can be exciting in many ways, the average surfer is better off refraining from the board building process.
Shaping is an art form and it requires a lot of patience and perseverance to become good at it.
If you aren't so keen on making your own board at this moment, it's probably not the right time.
In the case that you're not all-in, instead of trying to make a board, we recommend checking out some of our favorite brands on the surfboard market.
Here are a few of the top brands we recommend:
#1 South Bay Board Co.
They have a wide range of surfboards to choose from, ranging from entry-level boards to hybrid boards.
The hybrid board range is quite unique, as it pairs a soft-top deck with a hard, bamboo bottom.
Not only does the company manufacturer some of the sleekest beginner surfboard designs on the market, the boards are also much less expensive than the average foam top.
As a brand based in the heart of Southern California, they understand the importance of surf culture, as well as the importance of environmentalism, which is why they use long-lasting and environmentally friendly products.
In our opinion, they make some of the best surfboards for beginners around, though they make a well-rounded lineup of boards for all levels of surfers and different conditions.
#2 Liquid Shredder
Liquid Shredder is another excellent brand for surfers who are new to the game.
Long-time surfer Scott McClain gave birth to the Liquid Shredder board design back in 1999 as a way for his own children to get out into the waves.
His board technology was and still is quite unique.
Liquid Shredder boards use an XPS organic sealed cell foam and vinyl skin.
In conjunction with beginner-friendly shapes, these boards float nicely and are incredibly durable, perfect for those who are still in the stages of getting comfortable with their boards.
Liquid Shredder is still owned by the family to this day and they make some of the top entry-level surfboards out on the market.
It's nearly impossible to go to a popular surf spot on any given day without seeing a Wavestorm board in the water.
Talk about accessibility. In fact, the idea behind the Wavestorm brand was making surfboards more accessible to people around the world.
Finding a surfboard can be difficult, especially if you don't have a helpful shop nearby.
Wavestorm boards are sold at Costco, providing everyone and their mother with board accessibility.
The beauty of Wavestorm boards is that they are very inexpensive, come with great warranties, and are perfect for both children and adults.
When Wavestorms first hit the market over a decade ago, many thought they wouldn't catch on. As of right now, the brand is one of the best-selling foam board brands on the market. Even skilled surfers, such as Nakoa Decoite, enjoy taking their Wavestorm boards out to surf massive waves.
#4 Wave Bandit
More than anything, surfing is fun. The idea of fun is exactly what Wave Bandit aims to capture.
The brand's boards are high-performance, innovative, and versatile, perfect for surfing a variety of conditions.
In only a few years, this brand took the surfing world by storm, crafting some of the most exciting soft-top boards that the market had to offer.
Wave Bandit uses high-quality waterproof foam, durable HDPE bottom deck technology, and marine-grade wooden stringers on all their boards.
From eggs to fish, you can find just about anything in the Wave Bandit lineup.
More than anything, we love the look of Wave Bandit boards.
The graphics are fun to look at and incredibly unique. Wave Bandit fin systems are some of the most durable around and they are very easy to install.
With buoyancy and performance, Wave Bandit boards are the perfect step up for beginners.
Final Verdict: Is Making Your Own Surfboard Worth It?
There is no better board to surf than a board you made yourself. In a way, it connects you to your board and connects you to ancient surfers who had to build their own boards as a rite of passage.
Plus, making your own board helps you to connect with other boards on a deeper level, as you'll have a bigger appreciation for how they were made.
To sum it up: Making your own board can be incredibly difficult, though extremely rewarding. With the right tools and high-quality blanks, anyone can do it. Plus, there is nothing quite like taking your own, unique shred stick into the water and showing it off to your surfing buddies.
Of course, as we said before, most surfers will find that buying a board is much easier. If you aren't quite ready to make a board yourself, check out some of our favorite surfboards from our list above! See you out in the lineup.