Make a Timber Handboard

Two men stand next to each other holding a timber handplane in their hand, across their body. There is a timber wooden surfboard in the background

Have more fun in the surf with our mighty timber handboard. The handboard is a mini surfboard that fits snug in your hand and used as a planing device in water to help you bodysurf faster, longer and with more control. They allow for more buoyancy and lift from the concave in the rocker. 

We’ve recently added handboard blanks to the online shop, where you can hone your wood shaping skills at home. A great small project with endless fun to be had once finished. Our handboards are made from Australian grown Paulownia

At the start of the year we hosted a handboard making workshop at the Hobart Boat Festival and had the privilege of showcasing fundamental woodworking skills to many enthusiastic souls of all ages. 

Shaping your handboard can be completed in half a day or so, and requires minimal equipment. It’s a great mini-introduction to wood shaping and uses similiar skills that are exercised in our 4 day wooden surfboard making course. 

The handboard shaping journey starts with the blank, 400 x 195 x 25 of Paulownia timber. Like surfboard making, we begin with the shaping of the bottom side of the handplane. For ease of shaping, secure the blank to your workbench with a clamp. Using a hand plane to plane across the board to remove ample waste material to create the rocker and then moving onto the shaping the concave. Our curved timber block plane is the perfect tool for the job, it’s designed for internal curves and concaves.

The deck rails are shaped and the nose is lightly softened with a small round over. Once the shaping is complete, the sanding takes place - using 80grit and 120-grit sandpaper to get a beautifully smooth finish. 

Finishing the handboard with a handstrap that is secured with 2 stainless washers and screws, and adding neoprene for extra comfort. The board can be left raw or covered with an exterior finish for extra durability. 

There you have it.. a fun, simple but effective project to get you body surfing with power. To get your hands on your own - purchase a blank from us here, and you’ll receive full instructions to bring your handboard to life. 

Alternatively, we sell ready made handboards - a fantastic Christmas gift for the body surfer in the family!