Has anyone built a Roy Stewart style board?

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uprubicon14's picture
Seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 04/25/2012


I have built 3 hollow boards so far basically using Jack Youngs' techniques combined with Paul Jensons' cork rail idea.  I am using plywood ribs and redwood decking. My latest is 8'2',' dome top, flat bottom, glassed on fin, glassed with 4oz epoxy, double layer on the deck, it weighs in at 19lbs. [img_assist|nid=1065960|title=Redwood Hollow 8'2 dometop|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=480][img_assist|nid=1065961|title=Redwood Hollow 8'2 dometop bottom view|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=480]I really don't enjoy working with the cork on the rails, so I am thinking of trying to build a board using Roy Stewarts technique. The problem for me is I live in N. Calif and so far have been unable to find Paulownia locally. I am on a limited budget and having wood shipped here from the East Coast or Oz would cost too much, so I am thinking of building a "Roy" out of Redwood, but am a little concerned about weight. First off , has anyone bought plans from Roy, and if so, how complete are they? I am frankly reluctant to fork over $200 for plans to a guy who has his boards listed for sale for half a million dollars! I am intrigued by his boards though, cool shapes, interesting fins (or lack of fins). I've watched a few videos of someone riding one of his boards and it looks pretty interesting (maybe it's the red wetsuit and helmet!) Has anyone built one, or ridden one? How did it turn out, what kind wood was used, did you do the tunnel fin or a regular slyle?

Huck's picture
Seen: 18 hours 45 sec ago
Joined: 12/07/2009

Roy doesn't post here, but he is a regular at the Tree-to-Sea forum, and the Surfermag design forum.  There are a few guys at the Tree-to-Sea forum that have built Roy-style boards.  If I were you, I would take my question over to that forum, you'll probably get some better response / insight.  http://www.grainsurf.com/forum/search.php?search_id=active_topics

"The first six finner I made...I felt it would be really good or really bad no middle ground...Unfortunately it worked really good" - ACE

Thefishexp's picture
Seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 01/20/2005

Hi there,

I built a fish using Roy Stewarts method about 5 years ago - link below to the pics in quivermag.


I enjoyed making it but it was a lot of work - I didn't count the hours but I'd estimate about 30 hours work... Ohh back in the days before kids when I had the time :)

Pros and cons i found with this method are:


  • Low tech... Not too many tools required and does not require any out of the ordinary tools
  • You go from flat wood to a surfboard in the process... Pretty cool
  • Efficient use of timber - you don't end up with much waste
  • Does not need to be glassed (I'm not a very good glasser :)
  • Easy process to follow


  • it's very time consuming... Make sure you have time to go the distance
  • Comes out pretty heavy... There are other wood construction methods that will turn out lighter
  • I found the rails a real bitch to shape... The end grain rails ( due to the construction method) are a lot of work to get right... I killed a belt sander in the process :)

Anyway - I say do it and remember... Show us the pics :)

uprubicon14's picture
Seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 04/25/2012

Thanks for the info. I will check out the other forum mentioned.

I am suprised to hear that you don't need to glass the boards. How is he able to seal the planking seams on the top and bottom?

blue_pig's picture
Seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 05/10/2010

Built one to my own design a couple years ago from pine. Bit heavy for a go to but nice and easy to build, especially shaping. Tight deck joins mean a lick of epoxy (no glass) and it's sealed. Build thread on grainsurf forum

stingray's picture
Seen: 12 hours 18 min ago
Joined: 12/24/2004

I miss Roy Stewart. The Mods gave him a break but it did not work out. Roy looks outside of the box..... Love him or hate him Roy Stewart builds surfboards with nice outlines and very clean finish work....before you jump from one building method to the next you might want to spend some time looking at outline curves and rail lines...rocker and rails and roll...

 Some boards look pretty.....  Some surf good.



SammyA's picture
Seen: 2 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 01/14/2006

stingray wrote:

Roy Stewart builds surfboards with nice outlines

Roy's outlines (plan shapes) are just about the ugliest things I've ever seen. Laughably bad.

I wish I didn't have to log in twice, every time I log in

karuhi's picture
Seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 03/12/2013

i actually think they are quite beautiful, i can understand the designs aren't everyones cup of tea - but i'd never slag off anybodys project - especially when we know they float and surf, maybe not how you would wantr to surf - but surf they do.

everysurfer's picture
Seen: 2 days 15 hours ago
Joined: 09/20/2008

karuhi wrote:

i can understand the designs aren't everyones cup of tea - but i'd never slag off anybodys project - especially when we know they float and surf, maybe not how you would wantr to surf - but surf they do.

I think the criticism goes at the man, not the board. 

Huck did one hollow wooden board, that I would never want to ride, but I'd gladly hang in a gallery.  Huck got nothing but compliments on his craftsmanship.

Roy on the other hand throws insults like rice on a wedding day, and claims to be the most gifted board maker there ever was.

It seems to be the general rule, with a few exceptions, that everyone is welcome to post anything they built, and they mostly get applause and truly honest criticism.  It seems to be just as much as a rule that if you brag, someone will come along to say your  s#1t still stinks.

Steve83's picture
Seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: 05/05/2013


Sorry for the tremendously late reply to your thread, but yes I have built one. I started a thread with a bunch of pictures  "Custom wood longboard Charleston South Carolina". Hope you enjoy the read!


Surffoils's picture
Seen: 10 hours 6 min ago
Joined: 09/09/2006

Roy posted a step by step description of his technique on Sways many years ago.. It could be in the Archives ?  I thought I had a copy on disc several houses ago....