Wood Surfboard Kit Building FAQs
Answer: The regular kits consist of the ribs and spar pieces that make up the frame. They also include a full instruction manual that covers every step of the build in detail. You will need wood for the outside planking as well as glue, fiberglass and shop supplies like sandpaper. You can buy or build a fin to be glassed on or mounted in a fin box.
Answer: Recycled lumber is the eco-friendly cost effective choice. Reclaimed lumber such as redwood and cedar are an excellent wood choice as they are
often already light and dry. If you are going for a light board you will want to use soft woods like redwood, cedar, pine, paulownia, or balsa. If you don't care about weight, go for exotic hardwoods. We have used mahogany, ebony, oak and others. The hardwoods are beautiful and strong but heavy. You can also use 5mm lauan plwood to skim the frame.
Answer: Explode? No. But if you leave in the hot sun it can puff up and weaken the inside glue joints. It can also delaminate. We make vented leash plugs specifically for wood surfboards to prevent delamination. They come in mahogany color too!
Answer: Lumber suppliers and home improvement stores are the obvious answer. Most builders love the challenge of finding the perfect wood for their board
and they will search through pallets of wood to find the perfect pieces. We have found beautiful heart redwood being sold for planter edging in the garden department of Home Depot. Lumber suppliers like Austin Hardwoods will even cut a custom kit for you. The assembly manual lists a lot of good sources and even tells how you can get free wood.
Answer: No, its a PDF file that you can display on any computer. It gets emailed to you when your order is processed so you can start planning before your kit even arrives. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader software that is available for free download at ww.adobe.com but chances are its already on your computer.
Answer: We think epoxy has an edge over polyester on wood surfboards. Some builders have reported that Polyester resin will delaminate from certain kinds of wood. We have had good results with both polyester and epoxy but epoxy is lighter, easier to use, easier to clean up, and has virtually no smell.
10. Question: How do I choose the board that's right for me?
Answer: This is not the easiest project you will ever try, but its probably not as hard as you think. If you follow the detailed instruction manual you will be fine. As for tools, a table or band saw is a must. Also a belt sander and block plane are necessary. As for a power thickness planer, if you have one that's great. Lots of builders have made deals with cabinet shops or local school wood shops to plane the wood for them.
Answer: You bet! That's why we call the Chameleon the Chameleon. If you build it according to plan its an egg. It can be modified many ways to make it faster and more maneuverable. The kits can also be narrowed somewhat if desired. The instruction manual has a complete section on how to modify a board.
together in less than an hour because of the precision fitting parts. From there on your main delay is waiting for glue to dry so you can move on to the next
step. Figure a couple months worst case from unpacking to glassing and that's only working an hour or two every day.
Answer: The stronger the wood the thinner you can make it. For pine, redwood, paulownia or similar woods 1/4" to 5/16 is a good starting point. Balsa
should be more like 3/8". We don't recommend full balsa decks but full balsa bottoms are light and strong.