Shaping surfboards is a science. The best surfboard models in the world are a result of multiple experimentation methodologies and fine-tuning practices. In the last 10 years, computers have been working with shapers to improve the final performance of surfboards.
Fortunately, now everyone can design a rough surfboard model and produce the plank of their dreams. BoardCAD is the ultimate open source CAD/CAM system for surfboards. This free software helps you with the surfboard design process, by allowing the amateur shaper to define all its parameters.
Width, height, thickness, tail and rail types, channels, color, rocker and fin box position. It's up to you. With BoardCAD you may produce the perfect surfboard for your level of experience and for a specific type of wave and surf spot.
The surf software is capable of delivering files that can be printed by your local shaper or sent to a CNC machine to have it cut for you. BoardCAD is also a great way of learning how one or two tweaks can have a great influence on surf performance.
The surf architect program delivers 2D and 3D outputs that can be used as standard CAD formats, through STEP, STL and DXF files. You can download BoardCAD for free at www.boardcad.org
This software doesn't replace the work of the watercraftsmen. See below for the best shapers of all time.
The Best Surfboard Shapers of All TimeSurfboard shapers are the guardians of surfing. The surfboard revolution has always started in the shape room, with the major inputs from the world's greatest surfers. One surfboard can change your surf forever. The first surfboard is responsible for bringing you to the sport. Many surf beginners lose their interest in surfing because they didn't the correct board for the early waves.
The best surfboard shapers of all time have already produced thousands of great surfboards. Each surfboard design is unique and serves a specific function. Old school surf, classic and smooth carving, vertical turns, off-the-lip adventures, super speed surf lines, tube riding or aerial antics may be strongly boosted and improved by the tweaking and tuning the foam, through hydrodynamics.
Surfboard craftsmen do surf. The rocker, the tail, the rails, the bottom contours, the fin setup, the glass and polish process -it all comes to a final fruit. Each surfboard has its dimensions: length, width and thickness are not random variables and "feel". This is ocean mathemathics that can only be solved by the hands of experienced surfboard shapers.
These surf artists work in special environments. The shaping room should be around 16'x8' (9,6 x 4,8 meters) with bright horizontal fluoros lights mounted on each side of the space. Standings on which blanks are shaped should be fixed to the floor, aligned with the adjacent lights.
Lights are one of the main secrets of any shape room. They will allow surfboard shapers to correct any design imperfections detected in the initial blank. Accuracy is compulsory is hydrodynamics. The best surfboard shapers in the history of surfing have developed their own techniques and skills. An elite group of ultimate surf shapers has defined the future of surfing, in the last 50 years.
Al Merrick is one of the most important names in the surfboard shaping. Since 1969, his Channel Islands Surfboards brand has defined modern and high performance surfing, in the competitive scene.
The custom surfboard world wouldn't be what it is today, without the Hawaiian feel of Jeff Bushman. His famous big guns have passed the most demanding testing grounds in the ground, in Oahu's North Shore, in Hawaii.
The creative and cutting edge personality of Simon Anderson brought us the Thruster surfboard. Equal size fins and a balance between maneuverability, stability and drive were the ingredients which revolutionized contemporary surfing.
Decades before the computer-shaper, Rusty Preisendorfer was already bringing surfboards to life with immense quality. The legendary surf craftsman started shaping at 16 and quickly shaped innovative ideas under his Rusty Surfboards trademark.
Bob McTavish, Eric Arakawa, Gerry Lopez, Hobart Alter, Tom Wegener and a few more have been shaping the best surfboards in the world, whether it's a single fin, a twin fin, a thruster or a quad. Surfboard manufacturers make dreams come true. Now, just add your stoke.
The Best Surfboard Shapers of All Time:
Dick Van Straalen