Surfboard Shaping Tools and Materials

Welcome, fellow surf enthusiast! If you’re anything like me, you’re always on the lookout for ways to improve your surfing experience. One important aspect of that experience is, of course, your trusty surfboard. But have you ever stopped to think about how that board is made? That’s where surfboard shaping comes in. The process of shaping a surfboard involves a wide variety of tools and materials that you might not know much about – but don’t worry, we’ve got you

Surfboard Shaping Tools and Materials

Surfboard shaping is both an art and a science – and like any craft, having the right tools and materials is absolutely essential. Some basic tools you’ll need include a saw, planer, and a rasp. You’ll also need sandpaper of various grits, as well as masking tape, pencil or marker, and a measuring tape. When it comes to materials, you’ll need foam blanks, fiberglass cloth, polyester or epoxy resin, and of course, the fins. There are many different types of foam you can use, from polyurethane to expanded polystyrene (EPS). Likewise, there are several types of resin available for use, each with its own unique properties. Once you have your materials and tools, the key is to experiment and find what works best for you in order to craft the perfect surfboard.

Surfboard Shaping Tools and Materials

If you’re considering shaping your own surfboard, there are a few tools and materials you’ll need to get started. Surfboard shaping requires a unique set of tools that can help you shape your board into the perfect ride. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most essential tools and materials used in surfboard shaping.

Surfboard Shaping Tools

The tools used by surfboard shapers vary, depending on the style and design of the surfboard that’s being made. Some essential tools include:

Surform Tool

This tool is used for shaping the rails of a surfboard. It can help you shape the rails to create the perfect curve depending on the style or design of the surfboard you’re going for. It’s a versatile tool that can help create a variety of curves.

Block Plane

A block plane is a commonly used tool that’s used to remove large amounts of material when shaping a surfboard. It’s a great tool for shaping the rails, as well as the concave or convex areas on the deck of the surfboard.

Sanding Block

As the name suggests, the sanding block is used for sanding the surfboard to get a smooth and even finish. Sanding blocks come in various shapes and sizes to help with different areas of the board that need to be sanded.

Electric Planer

The electric planer is used to remove bulk foam from the board quickly. It’s great for roughing out the shape of the board before you refine it with other tools.

Electric Sander

Electric sanders can help you speed up the process of sanding your surfboard. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, each designed to help you get into the nooks and crannies of the board.

Surfboard Shaping Materials

When it comes to materials, there are several items that you’ll need to shape your surfboard:

Surfboard Foam

Surfboard foam is typically made of polystyrene or polyurethane foam. These materials are used to create the blank (the unshaped board) that you’ll be shaping with your tools.

Fiberglass Cloth

Once you’ve shaped your board, you’ll need to cover it with fiberglass cloth. This will create a protective layer that helps to keep the water out and provides the board with its stiffness. It also provides an excellent surface for adding graphics or artwork to your board.


Resin is used to bond the cloth to the surfboard’s foam. There are two types of surfboard resin: polyester and epoxy. Polyester resin is a cheaper option, but it’s more difficult to work with and can have a strong odor. Epoxy resin is more expensive, but it’s easier to work with and has a lower odor level.


Fins play an important role in stabilizing and steering the board as it moves through the water. Fins come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Some surfers prefer single fin set-ups while others prefer a multi-fin setup.

Where to Find Surfboard Shaping Tools and Materials

If you’re looking for surfboard shaping tools and materials, there are several online retailers that sell what you need. In addition, you may be able to find the tools you need at a local hardware store or even on used surfboards for sale websites or by joining local surf communities. When shopping online, check out Surf Supply and Greenlight Surf Supply for tools and materials. Both offer a wide range of products designed specifically for surfboard shaping, and both have an excellent selection of products at reasonable prices.


Shaping your own surfboard is an excellent way to personalize your ride. It’s also a fun way to experiment and learn more about the art of surfing. With the right tools and materials, anyone can shape their own board. Just remember to take your time, be patient, and enjoy the process.

