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Building a windsurf board out of wood
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dcharlton



Joined: 24 Apr 2002
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:39 pm    Post subject: Building a windsurf board out of wood Reply with quote

Friend of mine is a big surfer who builds his own surfboards out of a wood frame. He's getting the windsurfing bug after a few sessions and now wants to build a windsurfing board out of wood.

Does anyone have any experience with this and if so any instructions on how best to do this or model it after an existing board?

DC
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5832

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I don't have experience building surfboards or windsurfing boards out of wood, it's very important for your friend to understand that there's a significant difference in the construction and reinforcement requirements between surfboards and windsurfing boards.

Back in the late 80s, I had a locally well known surfboard shaper and builder make me a couple of custom windsurfing boards out of polyurethane foam (Clark foam) and polyester resin. Although the performance of the boards was quite good, his reinforcement strategies weren't up to par. As a result, I had significant problems with the integrity of the deck, particularly in the areas around the footstraps where your feet touch.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14226

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Advise him not to use oak. It would take him months to whittle it and an 80L board would weigh 125 pounds. Wink

Mike \m/
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2427

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Save your time and go get a board off the rack.

If you really have to do it, look up Doyle boards. They were made with PVC bits inside and a skin. Do a wood skeleton, then paste some PVC foam/wood laminate skin on it. Otherwise, the weight would kill the viability of going all wood. Don't forget a drain plug, and use wood that won't rot.

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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1020

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wood laminate can work. Stiple the styrocore, for adhesion.
Thinnest 1/32nd bambo availible, vac'ed over an Airex 3/32, vac'ed over the 1lbs minimum styro core.
All inserts and fin boxes need heavy surroundings with Airex. Tuttle box mostly availible, but you can go power if needed.
But as the smartest of all said, much cheaper, cost efficient, and will work better, last longer if you just buy a Cobra, Tunisian, or Spanish board.
A fun excersise making them, but it's got all the earmarks of endless headaches and poor design.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5832

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If any wood is viable, outside of a thin veneer, it would be balsa. Surfboard shapers are still making boards out of balsa, but the result is still heavier than a foam board. For big wave guns that can be an advantage, particularly in paddle-in takeoffs. The extra weight in a windsurfing board though would be a notable performance disadvantage. The real trick in designing and manufacturing a lightweight balsa board would be lightening the blank without negatively affecting the structural strength and the balance of flex. Also, I'm thinking that buying the needed balsa material would be quite expensive.
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1020

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, balsa as a core is too heavy, as a structural material too weak, as a laminate waaaaaay too weak.
If you guys are going hollow, Doyles hi dense foam cores are successful.
As a laminate, only bamboo can be bought thin enough for lightness, and strong enough for impact resistance, with the appropriate surrounding multiple layers of glass and maybe carbon.
Balsa surfboards are waaay expensive. Either hollowed or laminate, usually well over $4,000 for name brand shapers using balsa laminates.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5832

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to remember LeeD, no other available natural wood material is lighter than balsa. Of course we're talking structural material, and not just surface appearances.

Also, we have to keep in mind that DC's friend wants to create a wood reinforced structure. Personally from my perspective, the structural hard foam, like Doyle used in the past, would be a more economical and practical solution.
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thombiz



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 557
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on my own Doyles, John used 1/2" thick grey (H80)divinycel, 6 oz. s-glass, and vinylester resin for the outside shell. Interior has 3 stiffners, one of 1" divinycell center stringer, and 1 each 1/2" under the footstraps and forward. See: http://www.doylesports.com/Windsurfing/Building/building.html
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LeeD



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1020

PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Balsa is worthless on windsurfing boards.
Like making fins with balsa.
Like making booms with balsa.
Lightness, yes. Structural integrety except as a fill/spaceing in layer, NO.
It's been tried since '79 on windsurf boards, no success EVER, except as a showpiece that doesn't see water time and use.
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