Monday, January 18, 2010

Ordering A Custom Stand Up Board: Here's how it goes...

Here we go again! I just spent the morning up at the Stamps surfboard factory talking to Tim Stamps about my next board. Tim makes all my boards- if you find a good shaper that you can work with stick with him. We've been ratcheting the design closer and closer to the feel that I'm looking for- I'm excited about this new one.

This is where it begins. Always try to bring in what you've been riding, this gives the shaper a reference point to work from- it also allows you to talk about what you like and dislike about your current board. Tim uses CAD software to design my boards- I'm a HUGE fan of this technology. Working from digital files of previous boards allows a shaper to be much more precise when shaping the next iteration of a board. Here we're checking the outline and talking about refinements to the 9'4 Viking that I've been riding.

"What's the application?" That's the big question of the morning.... Tim dropped it on me right off the bat. My answer? I want a board that fits the quick sections and tight curves of a juicy, beach break wave. I'm not looking for a board to nose ride, I'm looking to tighten up the arcs of my turns. I want a board that promotes speed and flow, I want to connect the dots as a I go down the line- and I want to go fast.

Practically, this will be my daily driver. Additionally, I'd like for it to have some range. I don't envision doing five or six mile runs on it but I'd like to be able to cover a mile or two without too much trouble. I'm ready to sacrifice a little paddle-ability for performance but I'm not quite ready to completely give up the glide.

Tim inks it up at 9'1". It's a 3" drop in length from what I'm on now, a sensible amount of change. In surfboard design, inches are a big deal- a 3" change will make a big difference in the board's character.

Tim fills out the order form, making notes to himself about the changes to the design's outline. A big part of the discussion centers on the board's fin set up. I'm sold on the Gerry Lopez Stand Up Fins that Futures is putting out- these things are HOT. The big question though is if we're going to go quad or thruster- Stamps gives me the option to run five fin boxes. The idea is that I can try the board in each fin configuration. Stoked! I agree and we add that to the order sheet-this is shaping up to be one hot board... the excitement builds.

For color, the sky is the limit. This is the fun part. You can do whatever you want (or can afford), the artist who handles Tim's boards is super talented and can do almost anything. I, however, stick with my favorite scheme- we call it the "Mahi Spray", it's the green, blue and yellow coloring that I get on all of my boards.

Now all that's left to do is wait- that part sucks!


lawaia said...

Great post (as always)!

I just ordered a 9'0" from David Craig and am also going with 5 boxes. I've heard you can cover the large center fin box with a special attachment. Do you know anything about that?

Great info and great site, John. Thanks .

Anonymous said...

John, Let me know how the board came out. Reading this, I have similar expectations of the board. I am looking to go with a custom rather than a pop out. I am leaning twords Tim Stamps but also looking at Blane Chambers. I really like your 9'4" viking sweet board. Let me know thanks brotha!


John Ashley said...

Hey Larry-

That board (9'1 x 30 x 4.25) came out sweet- it's a great beach break board. The wings produce little pivot points- making the board super easy to flick around- exactly what you need in a beach break board.

I did go with five boxes- and I've given the quads a fair shot but they just don't feel right to me. I'm sure with more tweaking of my fin choice (I only tried it with Gerry Lopez Futures) it might get close to feeling like.... my thruster set up. See where I'm going with this?

That board is going to be my daily driver board- it's easy enough to balance on, has enough length to glide into almost any wave and is loose enough to be fun. I am, however, getting ready for a smaller board.

The new one will be 8'6 x 30 x 4.25 with a much different outline. It's Stamps' Grim Ripper model- I rode one and was super stoked on it. The board was a little more difficult to balance on but it just felt so light and loose that I went ahead and ordered one up.

If you're in Ca and you're set on a custom stando I highly recommend going with Stamps- he's got the stando shapes dialed, he's local and he's got the skills to do it right.

Good luck and keep me posted!