surfboard building workshop

board building and surfing

again and again we were asked for the possibility to pass on our experience and knowledge in repairing and building surfboards. we like to repair, but building should only be taught by experienced professionals. finally, we met paul and his brand arbo surfboards a few years ago. paul is a professional instructor for building wooden surfboards and runs courses for us on a voluntary basis.

martin from backwood in aachen has also been building wooden surfboards since 2009. since 2012, you can build your own board under his guidance. 

the possibility of making your own hollow surfboard from prefabricated wooden elements offers enormous potential for professionals and hobby craftsmen alike. low weight, high stiffness and lasting stability are the most important advantages. in paul's courses, the "strip and feather" method is used, which was developed by the american rich blundell (co-founder of grain surfboards). the board is hollow on the inside and gets its stability from a longitudinal stringer and the cross-bracing extending from it. as construction material you get prefabricated strips of paulownia and western red cedar. these are especially light and help you to minimise the weight of your board.

no special knowledge is necessary for the course, but you should bring along a love for building and constructing.

paul's course schedule:

"the intensive courses in different locations run over three days, usually from 9.30 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. on all days, sometimes longer or shorter.

during these days, the participants construct a functional hollow surfboard out of wood. there are many shapes to choose from, but mostly we design customised boards. in my opinion, the most suitable are retro-shapes, fishes, mini-simmons, single fins, malibus, mini-malibus, eggs, longboards, pigs,... template and length have to be decided about 2 weeks before the workshop weekend.

the wood used is paulownia and poplar plywood. they are ideal for surfboards.

for people over 85kg and for boards to be used for kiting, the area of the standing surface can be additionally reinforced.

basically, the boards are more robust than pu/poly boards.

at the end of the three/four intensive days, the boards are fully constructed, but still need some detail shaping and final sanding before they can be glassed/laminated. the glassing/laminating is not part of the course and has to be done on your own afterwards or the board will be given to me and i will glass it for an additional fee.


the cost for the workshop is 55€ per foot board length + 385€.

registrations of 2 or more people get a 10% discount - if one board is built at a time. people with an interesting story also get a discount... i.e., if you think there is a good reason for a lower price... suggest something!

if a board is built with two people, the participation fee must be paid only once. not included in the price are finplugs, leash, fins, lamination. i recommend fcs-fusions and these plugs are available for 10€/fin. other systems (futures 6,5€/fin, lokbox 5€/fin, fcsII 12€/fin) are possible, but must be registered in time. the finboxes will be set during the workshop.

if the board is glued/laminated by yourself, you have to calculate with about 50€-70€ for the material. i charge 125€+15€/ft if i glue/laminate the board. in this case i will take the board to my workshop in cornwall after the workshop and send it by courier or bring it to future workshops. accommodation and food have to be arranged by the participants themselves.

the number of participants is limited to 3-4 people, that makes good supervision possible. a binding registration for the workshop takes place with a deposit of 125€.

after the workshop you will receive an invoice with the total amount. as soon as I have received the deposit, we can talk about the board. my standard questions are: do you have anything in mind? - feel free to send me ideas, drawings, links, photos,... how fit are you? how often do you surf per year ? where do you surf? what is your honest surfing level? what kind of board do you usually surf, how do you get along with it? your size/weight?

feel free to check out my blog, instagram or facebook to see if there is a board that fits your approximate needs.

apart from the 3-day intensive workshops at changing locations, i also organise 7-10 day sessions near the sea from time to time. these workshops include the laminating of the boards. maybe it is interesting to have a holiday here in cornwall and build a board at the same time...waves and climate are better than most people think...! I will arrange dates for this individually with interested participants.

the price including glassing is: 65€ per foot + 495€"

martin's course schedule:

"the workshop lasts three days. usually, the workshop day starts at 10 a.m. and ends around 7 p.m. on sundays we try to finish the workshop in the early afternoon.

the board has to be laminated after the workshop.

the number of participants is limited to six. the workshop can take place with a minimum of four participants.


the costs for the workshop consist of: a participation fee of 385€, a basic price depending on the corresponding length of the chosen shape (55€/foot), as well as the finboxes to be installed (fcs1 or us box included, others on request).

the price includes the participation in the workshop, as well as the unlaminated board, including all mounting parts in the standard design (paulownia).

there is the possibility to build your board completely or partly out of cedar.

if you have any questions about the difference of the woods and the prices, please feel free to contact us. the board has to be laminated after the workshop.

this can be done by the participant (approx. 80€ material costs), or by us (125€+15€/foot).

laminating, leach and fins are not included in the indicated price.


there is the possibility to choose a board shape from a variety of existing shapes. in order to find the right board, we will be happy to advise you by email or on the phone. of course, there is also the possibility to customise a shape individually for you."

past dates:

17. - 19. june in ahrensburg near hamburg with martin
24. - 26. june in berlin with paul
01. - 03. july in hamburg with paul (updated)

further dates are possible. please contact if you are interested.

click here for the skateboard workshop with andré.