Need Advice on Build

What works and what doesn't. Share design ideas, references and contacts for paipo board builders.

Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby bgreen » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:31 pm

A couple of comments.

I don't think you can count on weight to drive you through the sections on the type of waves you posted. If you think of a big truck. Put it on a steep hill and take the brake off, it will be flying before long. Try the same scenario on a dead flat piece of road. Nothing will happen. You need a peak or something to launch from to get momentum. If there is no power you need something that planes.

Bouyancy will help you get in earlier. Oddly enough, some low buoyancy wood boards with the right technique can also be motored along. Well conditioned legs with the board out front and good kicking technique can be very efficient.

Your height and weight are factors that haven't been mentioned.

Fins certainly provide hold and provide drive but they only harness the speed that you generate. They don't generate speed on their own.

I wouldn't entirely give up on low buoyancy boards. Look at some of the Tom Wegener alaia.

http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/history/alaia-story
http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/pro ... -surfboard

Depending on your height you could also go wider which will give you more planning area.

The last thing - don't expect miracles. Sometimes it takes a while to work these boards out and it is hard to get a board that works well in all conditions. Riding mush is riding mush. Sometimes I'll catch a lot more waves than anyone else and have the perfect board for the conditions. Other times guys on longer/thicker boards will be paddling all around me picking off the best waves. You also tend to seek out waves that suit your boards. That wedge breaking in near zero water that once had no appeal suddenly becomes a good option. How you surf the wave may also change. Avoid the flats, you will be using the waves energy more than trying to carve.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby TheGrumpyGator » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:56 pm

bgreen wrote:A couple of comments.

I don't think you can count on weight to drive you through the sections on the type of waves you posted. If you think of a big truck. Put it on a steep hill and take the brake off, it will be flying before long. Try the same scenario on a dead flat piece of road. Nothing will happen. You need a peak or something to launch from to get momentum. If there is no power you need something that planes.

Bouyancy will help you get in earlier. Oddly enough, some low buoyancy wood boards with the right technique can also be motored along. Well conditioned legs with the board out front and good kicking technique can be very efficient.

Your height and weight are factors that haven't been mentioned.

Fins certainly provide hold and provide drive but they only harness the speed that you generate. They don't generate speed on their own.

I wouldn't entirely give up on low buoyancy boards. Look at some of the Tom Wegener alaia.

http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/history/alaia-story
http://www.tomwegenersurfboards.com/pro ... -surfboard

Depending on your height you could also go wider which will give you more planning area.

The last thing - don't expect miracles. Sometimes it takes a while to work these boards out and it is hard to get a board that works well in all conditions. Riding mush is riding mush. Sometimes I'll catch a lot more waves than anyone else and have the perfect board for the conditions. Other times guys on longer/thicker boards will be paddling all around me picking off the best waves. You also tend to seek out waves that suit your boards. That wedge breaking in near zero water that once had no appeal suddenly becomes a good option. How you surf the wave may also change. Avoid the flats, you will be using the waves energy more than trying to carve.


Most of the waves we surf will have peak to one degree or another. The issue I've got on my sponge is getting enough speed to outrun the soup and get into cleaner sections without sliding out. What I've read to date were that paipo are faster than a sponge. I've also read that the weight offered advantages through the soup sections. I might be assuming too much in those advantages.

I'm 5'10" at around 180 pounds. My background is U.S. Navy Maritime Search and Rescue. No bicycle kicking allowed. I wear Makapuu fins. My go-to sponge is 45" x 20.5 and single stringer for more flex and buoyancy. If we are lucky enough to get larger and better formed waves, I'll drop down to 42" or 43". We don't have the waves for aerial maneuvers. I mainly ride to carve down the face to the next section, looking for the longest line possible. If it's big and closeout, I'm all about the drop and then heading for daylight.

A couple of you have mentioned a different technique that I'm used to, board out in front. I'm used to being forward on my sponge.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby TheGrumpyGator » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:35 pm

krusher74 wrote:
TheGrumpyGator wrote:
krusher74 wrote:I built this viewtopic.php?f=4&t=544

to make life easy you want about 25L or more buoyancy


Thank you! Your thread answered my questions. I was torn between 1x2 or 1x3 lumber. Very nice work and :) board.

How has it held up using just epoxy without the cloth?


I sold it a while back (tried some experimenting on the shape an it did not work out for me) the new owner did eventually put a small split in it so he got it glassed. With the right skills and time, you could chamber it a lot more that I did it you want it lighter. 1/8" bottom and 1/4" top with a sponge pad on top would be fine. 1/8" all over it you glassed it.

