Key Elements of a Great Timber Surfboard

Key Elements of a Great Timber Surfboard

It's not surprising that there are many components to a hollow Wooden Surfboard, all as crucial as the next. When executed well, the result of a hand crafted wooden board is magical. It's not been without much trial and error to get these boards to the standard they are at today and no doubt many more years of continuous fine tuning and improving techniques. 

Surfboard making is a true testament to the phrase 'the whole is greater than the sum of all parts.' What is used to create these boards may seem simple, but it's when brought all together in strategic, purposeful ways that the magic starts to happen and a work of art of is produced. 




Begin with the end in mind...It all starts with the vision; getting clear on what shape, size, pattern and purpose of the board will be. Bywater Surf has over a dozen different styles and sizes, all customisable to be truly one of a kind. This is the most fun - dreaming and planning your dream board, something you'll never get sick of looking at (only yearning to make more to add to the quiver!) You can purchase the exact plans we use via our Shop


Prepping the materials and equipment needed for the surfboard making journey is crucial, ensuring all parts and tools are accounted for before jumping in. For those delving into making your own board at home, Bywater Surf has the full kit and caboodle to assist you in this journey. View our range of materials available for your surfboard making. We've spent years perfecting the art and sourcing the best materials and accessories. The internal rib structure of the board is CNC cut specific to the board style and size. Our paulownia is sustainably sourced and can be supplied rough sawn or dressed all round. 




A sturdy skeleton makes a great body...the frame of the board is the foundation and from here out is how the surfboard is formed. Using our laser cut rib structure and paulownia rails, along with epoxy glue, a bucket load of pegs, a nail gun and tape; the internal structure comes together, ready for shaping. Our parts are ready to go specific for your chosen board, but you can customise and add in extra contours and concaves as you wish. Ensuring for a well shaped frame, allows the skin of the board to sit better, resulting in a professional finish and a better ride. 

Some good looking skin is what holds it all together and the vision of the surfboard really starts to come together. You can get creative with the pattern and aesthetic of your board; keeping it classic with a pinstripe or adding your own style. It's a meticulous but satisfying process of prepping the skins, gluing the panels together, enforcing with fibreglass to create strength and vacuum bagging the skins to the frame. The beauty of a wooden surfboard is showcasing the natural grain and rhythm of the timber. These natural features are accentuated when the board is resin coated. 




The last stages of tidying up and shaping the board after the skins have set and dried around the frame. You'll become one with the block plane as you sculpt your new ride with precision. A surfboard isn't a surfboard without the key bells and whistle of a leash plug and fin boxes and the crucial air vent and screw bung for the Bywater Surfboards. Adding the cherry on top; glassing and resin coating your board to make it an extremely sturdy structure, ready to get wet and enjoy for years to come. 

There's a unmatched joy to riding a board you've crafted yourself, we recommend everyone experience this delight themselves, whether an avid surfer or not. You won't regret giving something a go and creating something exceptional with your bare hands and keen willingness. 

Join us in making your own board at one of our classes in Brisbane, QLD. Can't make it in person? We've got you covered with your at-home DIY kits