Lee V Chronicles: Design



Kirk Putnam Archive, SK blades.
photo: VLK

The number of surfers that have shaped more than 5 surfboards is pretty freaking small.
Maybe 1 out of 1,000? More likely 1 out of 10,000. The number of those who’ve shaped
a few hulls? 1 out of 200,000? Maybe even less. This is for the someone whose shaped a
few boards but is thinking about giving a hull a shot. I’m going to assume that they know
about picking a blank with enough thickness and not enough rocker. And that they can
true it up, trim the deck to the maximum thickness, put their rocker on it and square up
the rails. Basically, set up a blank canvas.

Liddle 7'1 Assym/GL1/GL2
photo: VLK

It’s really freaking hard to figure where to start. Normally you’d finish up the bottom,
flip it and cut your deck rocker (or foil) then band your rails. Problem is you kinda have
to put the S in the deck so it fits the maximum depth of the hull (no, you’ll have to figure
out that formula yourself!). But your hull bands will determine where the hull goes,
but the rail bands will determine where the S goes. Don’t even get me started about rail
rocker! It’s like a mobius strip; you can’t get there from here. I stared at a blank and a
Liddle I was using as a reference for hours before I started cutting on my first one.

I will tell you this; rocker is key, followed by foil. A good hull’s rocker looks pretty
simple but it isn’t. Trust me.

Steve Hadley:Musgo #1
photo: Randy Wright

The best part of the whole hull (yes, there is a pun there somewhere) shaping process is at
the very end when you screen and sand to blend it all together. Sidelights are a must. No
sharp shadows. Like a well done sunburst on a Les Paul, you can’t really put your finger
on the change. That’s when it all comes together and you realize it is not just a surfboard
core, its sculpture. And Greg Liddle is a hell of an artist.


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