Sound like your good at the wood board construction already. 8-)



Thank you for your insight. It is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby TheGrumpyGator » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:44 pm

rodndtube wrote:I find that in smaller Florida waves that a beefier (floatier) foam & glass board is needed in the under 6 ft. range. The floatier board was needed primarily in catching waves and making weak sections. There was also a tendency of my "skimboard" designs used with effect in larger or more powerful waves to die on turns in the weaker Florida waves. Some spots are different such as a Sebastian Inlet or RC's wave when conditions are right.

My floatier foam and glass boards were generally thicker (2.5 to 2.75") and wider (only a half inch wider), but also had thickness rail to rail instead of a "dome" top. 50 x 20.5 x 2.5 thicker board was so much different thatn 50 x 20 x 2 "dome top" board with the same plan shape, rocker and 3-fin profile.


That's kind of where I was headed in my thought process. It's why fish surfboards are so popular in Florida. I use my 45" sponge most often, but its not the most nimble board I have. It just gets me into more waves.I'm assuming the boards that worked for you in Florida were flatter on the bottom and less rocker for more buoyancy and planing surface?
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Papa Paepo o » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:20 am

Person weight could also be the factor of width and length of wood board. 250lbs person should be riding a 46"- 48" (H) x 19" - 20" width(Nose), 24" - 30" width (tail) x 3/8" thickness. This is a up-side down guitar-pick style.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby bgreen » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:02 am

The weight/momentum advantage would predominantly be in relation to fibreglass unless you have a weighty wood board. In small weak small waves this isn't going to a significant factor. I've ridden this simple board in all manner of waves, big and small - it slips along. It doesn't rely on weight, just lack of drag. It's made of paulownia.

P1030314 (600 x 450).jpg
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Post up what your current board looks like. I wouldn't give up on trying something simpler than a chambered board.

Experiment with the top third of the wave. There is still a learning curve with these boards.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby rodndtube » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:44 am

TheGrumpyGator wrote:
rodndtube wrote:I find that in smaller Florida waves that a beefier (floatier) foam & glass board is needed in the under 6 ft. range. The floatier board was needed primarily in catching waves and making weak sections. There was also a tendency of my "skimboard" designs used with effect in larger or more powerful waves to die on turns in the weaker Florida waves. Some spots are different such as a Sebastian Inlet or RC's wave when conditions are right.

My floatier foam and glass boards were generally thicker (2.5 to 2.75") and wider (only a half inch wider), but also had thickness rail to rail instead of a "dome" top. 50 x 20.5 x 2.5 thicker board was so much different thatn 50 x 20 x 2 "dome top" board with the same plan shape, rocker and 3-fin profile.


That's kind of where I was headed in my thought process. It's why fish surfboards are so popular in Florida. I use my 45" sponge most often, but its not the most nimble board I have. It just gets me into more waves.I'm assuming the boards that worked for you in Florida were flatter on the bottom and less rocker for more buoyancy and planing surface?


Yes, the fish shapes allow for a wider profile and tail with twin pin tails and the fins on the outside... very different than the prototypical potato chip short board.

Yes, my Austin paipos have flat bottoms and not a lot of rocker, a little in the nose and relatively little rocker in the tail.

The heavy boards with minimal nose rocker seem to be very good for slicing through smaller wave chop. All thought it does not seem intuitive, board weight is apparently different than body weight in water/board interactions. Likewise, my body weight has ranged from 180-220 lb and yet the board I need for catching FL waves is as described above.

For the board out-in-front approach, peruse some of the videos for Cornwall in the Paipos in the Media section at:
https://mypaipoboards.org/#PAIPOS_IN_THE_MEDIA
I use my Xylem wood board on some of those small junky FL days and during a very choppy, windy 3 ft day in Hatteras last month. The Xylem actually has a convex top and bottom in the ancient Hawaiian-style of boards. The board measures 48-5/8 x 18-3/8 x 13/16 inches, made of Paulownia and finished with a dark Tung Oil. No glass or resin.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby zensuni » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:16 pm

I wish I had a wood board that would work as a prone "longboard" in small mushy waves, but I haven't found one yet.
Perhaps an alaia inspired board like this ?
https://youtu.be/lw0vSU8Do-M

Maybe one day I'll try a very long plywood board based on the same shape.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby rodndtube » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:05 pm

It works for many people... on this forum atlantasurfer and uncle grumpy come to mind. Many others as well. Of course, that wave in the YouTube was also holding up a good distance as well!
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby zensuni » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:01 pm

rodndtube wrote:It works for many people... on this forum atlantasurfer and uncle grumpy come to mind. Many others as well. Of course, that wave in the YouTube was also holding up a good distance as well!


