DIY surfboard shaping stands

One of the first things you are gonna need to start making your own boards is a decent surfboard shaping stand. I started off trying to use a couple of standard saw horses, big mistake. You’ll quickly learn that a proper shaping stand is crucial to making your boards. The main criteria are:

  • Stability – make sure it has enough weight in it, so it won’t wobble
  • Accessibility – can you sit your board on it while you’re planing the top, but also put the board on it’s side and shape the rails?
  • Flexibility – will you use the stand for glassing as well as shaping? Can it accommodate a shortboard and a longboard?
  • Height – save your back, not too low and not too high.

You don’t need anything fancy. The quick and dirty method is to use some 4×2 timber shaped into a little “U” shape, wrapped in carpet so it doesn’t dent your fresh foam, put onto longer poles, then stuck into a bucket of cement. One for each end. This creates a solid stand, that isn’t joined, so you can push them apart to accommodate different length boards.

Ideas & Templates

Shaping stand videos


Here’s a good step by step tutorial for making your own shaping stand from standard hardware:

Too lazy?

Can’t be bothered making your own stand? Don’t have time? There are a few places that offer pre-built surfboard shaping stands for purchase:

What’s next?

Now you’ve got your shaping stands sorted, you need to work out what shape board you’re going to make, and for that you’ll need a template.

How to make a fiberglass leash loop

A fiberglass leash loop is a nice way to finish off your retro surfboard. These days, they are typically seen on retro fishes and longboards, while modern boards use a leash plug instead. A leash plug is drilled into the board and sits flush with the level of the board, while a leash loop rises above the level of the surfboard, like a little clear arch. If you’ve gotten into glassing your own boards, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about adding a fiberglass leash loop. As a backyard shaper it’s fun to spend time on these little touches that make your board different to a production board.

Leash loop inspiration

Leash loop guides

Leash loop videos

This video shows exactly how to build the leash loop, including wetting out the fiberglass, pulling out the rovings, and laying them over some placeholders. *Skip to 2:35.


Surfboard shaping courses in Australia

Surfboard shaping courses & workshopsAttending a surfboard shaping course or workshop is the quickest way to learn the basics. Hands-on and led by experienced shapers, you’re gonna end up with a board that works, plus the skills to go home and have a crack at doing it yourself.

Gold Coast

Surfboard Shapers Workshop

Led by experienced shaper Richard Harvey, Surfboard Shapers Workshop offers workshops in shaping, glassing, fins and alaias.


The Surfboard Studio

Offering 2-day weekend group courses covering shaping and glassing, and custom one-on-one courses.

Mornington Peninsula

Tree to Sea

Wooden surfboard building workshops run over 2 days at Mount Eliza on the Mornington Peninsula.

South Coast N.S.W

TreeHouse Shapes

Offering a 1 day Workshop, 2 day camp out or 4 day shaping retreat. If you’re into camping or eco surfboard building, this one is for you.

Byron Bay

The Shaping Academy

Led by Bryan Bates, the Shaping Academy offers 2 day shaping workshops.


DJB Surfboard Workshops

Offering an 8 hour day or evening shaping workshop with Daniel Bekis from  DJB Surfboards. Group or individual booking available.

The best free and paid surfboard templates

Surfboard TemplatesWhat kind of surfboard are you building? Thruster, funboard, mal, mini-simmons? Once you’ve worked this out, you’ll need a template or an outline. You can either create your own (not recommended for beginners) or find a template that someone else has already created.

Blending Curves – Free & Paid

This is the best resource on the web for free surfboard templates and outlines. They have templates for outlines, rockers and even fins. If they don’t have what you need, you can even purchase a custom template.

Almond Surfboards – Kookumber Free Template

The guys at Almond Surfboards are offering a free downloadable pdf template of one of their popular models, the Kookumber. A great, quality template to get you started.

Greenlight Surf Supply – Paid templates

Greenlight Surf supply offer a range of paid templates to buy and download. The templates include a range of sizes from 5’0″ up to 9’11”, as well as fin templates and SUP templates.

They include this handy video showing exactly how to print and cut the surfboard outline: – Free offers a selection of visitor-submitted surfboard templates to download. – Paid

If you’re looking to build a wooden surfboard, these templates will help. They offer hollow surfboard templates as well as templates for alaias.

Make your own surfboard template!

If you’re keen, you can make your own template from an existing board or even a picture of a board. Fibreglass Hawaii have created this video which shows you how the pros do it.

Do you know of another resource for surfboard templates? Let us know.