Make a bodysurf handplane from timber offcuts.
A handplane is used to create more planning area when body surfing, easier wave entry and more down the line speed.
Small enough to leave in the car or travel in hand luggage, makes the most of all conditions and surf opportunities.
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Step 1: Draw Up Your Template
First step is to draw up the template for the handplane.
The one I'm making here is the "Big Mamma" , 45cm long by 22cm wide.
This is about the biggest you would want to make a handplane as any bigger and you will not be able to swim with both arms when using it.
Step 2: Make Your Blank
Once you have your plan you need to find the necessary timber and glue it together to make your blank.
Here I'm using some offcuts left over from building a hollow wooden surfboard.
Timber is 4cm thick Paulownia and is glued together with Aquadhere Polyurethane glue.
Any water proof glue will work and epoxy is probably best but the polyurethane is easiest
Step 3: Cut Out Your Template
While waiting for the glue to set, draw out your plans full size on some paper.
Once the glue has set transfer the plans to the timber blank.
Rough cut out the blank using a hand saw, leave a good 5mm space around the lines as the fine tuning is done using a block plane.
Drill the holes for the hand grip before doing any shaping as the wood often splinters when the bit punches through.
Step 4: Cut the Rocker
Use the hand saw to rough cut the "Rocker" into the board. (see the side view schematic on the second step)
Rocker is the curve in the front of the board that prevents it from catching as you enter the wave.
When cutting in the rocker do not let the rocker extend beyond the finger hole . Too much rocker slows a board down and the flat section behind the grip is the "planning area".
Also use the saw to taper out some of the thickness from the rear top of the board.
Step 5: Final Shaping
Once the template and rocker has been rough cut into the blank perform the final shaping with a block plane and sand paper.
An electric planer is obviously quickest but on a small piece of work like this can quickly take away too much material.
Try to shape in hard turned down rails in the back 2/3rds of the board as these maximise the planning area and give more bite.
once happy with the shape give it a coat of linseed oil to seal.