Learn to shape a surfboard from the famous Johhny "V" Voxlund in Haiku Maui.
Other episodes of this project:Build A Surfboard Episode 2: Sanding
andEpisode 3: Laminating and Vacuum Bagging
Johnny starts with a urethane foam "blank" he gets at a local supplier "Fiberglass Hawaii".
The blank is made by "US Blanks". He asked for the 9'5" blank with the maximum "rocker".
Rocker is the curve of the bottom that makes a board look like a banana from the side.
The workbench or "rack" supporting the board in this photo is padded with carpet scraps. It allows him to support the board on its edge or flat like a table while shaping. The fluorescent sidelights lining the room at elbow height let him see the smallest irregularity or bump on the board's bottom.
Johnny shaped surfboards and windsurfing boards fulltime for many years and has worked as "shadow shaper" for other famous shapers. Now he only makes a few boards a year. He charges a couple of thousand dollars for a board. He specializes in high end custom boards for discerning amateur surfers. He says "people pretty often think they're bad surfers. Usually it's the board that's bad. There's been a revolution in board design in the past few years."
Words music and photos by Star & Tim.