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to surfboard shaping, don’t worry – it can take some time to get the hang of it. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Start with a simple template: Choose a board shape that’s relatively easy to work with, and then experiment with different designs once you’re more comfortable with the process.
  • Practice with scrap foam: Before shaping an actual board, practice with scraps of foam to get comfortable with the tools and the shaping process.
  • Take it slow: Don’t rush the process – it’s better to take your time and get it right than to make a mistake that you can’t fix.
  • Watch tutorials: There are plenty of great surfboard shaping tutorials available online. Watching a few can give you a good sense of how the process works.

Sustainable Surfboard Shaping

If you’re interested in shaping your own surfboard, but you’re also concerned about the environmental impact, there are a few things you can do to make your process more sustainable:

  • Recycle foam scraps: Rather than throwing away foam scraps, you can recycle them. Some surf shops will even take them off your hands.
  • Choose eco-friendly materials: Some surfboard foam is now made from recycled materials, and eco-friendly resin options are available.
  • Reduce waste: Be mindful of the waste you’re creating during the shaping process, and try to minimize it as much as possible.


Surfboard shaping is an excellent way to personalize your surfing experience. With the right tools and materials, anyone can shape their own board. It may take some time to get the hang of it, but with patience and practice, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect board for your individual style.

Remember, when shopping for surfboard shaping tools and materials, check out online retailers like Surf Supply and Greenlight Surf Supply, as well as used surfboards for sale websites, to find affordable options. And don’t forget to be mindful of the waste you create during the process and make eco-friendly choices whenever possible.

So why not give surfboard shaping a try? Who knows, you might even discover a new passion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding surfboard shaping tools and materials:

What kind of foam is used for surfboard shaping?

The most common types of foam used for surfboard shaping are polystyrene and polyurethane foam. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) are eco-friendly options available in the market.

Can I use different materials than fiberglass cloth for my surfboard?

Yes, you can use other materials such as carbon fiber cloth, but fiberglass is considered the standard material because of its relatively low cost and availability.

What’s the difference between polyester and epoxy resin?

Polyester resin is the standard and most widely used type of resin for surfboard shaping. It is cheaper but has in open air can have a strong odor, takes longer to cure and is relatively difficult to work with. Epoxy resin is more expensive but has a quicker cure time. It also has a lower odor and a stronger bond to the foam. Epoxy resins are also more eco-friendly.

What tools do I need to shape a surfboard?

Basic tools you’ll need include a saw, planer, and a rasp. You’ll also need sandpaper of various grits, as well as masking tape, pencil or marker, and a measuring tape. You can also use some power tools like electric planers and sanders to speed up the process.

Do I need to be a professional shaper to shape my own surfboard?

Not at all. Anyone can shape their own surfboard with the right tools, materials, and some patience. Start by choosing a simple template and practicing with scraps of foam before you shape an actual board.

What if I make a mistake during the shaping process?

It’s always better to take your time and work slowly to avoid any mistakes. However, if you do make a mistake, don’t worry. Some mistakes can be fixed with the right tools and materials. Others may require starting over with a new blank. It’s all part of the learning process.

Can I buy used surfboards for sale and reshape them to my liking?

Yes, you can reshape used surfboards to create boards that match your preferences. Not only can you save money, but you can also give a new life to surfboards that would otherwise go to waste.

Where can I find surfboard shaping tutorials?

There are plenty of surfboard shaping tutorials available online. Youtube is a great place to start. You can also find tutorials on shaping websites or surf shops such as Greenlight surf supply.

Can I make my surfboard more eco-friendly?

Yes, you can make more eco-friendly choices during the shaping process, such as choosing eco-friendly foam, sustainable resin, and reducing the amount of waste you create during the process.

Can surfboard shaping be a profitable hobby?

Yes, some surfers have turned surfboard shaping into a profitable hobby. If you’re interested in selling