Once the shaping side is done the board is off to paint and glass. I like to leave the creative side of this up to the painters- after all they've done a million boards and they know what looks good. I just like to specifiy colors and for me it's greens and yellows. This is part of the fun of the custom board process- some shapers will even let you come in and throw your own paint on it if you're feeling like you need to express yourself. A tip: Less is more (Yeah that Molly Hatchet album cover might've seemed easy when you were tracing it in 8th grade- but it becomes a nightmare when you've only got one shot at it on your hot new board- simple and clean is the way to go!)
Glassing is another area where the board can be customized. You'll pay more for it, but you can ask for extra layers of glass if you think you're going to be beating your poor new stick to death. I like to pay a little more for what's called a gloss and polish. This is a final coat of resin over the epoxy and glass lamination that gets buffed out giving the board a highly polished look. I kind of dig it so I always go for it. Many contest surfers like to go for a lighter glass job and skip the gloss and polish, the board will be lighter but more then likely, less durable (most of these guys get them for free so they beat 'em to death).
In the end, the goal is to find a shaper you can talk to. I'm a fan of the new digital shaping programs; using them ensures that both shaper and surfer are in the same frame of mind. A lot of errors can be caught early when you have something tangible to look at rather then a bunch of ideas swirling around in the dusty air of a busy shaping bay.
Once you've found a shaper that you can work with, stay loyal to them. As you build your CAD file you can begin to work on variables one at a time until you've hit the mark- and you've dialed in your magic board. And that, my friend, is just the beginning!
Top two photos: Adding the good stuff that'll hopefully stop me from kooking out! Whatever it is, keep it coming.
Bottom Photo: Ready for a trick paint job and some bad ass glass. The hardest part of the whole process is the waiting!
All Photos: Cowboy
Thanks to Tim Stamps and the boys at ProCam- still waiting for the underground, double secret, good stuff!