I wanted a paddle board. If you have been to a beach this summer you have seen someone on one. But even the very bottom end Stand Up Paddle board (hereafter SUP) starts at $350- and that is for a what is essentially a really big plastic milk jug. Plus, that hollow plastic weighs a crazy amount. Even the kids-size SUPs weigh more than my beach babes could possibly carry, strong as they are. Clearly, that is something we can make for ourselves. Come see.

Step 1: Balance

I have no illusions of actually using a SUP myself. The imitable Holly Mann (follow her at instructables.com/member/HollyMann if you don't already) could paddle one with her feet while standing on her hands, but I can't. My center of gravity is located just under my Adams apple because of my ponderous head (like a cake pop) and I will not be able to stay balanced on it. But a child would have a great time on one.
I used:
-One sheet rigid foam insulation 2" thick. ($25) but really it was free from Swap, who gave me a bunch of sheets he didn't need. I added some extra scrap to make it unnecessarily a bit longer. Boys are funny that way...

-Two tubes of construction adhesive $6 (the large ones. You'll be cutting them open so don't worry about a caulking gun)

-A fine notch plastic trowel $1.50

-A wood rasp. Garage sale price. Who on Earth know$?

-Orbital sander

-An optional 1/4" sheet of plywood (left over from a $8 sheet) for decking.

-Lots of heavy things for glue pressure. Sandbags work fine.

