Hollow Surfboard Design - Rib and Spar Construction

Many people notice wooden surfboards on the beach or in the local surf shop and think they are crafted from solid wood or laminated pieces of wood to form a solid surfboard. While it is true that long ago surfboards were constructed out of solid wood, modern surfboards are constructed much lighter with hollow or chambered designs.

The general description of design in a hollow wooden surfboard is rib and spar similar to a fish skeleton with ribs and a spine. The design is exactly like the wing construction of a modern airplane where the skin actually acts as an integral part of the structural design including the deliberate contribution to the strength of the surfboard. While this process of making individual ribs and fastening these ribs to spar can be tedious and time consuming, one must take the time to make cuts precise and glue the structure with specific attention to a flat drying surface. The initial thought will be that the frame will not be strong enough to surf in even average waves but the rails and skin covering will supply more than enough structural integrity for the hand crafted surfboard. The rails are normally attached to the ribs and are constructed of laminated wood. Special wood blocking will be required to attach the fin to the hollow surfboard so as to provide extra strength.

Special concern will be need to be taken to eliminate future problems with expansion and contraction due to the change of air temperature inside the hollow surfboard as compared to the outside of the surfboard. This temperature change could easily occur when the surfboard is left in direct sunlight for a reasonably short time period. A vent will need to be installed to let the air pressure equalize when not in use.

Next Post »