Indeed the wave is holding up a good distance :D
Having a closer look on the video, it seems that the front half of the board is barely touching the water, so I'm not sure that the board needs to be that long.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby zensuni » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:05 pm

Atlantasurfer and uncle grumpy, do you have some videos of your long narrow wooden boards in action ?
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby bgreen » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:31 pm

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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Uncle Grumpy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:46 am

zensuni wrote:Atlantasurfer and uncle grumpy, do you have some videos of your long narrow wooden boards in action ?


None that I know of.
Chatting with Tom Wegener at the Sacred Craft show many years back was what got me on the alaia path.
Here's a short video of Tom riding one in some small crumbly surf that will give an idea of how they go kipapa style.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw0vSU8Do-M
Paipo surfer in repose,
Nose on the nose,
No grunting he-man pose.
See how fast he goes!
What is it he knows?
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby krusher74 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:11 am

Why dont you get some fins and try them on your 45" board. i have come from a Bodyboard back ground and now ride finless paipos. I found personally little i like about having fins, they did grip and help you get past a mush section. but for the drawbacks i found from them, i just prefer to be without them.

try some.

https://www.ebodyboarding.com/collectio ... -and-skegs
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Papa Paepo o » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:53 pm

zensuni wrote:
TheGrumpyGator wrote:
zensuni wrote:Not sure that a very buoyant board is necessarily the solution.
My narrow plywood finless flat board (neutral flotation) works ok in conditions that seems similar to those you described:
https://youtu.be/EVWwCZgZnzc
I noticed that a long narrow flat board works better in small closeouts, no side slipping issues that I may have when I use my large delta shape board.


Those conditions are similar, a little cleaner than ours. Maybe the problem with my flat (neutrally buoyant) board is length. Looking at your video, the board looks much longer and narrower. Mine is 44" x 20".





Yes indeed, my board is longer and narrower, 47,2" x 15,7", the thickness is 0,4" (poplar plywood).
This shape makes waves catching easier and it holds well, although it doesn't have skegs.
I have made some tests on wider boards with similar lenght, but side slipping was an issue, especially in those small close out conditions.
I was inspired by the traditionnal english bellyboard, check out this video:
https://youtu.be/WYftssG9ucs
Regarding being hit by the board, it happened to me when I used a bodyboard leash, now I use a regular surf leash or no leash at all and I no longer have these issues.
Last thing, regarding the take off, you need to postion yourself way back, you swim pushing the board forward to be as flat as possible, when the wave catches you then you jump on the board. And you need powerfull swim fins.



When performing a take off, ensuring your kicking in the water and not surface kick. You'll need the thrust to push forward, position your body positions left or right as you slide your board under you, you will quickly gain speed. Honestly, I'm 238lbs and I float on all of my wood boards. I've got riders who's 250lbs. and up and they all float with my wood boards that is 3/8" thick. I've been using my "SurfnFin" over 30 plus years. You want a fin that feel comfortable that wont give you blisters.
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48" (H) x 21" (W) 19" (tail) x 3/8" (3ply).
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Atlantasurfer » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:56 pm

Rod, I wish I did have some video of me working my small surf Florida magic!

I have had great luck with my 5'11" (or thereabouts) Alaia style board. 1/2" thick plywood works well for me, and it is pretty bomb proof.

I also love using a 5'4" mini-simmons as a Paipo. I just had my ding king install a leash plug for a wrist lease (but never the coiled kind, which can give headaches). If the surf is so small that I can just wade out and stand up in chest deep water, I take the ply board. If the waves are big/sloppy enough for some duck diving, the foam and fiberglass one seems to catch waves better.

Like a lot of dudes here, I started on a bodyboard. Yet it never felt right for Florida. Bigger waves were a pain to duck dive. When riding smaller waves, I could rarely get ahead of the whitewater.

I was inspired to start hacking wood in the garage by reading entries on this site and by checking out the Wegener brothers creations on Youtube.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Atlantasurfer » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:05 pm

This video is pretty cool:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-lCSpiQUXQ

I use a bigger board. At 230-240 pounds I'm weighing in at 1.5 Wegeners.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby krusher74 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:17 pm

You should really be fine on a 42.5 (wide point forward bodyboard) I'm your height and weight and surf in the same 1ft mush on one fine here in the wales.

If you are sliding out your staying to central to the board and not getting over on the rail/back corner.

