We recently had a custom longboard shaped by renowned Cape Town shaper Anton Butler from Ferral Surfboards. Anton invited us into his shaping bay and film the process of shaping a surfboard of such dimensions. Below is a 2 minute video detailing the key elements of the surfboard shaping process.
Every surfboard starts out as a blank which is essentially the core of the surfboard in its rawest form. A surfboard blank is made up of two pieces of polystyrene foam joined together using what is known as a stringer which is almost always made of wood.
The blank is then shaped into the surfboard based on the dimensions that have been outlined by the shaper using a template. This is done using a handsaw and a planer initially to achieve the basic shape. Sandpaper is then used to smooth the basic shape down into a product which is then ready for the next phase of the process – applying fibreglass cloth and resin.
Fibreglass cloth is wrapped around a surfboard to help give it the durability required to prevent it from breaking too easily. Resin is poured and smoothed over the fibreglass cloth to provide adhesion and a hard shell to protect the board to getting banged up. Once the resin has dried it is then polished using electric polishes.
Finally the areas on the board for fin boxes are cut out and the fin boxes placed inside. The same goes for the leash attachment. The surfboard is now complete and once the fins and leash are added, it’s ready to ride.