Total cost for DDC was low. You can buy everything you need for less than $50. But you will agree that price is only a small part of the cost for makers. The real cost- the only truly limited commodity- is time.
I plan on making one of these in the near future and am curious, has anyone thought of using plasti-dip to cost and customize the foam? Or would that potentially dissolve or at to much weight to the SUP?
<p>I worked through this build. I am 165 lbs and 6'0&quot; so I opted to making a wider version. This one is 32&quot; wide and 8' long, which ended up being $80. I did it without power tools, all I used was a knife and a cheese grater. I let it dry for 1 day with about 100-130lbs on it, and it wasn't long enough. I did miss one of the edges up front tho, but it began to separate about a cm on its maiden voyage, so I will need to reseal it, probably with caulk and tape. It had a little bit of flexure, nothing major, but I intend to reinforce it with steel L beams from an old couch or something, by caulking them in the top of it, just to be safe. My friend who weighs 200 lbs made it look a little scarier, and where he sat was almost under water, and it was far less stable under his additional weight. It needs a rudder in a BAD way, or it will just go in circles, so definitely add that. I recomomend strapping a seat to it, cooler in my case, because lower your center of gravity is crucial. Other than that, a great project for virtually all sizes with a little more material and creativity, and it is SO MUCH FUN to play with. Can't wait to fix it.</p>
<p>That picture just made me laugh out loud, I love the cooler :) Good work on your SUP!</p>
Thank you for the picture. You Are The Best. When I think that other makers are using my idea with success it gives me so much joy. Keep it up, everyone.
hey, I just wanted to say that this is AWESOME and I want to make one! I have several questions about use. do you think this would work and be stable enough for fishing or cleaning/ buffering the hulls of boats? it would be great if you could get back to me, thanks!<br><br>I plan to make one of these and I'll upload pictures if I do!<br>
Thank you for the compliment. <br>I can honestly say that stability depends on the pilot. With me on top I would not be able to service a boat hull. I would be really wet and frustrated. The shallow draft of the SUPs make great out riggers for a canoe. Now that is stable. I sailed that particular rig all over Island Lake Reservoir (big) with a tarp sail and a black ash mast. <br>Please do post a photo, even of a half-finished project. It would make me very happy to see your work.<br>DDC
<p>Just got ours out on the lake and it worked great, even better was that it cost less than $45 and took less than 4 hours. The 8' version was definitely the perfect size for my 8 year old at about 55 pounds and it worked pretty well for my 11 year old at about 80 pounds. I used the blue foam from Lowes. Does anyone know if there is a difference between the blue and pink foam? I am going to add the plywood top as it was flexing a bit when my 11 year old was on it, and it flexed a lot when I was on it. The pictures should show how light and stable it is.</p><p>Thanks again. Next up is a 12' version.</p>
<p>From what I've read the blue and pink foam are apparently supposed to be the same type, which is closed cell foam. Apparently white is open cell foam, and shouldn't be used because it absorbs water. You were able to find a 2&quot; thick foam board? I went to Home Depot the other day and they only had the white board at that size, and Lowes online doesn't seem to have it either. I guess I'll go to the actual Lowes store and see if they have it in stock there.</p>
<p>I was able to get the 2&quot; blue foam at Lowes here in Seattle. I think I saw 2&quot; foam at Home Depot as well.</p>
Im doing it with styrofoam... Hope it turns out as well. Im thinking its gonna crumble bad when i start sanding. And im worried about resistance through the water. Well see
OK. Getting ready to make this. Home Depot has 2&quot; foam for $20 a sheet. Will have to do more lamination I guess. Won't use any wood. Want it to be super stable, so I am thinking 8'x3'x4&quot;. Rubber mat on top. Also want to add a fin, but I would rather it be removable for transportation. Might try cutting a slot through the board somewhere. Hoping a tight fit will be enough to keep it in place. Thought I would just buy a paddle, but they are expensive too, so now I have to figure out how to make one cheap and light. Light is important, much better on your arms when you are in the middle of the lake trying to get back. I also envision doing a lot of sitting and paddling. SUP is GREAT for core strength, but when I tried it (Groupon SUP lesson) I realized I needed lots of breaks for it to be enjoyable.<br>Any advice as I start would be welcome.
<p>hope this reaches you and we get a reply since the last post is 10 months old...</p><p>AWESOME! i want to try this. question, though. you used no fiberglass/epoxy to coat/seal this board? was it left the pink color of the foam?</p><p>thanks in advance!</p>
<p>That's right, no epoxy or fiberglass. Fiberglass would make it a bit tougher but much heavier. As it is my six year old can carry it to the beach by herself.</p><p>It has been knocked around over the last year and I have used it quite a bit but it is as tough and strong as ever. I'm taking it camping on an island this weekend with about ten kids!</p><p>Do you think it shouldn't be pink? I figured that if it got too banged up I could always glass it later too. But cheap and easy wins for me every time.</p><p>Thanks for your questions. If you make one please post your improvements.</p><p>DDC</p>
<p>thanks for the reply. pink is fine if that's your color of choice. for me i'd want it white if that color is available for the foam, but cool none the less.</p><p>if i do decide to do this i will definitely post up!</p>
You can get the foam in blue also. Do NOT use white foam. It is open cell foam as opposed to the blue and pink which is closed cell. The white stuff will not provide the stiffness or strength you need.
<p>Buoyancy is calculated conservatively at 50lbs a square foot (if i remember correctly) so an 8' x 2' x 6&quot; would be good for 400lbs. 8x2x.5 = 8 x 50lbs = 400. A 12 footer would be could for 600lbs. Helpful info for this awesome project.</p>
<p>&quot;would be could&quot;?</p>
You are far overestimating the buoyancy. Calculate it at about 33 lbs per cubic foot of material. Thus, an 8'x2'x6&quot; board would provide 8 cubic ft of material or 264 lbs of buoyancy.
<p>Thanks that will help me I want one for me and my weim. So I'll try a 9x2x7&quot; just to be safe. </p>