Also check you board has not bent in the heat and got to much rocker, if you lay it on a flat surface it should have zero tail rocker and just some nose kick in the the front 12"

Rail volume also helps you get round sections, a thin wood board cannot drive off a rail as it has no volume to work against it can just plane and hope to race through.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby bgreen » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:06 am

I'll put forward the view that a wood board can be put on the rail - Sean Ross at Pipeline is a prime example. Its more a question of wave rather than board volume. I think the issue is that wood boards are often ridden in mushy/junk waves. The recent video showed guys having fun in junk waves, but these aren't waves to show what a board can really do. I think it is an issue for extending BB design - often we surf ordinary waves and that's what we typically ride. The interesting issue for me is how do our boards go in bigger/long period/hollow waves. Such conditions provide valuable feedback


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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Uncle Grumpy » Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:15 pm

I found this one which is not me but pretty much the "superman" way I typically ride in small stuff....................
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw0vSU8Do-M
Paipo surfer in repose,
Nose on the nose,
No grunting he-man pose.
See how fast he goes!
What is it he knows?
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby krusher74 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:37 pm

bgreen wrote:I'll put forward the view that a wood board can be put on the rail - Sean Ross at Pipeline is a prime example. Its more a question of wave rather than board volume. I think the issue is that wood boards are often ridden in mushy/junk waves. The recent video showed guys having fun in junk waves, but these aren't waves to show what a board can really do. I think it is an issue for extending BB design - often we surf ordinary waves and that's what we typically ride. The interesting issue for me is how do our boards go in bigger/long period/hollow waves. Such conditions provide valuable feedback


1980_DivinephotSeth.jpg


I probably badly worded it, i did not mean you cant turn off a thin wood rail. But what I mean was : when you go to pump or get round a section, if a board has volume in the rail you sink that volume into the wave face and as it pops back out like a balloon would you move forward (pumping for speed) I only realized this is how speed can be gained on a board with rail volume from trying to do it on a thin railed wood board and finding it just sank into the wave face with no buoyancy pushing it back out. (just sank into my shoulder and stopped) I tried it many time to eventually realize with a think rail all you can do is change direction but not pump.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby krusher74 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:40 pm

When performing a take off, ensuring your kicking in the water and not surface kick. You'll need the thrust to push forward, position your body positions left or right as you slide your board under you, you will quickly gain speed. Honestly, I'm 238lbs and I float on all of my wood boards. I've got riders who's 250lbs. and up and they all float with my wood boards that is 3/8" thick. I've been using my "SurfnFin" over 30 plus years. You want a fin that feel comfortable that wont give you blisters.[/quote][/quote]


When you use this method for taking off you are basically making up for the lack of buoyancy by extending/increasing the planing area by adding your body to it.
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Re: Need Advice on Build

Unread postby Papa Paepo o » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:25 pm

zensuni wrote:
TheGrumpyGator wrote:
zensuni wrote:Not sure that a very buoyant board is necessarily the solution.
My narrow plywood finless flat board (neutral flotation) works ok in conditions that seems similar to those you described:
https://youtu.be/EVWwCZgZnzc
I noticed that a long narrow flat board works better in small closeouts, no side slipping issues that I may have when I use my large delta shape board.


Those conditions are similar, a little cleaner than ours. Maybe the problem with my flat (neutrally buoyant) board is length. Looking at your video, the board looks much longer and narrower. Mine is 44" x 20".


Yes indeed, my board is longer and narrower, 47,2" x 15,7", the thickness is 0,4" (poplar plywood).
This shape makes waves catching easier and it holds well, although it doesn't have skegs.
I have made some tests on wider boards with similar lenght, but side slipping was an issue, especially in those small close out conditions.
I was inspired by the traditionnal english bellyboard, check out this video:
https://youtu.be/WYftssG9ucs
Regarding being hit by the board, it happened to me when I used a bodyboard leash, now I use a regular surf leash or no leash at all and I no longer have these issues.
Last thing, regarding the take off, you need to postion yourself way back, you swim pushing the board forward to be as flat as possible, when the wave catches you then you jump on the board. And you need powerfull swim fins.


Aloha, if you ride your wood board like a bodyboarder you'll never learn the proper way of riding a wood board. Smaller paipo are like riding or using a kick board. Their easier to control and ride in small surf hawaiian scale 1'ft-2'ft back of wave which is 2'ft-4'ft face with ease. I'd ridden a drifted 4'ft × 8'ft plywood on a 3'ft hawaiian scale surf with ease. Rider just have to know where to place their body on at any surf conditions. Tail sliding outwards is because body placement in the wrong area that you are riding "plain" style and not on the edge (rail) which I call "slicing". How to fix that is both hands grasping on outer rail and inner pushing downward for control. I've ridden many types of wood paipo and I prefer "flat" for speed and maneuver, "spoon-shape are great for maneuvers but not as fast as riding a flat-board. All of my wood boards are 3/8" thick with epoxy resin applied and it does hold me at 240lbs. above the surface. I'm riding a skeggless 57"inch flat wood Papa Paepo'o board on 4'ft - 10'ft surf at Makaha beach with ease. Hope this will help you..
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