Rib and Spar Surfboard Kits – Just like a Jigsaw Puzzle!
A PROJECT FOR ANYONE
If you think of a Rib and Spar Surfboard Kit as a giant (and totally awesome) jigsaw puzzle then you have an idea of what is involved in this project. Your kit comes with a spar and corresponding ribs for you to glue together to make the “skeleton” of the surfboard. You can then use thin timber planking (we recommend Paulownia) to fix the deck and bottom onto your internal frame. Your choice of planking is where you can get creative and really add a personal touch. Choose a variety of timbers, and experiment with your layout. Just be careful with the choice of timber that you’re not adding too much weight to your surfboard.
BUILDING THE RAILS
Once you’ve finished the top and bottom and cut your outline to shape more planking is glued on to build the rails out. You can shape and sand the rails to your desired curve so that they meet the deck and bottom planking. Continue sanding with higher grade sandpaper and you’ll be ready to glass your board.
GLASSING YOUR BOARD
Glass your board with cloth and resin top and bottom, cut your fin boxes in and install the leash plug and vent. (Note: A versa square is a handy tool for the home builder to help you measure and mark where to put your fin boxes and leash plugs and enables you to choose your ideal fin setup). You can also choose to install either a vent screw and leash plug or combine the two by installing a vented leash plug. Either will work fine it is simply a matter of personal preference as to which option you choose. Once you’ve completed your installations you finish your glassing with your filler and then finish coats of resin before following with a whole lot more sanding to get a nice polished finish. If the idea of glassing your own board is too taxing, you can get a local shaper to do it for you. This will obviously add to the cost of the build, but you don’t run the risk of messing up your beautiful work of art! If you like the idea of completing the whole project yourself but haven’t mastered the glassing process, ask an experienced friend to help you through it, Google some how-to videos or purchase an online PDF or video guide.
In total there is between 40-50 hours of build time involved in this project. The beauty of it is you can do it at your own pace and within your own time frame. You will be rewarded for your efforts with a beautiful wood surfboard that is both practical and functional. While these boards may weigh a little more than a conventional foam core surfboard they surf great, due to their design and build they are ten times stronger than a standard board, and they can literally last a lifetime!
Just like a giant jigsaw, we have students working on these for their school projects, grandparents making them with their grand kids and everyone in between! If you have the time and patience you will be rewarded for your efforts and can bask in the glory of friends and family admiring your final masterpiece.