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It’s official, the DIY epoxy surfboard featured in MAKE Volume 19 is my new favorite board! I had a super fun session this morning — it’s fast, skatey, and incredibly light and buoyant. At just 6’5″ it catches waves easier than my old 7’4″.

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Big ups to Greenlight Surfboard Supply and their eco-friendly surfboard kits. The expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam is recyclable, the stringer and fins are bamboo, and the low-VOC epoxy resin is much less toxic than traditional polyester resin. Greenlight’s new lamination technique, using a stretchy bamboo fabric instead of fiberglass cloth, is easier and safer. The kits include all materials and hand tools for first-time shapers (like me) plus complete instructional vids. Check them out!

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Greenlight Surfboard Supply: Link.

MAKE, Volume 19, DIY Outdoors, “Greener Waves”: Link.

Some pix from the build:

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Shaping the EPS foam with a rasp. First you draw rail bands with a Sharpie, then you mow down bevels between the bands, to rough out the rail curves.

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Stretching the bamboo “fiberglass” cloth across the board’s bottom, up over the rails, and down onto double-stick tape on the deck.

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Bamboo cloth in place, ready for laminating with epoxy resin. No wrinkles outside the tape line!

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Gluing on the fins with epoxy resin. Clamps and shims hold the fins at the chosen toe-in angle (nosed inward slightly) and cant angle (leaning outward slightly).

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Brushing on a second epoxy coat, aka “hot coat,” to fill in the initial lamination coat. Let it cure, sand it smooth, then do a final “gloss coat” and you’re surfing.

Keith Hammond

I’m projects editor of MAKE magazine.


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Comments

  1. Big Dave says:

    $400 for the starter kit. They go up from there.

  2. John Park says:

    The board looks awesome; you’re officially a stud, Keith! Did you embed an IMU in there while you were at it?

    1. Keith Hammond says:

      thanks John — hey that’s our next project! check out Surflog at http://surflog.ning.com, we’re working on sticking a 3D geospatial data logger (accelerometers, XYZ sensors) to surfboards to see what kind of cool tracks we can capture, map, reanimate, etc.

  3. brad says:

    wow – i read the article recently and am super siked up to make one. unfortunately, i am back in ohio now but will be a great project for the winter so i am ready to hit the NC waves next summer!

    one question – is it essential to have another board there as a reference while you are shaping? i can pick up one of our boards in NC at Thanksgiving if needed but i want to make another longboard so kind of a pain to transport.

    tx and enjoy the waves

    brad

    1. Keith Hammond says:

      not essential but helpful — just to see the way a skilled shaper turned a rail or thinned out volume in the nose. as a first-timer, it helped me a lot to have the comparison.

  4. chrissy says:

    you look like a hot young kevin costner in the first photo! nice!

  5. Anonymous says:

      Green light new lamination technique, using a stretchy bamboo fabric instead of

    fiberglass
    fabric

    , is easier and safer

  6. Anonymous says:

      Green light new lamination technique, using a stretchy bamboo fabric instead of

    fiberglass
    fabric

    , is easier and safer

  7. Anonymous says:

      Green light new lamination technique, using a stretchy bamboo fabric instead of

    fiberglass
    fabric

    , is easier and safer

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