has anyone tried covering it in duct tape? it would help protect the foam without adding much weight, plus you could personalize. I &lt;3 duct tape.
<p>How does this hold up in travel... i've seen people with sheets of that pink foam ripped off the roof of their SUV's driving home from the Home Depot. I don't live on water, but this could be an awesome winter project to work on and take it on the river a few miles from my house. </p>
<p>My family made 4 of these following your instructions. We then went to Marsh Creek State Park to test them out and they worked beautifully! Literally 30-40 folks asked about them because they look potentially &quot;home made&quot; and we gave you credit and encouraged folks to check out your posting. Thanks a lot!!!</p>
This comment is worth more to me than you can imagine. I bet you made all four for less than one would have cost at the store. Were they light enough for your kids to carry by themselves? <br>Another fun thing to do is to lash them as outriggers on either side of a canoe to make a really stable trimaran/ swim platform. My brother and my nephew and I sailed one on Lake Superior!<br>Your four SUPs tied together would make an amazing raft!<br>Thank you in earnest,<br>DDC
Yes, my kids carried them themselves. We spent sub $200 for all. The money savings was key, and I what I think was even more important was instilling in my 8 and 10 year olds the idea that they can build something on their own rather than spend so much for something we wanted! We would have spent just about that much to rent 4 of them for 4 hours! Thanks again. Marianne
<p>Whether spanking is a little bit of fun, or a serious part <br>of your lifestyle, or simply a cathartic indulgence into submission or <br>domination, the psychology and physicality of spanking holds huge appeal for <br>people like us. But sadly there&rsquo;s not really a single location where we can indulge <br>our fantasies, explore our desires and talk frankly about spanking. That is, <br>until now.http://www.spanking-canes-paddles.co.uk/</p>
<p>sandwiching a thin layer of thick plastic might help any fears of breaking. if it did then it would still be in one piece. strips of plywood might work too. for the bottom I might try the roll up sled material since I will be fishing rivers with mine.</p>
<p>Is there any disadvantage to starting out with a 4'' piece of foam?</p>
Do you have one?! That it's awesome. No disadvantage at all. Go nuts! Take a picture too, please.<br>DDC<br>
Love your posts! made my daughter a paddle board put gel resin pink paint on it and painted cherry blossoms on the top with white gel resin looks amazing and it's all thanks to you :)
<p>Sounds like fun. Has anyone tried any different types of paint? Trying to round up some options for the board that I'm working on.</p>
<p>Do you have any photos you could share?</p>
Thank you. Some people shop sales, some people clip coupons, some people just take what they want. You and I, we make what we want. Thanks for the comment/follow.
Is your board slippery? <br>Аpply the paint and sprinkle sand immediately. <br>And your board is not slippery :-)
<p>Great idea. Do you think the grains of sand embedded in the paint would hurt the bottom of one's bare feet? Looking at making this in next couple weeks.</p>
That is a great idea! When I make one I'll keep that in mind for sure!
<p>This looks great! I have wanted one of these ever since I tried my friend's. Can't wait to build it this summer! </p>
<p>How does the foam hold up in the water, does it soak any? Do you think that salt or brakish water would eat away at the foam?</p>
The foam doesn't absorb any water at all. I can't swear to it but I don't think salt water would have any effect. The soft foam will take much more damage from dings and nicks of playful use than from salt. Please post photos if you make one and good luck!
Awesome. I have a pile of this pink foam in my garage. I am so making one for next season.
Favorited. Voted. WANT!
Sorry, One more question, when looking for the foam we have noticed that it only comes 8 feet in length. We wanted to make a 12 foot one, is there foam in this size that you know of? We have looked on the hope depot and home hardwear website. Thanks
There aren't any 12 ft sheets that I know of but the foam can be layered and staggered to make whichever length you like. I would like to see one made of thinner foam that has been laminated into the curved rocker shape instead of being carved that way, like the one I made.
Hello i would love to make one of these, great Idea! But we are curious to know how the rigid Styrofoam does not break easily with pressure. My dad is familiar with the foam and said it is easily broken. Thanks!
I added the plywood thinking that it would prevent it from breaking but I see now that there is really no chance of that. See, if you set it up on a couple of sawhorses and jumped on it it would break for sure, as would a $400 dollar paddle board. But when it is in the water it is evenly supported by its uniform buoyancy and it hardly flexes at all. The next one I make will not have a plywood deck at all because the foam is easier to stand on and I am sure it would be more than strong enough for my weight. We had four kids and two adults on it (hilarious) when we were trying to submerge it and it stood up to that fine. <br>Good luck. Post a photo if you end up building one!<br>DDC
Sounds good! Thanks a lot! :) <br>
Is it possible to put a coat of resin on it that doesn't eat the foam?
I really don't know. Hardening the surface would be good because the paddle will ding up the sides over time. I can't claim that it is as good as a $400 model but for the money...<br>I hope you make one. If you find a way to harden it let me know please.<br>DDC
This is such a great idea I am going to make one!!!! But done use truck bed liner it eats foam!!!
Funny, I've used pink foam for skateboard molds and other types of foam for sandwich construction, but I never once thought of making my own SUP board. And I'm one cheap SOB when it comes to stuff like this! :-) So, thanks for your Instructable. You did a great job. <br> <br>I imagine your board must've gotten a few dings here &amp; there. But if I read it right, it held up OK even with no outer protection (e.g., fiberglass) on the pink foam?
1. beautiful, thank you for sharing. <br>2. I'm planning on making one. I'll share pix. <br>3. So you also get to pond skate up there in beautiful Duluth. I'm hoping to be a neighbor soon.

About This Instructable


714 favorites


Bio: Flemming changed the the world with a saucer and a bit of mold. Florence Nightingale changed the world with a tiny lamp, walking silent rounds ... More »
More by donedirtcheap: How to Not Break Up Paddle Board I Can Make That Romper
Add instructable to: