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DIY Surfboard

Making a Surfboard from Scratch

Underground Studio, Shanghai

October 2022

I surfed for the first time in my life in 2019 in Mirissa, Sri Lanka. Since then, I have been trying to find an excellent surf point near Shanghai so I can surf regularly. It wasn’t the case until June 2021 when I encountered City Surfer, a surf club based in Zhoushan. I met Tao over there, who inspired me to make a surfboard on my own.

The whole project started in August 2021. I designed the board in Shape3D, a surfboard design software. I found a factory to shape the EPS board as the 3D model. The process afterward includes fiberglassing, hot-coat, gloss-coat, fin box installation, and polish.

Surfboard Design using Shape3D

Shape3D is a digital fabrication software made for surfboard design. In Shape3D, I designed all the details of the surfboard, including the outline, top, bottom, and every slice. It can save the design as an OBJ file for future processes.

Board Shaping

I found a factory in Jiaxing, Suzhou province that has CNC machines to shape EPS foam boards as I designed.


Afterward, the processes include hand-shaping, fiberglassing, hot-coat, gloss-coat, fin box installation, and polish.

My friend and I tried to paint a tiger pattern on the board. However, the hot-coat process didn't end up well so we ground the surface a little bit and it came as the third image below.