Designing & Shaping a Surfboard

I had the distinct pleasure of shaping a surfboard with local San Francisco shaping master Gordon Guptill. We settled on a design direction that would suit my experience and style, then got to work over two shaping sessions.

Being my first time in a shaping room, and with the goal of having a kick-ass board at the end, Gordon took on the more critical operations while coaching me through some of the rough initial shaping and low-risk refinement work.

Working with such an experienced craftsman was a privilege, and Gordon was super patient to answer all my questions and explain everything in detail as we went along.

Hand shaped by Gordon Guptill and Ryan Arnaudin

After carefully considering everything from my experience level to the waves I would be riding to my style & preferences, we picked a foam blank and began to define the outline of the board.

Starting off with a foam blank

Planing the blank

Tracing the profile

Refinements are made to the form from different angles with a variety of tools

Using the sureform


Using the sureform

Using the sureform

I liked the idea of the board being highly visible in the dark Northern California waters and frequent fog, so went with a bright orange color. Here is the finished board after being glassed at Sunset Shapers:


Finished composite