An Expert’s Guide to How Surfboards Are Made

surf holidays bali

While watching surfers gracefully riding the waves, you might not give a second thought to the boards they’re using. But, there are many different types of surfboards, and creating them is a painstaking process that includes a lot of love and labor. At Aloha Bali Surf, we wanted to share how the boards we use for our surf holidays bali are made, so read on!

A Brief History of Surfing

Before diving into the details on how today’s modern surfboards are made, we thought we’d give you a brief history of surfing. For as long as humans have been able to swim, they’ve been riding the waves, surfing with their bodies rather than the boards we use today. The very first surfboards were made in Hawaii and were around 6-8 meters long; yikes. They were also quite heavy, made from local trees known as Kola trees. These first surfboards were made by hand and shaped, then finished using natural oils to waterproof them.

In 1946, the first fiberglass surfboard was made and a few years later, a man named Bob Simmons perfected the process, fashioning a board with a Styrofoam core to make it more buoyant on the waves. These days, nearly every type of surfboard contains a polyurethane core sandwiched between two pieces of wood. A lighter surfboard makes it much easier to balance on the waves.

Many have the common misconception that like lots of other things these days, surfboards are made by machines in a big factory, but actually, they’re still handmade using a time-proven process that’s been in place for more than half a century.

Making a surfboard requires seven keys steps including:

1. Forming the Board’s Foam Core

To form the foam core, a large, cement mold in the shape of a surfboard is used; it’s constructed in two halves. These halves are fastened together and the mold is then heated, triggering a chemical reaction as the liquid foam chemicals are poured into the mold.

2. Adding the Stringer

Once the foam core has hardened, something known as a stringer is added to it to provide stiffness and ensure the board won’t break in half. To put the core inside the surfboard it needs to be cut in half, then the stringer is installed to ensure the two halves are unbreakable.

3. Shaping the Blank Part of the Surfboard.

At this stage, there are only two halves of the board core put together and it doesn’t really resemble a surfboard. It’s shaping the blank part of the core that truly brings the board to life. You’ll cut off the excess core at this stage into the surfboard shape you want, using a variety of tools like a saber and power planer, then rough sandpaper to bring out those smooth contours; at this stage, the place where the board’s fin will go is also marked.

4. Laminating the Outer Shell  

This is when you cover the outer layer of the board core with fiberglass, then form its hard outer shell of fiberglass to its contours. If your surfboard will have a design, this is the time when it will be painted on, often with acrylic paint. Lastly, the board will be coated with a waterproof, protective resin.

5. Applying the Filler Coat & Adding the Fin

After the board has dried completely, it’s time to coat it with a second layer of resin to go over any im perfections left by the first layer. Afterward, the fin is installed using fiberglass tape and laminating resin. The board’s leg leash is also attached at this point by drilling a hole through the tail to attach it.

6. Sanding Your Board

At this point, it’s time to sand the exterior of your surfboard. This is because there will likely be some excess resin that needs to be removed to provide it with a smooth finish. You can use a power sander for this step if you wish.

7. Final Finishing

Finally, your surfboard is done at last, but as a final step, clean it thoroughly. This will remove any leftover sanding dust and give your surfboard’s gloss coat the time it needs to harden properly (12 hours).

Contact us today for more about surf holidays in Bali!

If you want to get away from it all for a while and revitalize your body and mind, Aloha Bali Surf has some of the perfect surfing and yoga packages for you. Our Bali surf camps are for every level, from beginner to advanced. We offer an Essential Surf Package that includes five surf lessons, daily breakfast and dinner, an adventure tour of the island, as well as guided surf and yoga meditation.

For those who want to focus on their yoga, we also offer a Yogi Surf Package that comes with five yoga lessons, as well as five surf lessons and all of the other amenities we offer. For surfing pros, our Extreme Surf Package is packed with five surf lessons, five free-surf sessions, as well as a private surf session with videography included.

To learn more about our Bali surf and yoga packages, contact us online or call +1 (949) 942-7217.

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