Although, paddle boarding is still fairly new to the water sport scene, it is consistently gaining its own followers. If you like surfing and kayaking, you will surely love paddle boarding. Paddle boarding is sort of a combination of both surfing and kayaking that also requires the use of a paddle and a flat board.
Many people are drawn to the sport because it provides an excellent full-body workout that can enhance one’s core strength, balance, and flexibility. It is also a fun way to explore nature and tour around calm bodies of water which is also another advantage with the sport since you don’t need waves to actually use it.
If you are looking for your own paddle board, you may notice that decent ones are usually priced higher, the range may go between $600-$1000 for entry-level to mid-level paddle boards. This is mainly due to the amount of work and the kind of materials manufacturers use in the construction of the board to make it perform well on the water.
Fortunately, for do-it-yourself enthusiasts, you can also make your very own stand up paddle board. You may opt to build one using pre-made kits that provide you with ready-to-use construction materials that you only need to assemble.
If you want to build one from scratch, this is also possible by sourcing your own materials and using stand up paddle board plans as your guide.
Building your own paddle board requires great effort on your part, but it does add an exciting twist to your paddle boarding experience even before you get out in the water. It gives you the advantage of combining all the designs you want your board to have.
A good material to make your stand up paddle board is by using wood. Wood is a good alternative, as opposed to foam, that is both environmentally-friendly and durable. It also gives the board a classic, but stylish look to it.
Here’s a stand up paddle board plan that you can use:
Step 1: Bottom Panel
For the bottom panel, start with one 30-inch wide piece. The bottom can be built as a large flat panel. Use two, flat book-matched panel bent over a series of risers to make the rocker and contours of the completed board.
Step 2: Internal Fishbone Frame
Since this paddle board will be built using eco-friendly materials, instead of using foam for the core or the inside of the board, we will replace it with a skeleton, the fishbone frame. You have two options to make the frame; you can either make your own fishbone frame using paper plans, which can be quite fiddly and meticulous to do, or you can buy a fishbone kit if you want to save time.
Step 3: Rocker Table
This is used to set the rocker and bottom contours of the board. Paddle boards have lots of delicate work that needs to be done which the rocker table presses into the finished board. The shape used for a wooden board is first designed digitally, then jigs are used to ensure that the shape formed is accurately followed. With the use of thin panels pressed between matching forms, more complex shapes can be done without having the need for steam.
Step 4: Rails
To make the stand up paddle board’s rails, stack 1/4″ x 3/8″ bead & cove strips one piece at a time. By using narrow beads and cove strips, each narrow strip becomes easier to bend and only a few pieces will require steaming.
To produce steam, you may use a clothes iron to produce about a minute-long steam for lamination. Laminating narrow strips is also easier to perform rather than doing a single, large portion in one go.
Shaping the rails is also not a problem, especially if you don’t know how to, since the shape of the board is already defined by the fishbone frame installed earlier.
For the outer thickness of the skin, it is recommended that the board should never be more than 1/4″ thick. This will result in a board that will only weigh 10 percent heavier than the weight of a foam board.
Step 5: Nose and Tail
Now, for the nose and tail section, solid blocking is the best method. Using this method will enable you to skip having to steam bend constricted radius curves. It also adds to the overall aesthetics of the nose and tail. Solid blocking is also used to support the fin box, the board’s handle, leash, and vent before you can add the top panel. In making the internal blocking, you can use recycled foam or wood blocks.
Step 6: Top Panel
For attaching the top panel, you may have to use several clamps. You can also use webbing straps or strings to have a strong back-in position. Using wooden door wedges for clamping will allow you to curve the deck against the strong-back. After the top panel is attached, you can remove the excess using a drawknife or spokeshave.
Step 7: Sanding
This process usually takes a while, an easier way to start sanding is by using a large sander with a coarse grit. When you have sanded and flattened everything, you can now start sanding using a finer grit.
Step 8: Glassing
Cut three pieces of fiberglass cloth, two will be used for the top panel and one for the bottom. You may fold the corners to make it smooth. Mix epoxy and lay the fiberglass on the board and pour the epoxy. Spread the epoxy evenly.