My last project for 2020 is a mixed bag of all of the things I wanted to play around with. Just about everything on this project was repurposed. Building this made me feel like a kid again when I used to assemble / play with model cars and airplanes. I would make monster model cars with all my extra parts and broken model cars. The blank for this board was leftovers from a 14’ fishing surfboard project. I hotwired the rocker, installed a wood stringer and glued it up. It was originally going to be a Foil SUP but complications from my knee surgeries hindered this intention. I decided to make a wide big guy prone handicapped surfboard. I wanted elements from boards that I liked. First, I wanted a blunt nosed board, not sure why but I always thought they looked cool. Next I wanted an Aipa style Sting wing in the board but wanted more of the curved fish tail. I then wanted a Bonzer influenced bottom with 4+1 set up. I started to template the board but struggled to get the curves to match. Luckily by board building partner Rex Kashinoki jumped in a shaped this board using the full rails from the 70’s. Rex was a team rider for Aipa in the 70’s and sanded and polished many of Ben’s boards. Rex can shape AIPA stings pretty well.
I purchased three yards of 6 oz. carbon fiber from the discount box from Fiberglass Hawaii. For deck color I wanted a Kimo Greene style lava foam stain. The idea was to create and image of a lava flow surrounding KU, (Hawaiian War God). The carbon fiber rails and bottom represent the black lava fields of Kona. The flying tiger decals are leftovers from a boat project.
Lots of challenges with this board being my first carbon bottom and rails. I had issues dialing in the vacuum bag and sanded though some of the carbon. I also had issues installing the fin boxes on the carbon fiber. It’s not the prettiest but I got it to work.
For the fins, I found all of them in my box of left over fins from other projects. I am not even sure if they will be functional but they look pretty cool and I can use them. This board is 7’10” x 25” x 3 ¾” and my intention is to prone surf it until I can pop up again. For me this was a frustrating but fun project and a challenging learning experience. Me, a 65 year old feeling like a kid building monster model cars all over again.