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Posted: January 19, 2015 by Nicky

Our former social media expert Niamh Smyth bumped into an old college friend, Chris Darling, the other day and after some catching up she asked him what he is now doing. Turns out Chris has set up a Shaping Centre,, around the corner from our Irish offices, offering classes in how to shape a surf board.

We asked him if he would write a post for us detailing how to shape a board in a few easy steps. He laughed at the suggestion that it could be done in a few easy steps!!! That said he has give us a few tips below in this post. Enjoy....

1. Choose your surfboard shape.
There are many different types of boards out there but the 'main' types of board in Irish waters at the moment are the shortboard, longboard, or fish. It all depends on what kind of waves you surf, and what kind of surf board you need to use on different waves

2. Cut the outline, rocker and rails.
Once you know what kind of board you want to shape, get a blank and cut the outline, rocker and rails into it. All three of these aspects are important as each other, so the more detail/care you put into them, the better the shape will be.

- The outline speaks for itself, it's how the shape looks from a birds eye view.
- The rocker is the 'concave' in the board, how much it bends at the nose and tail. The extent of the rocker will determine the type of wave you want to surf and how you surf it.
The rails are very important for speed and turning. A sharp rail from tail to midsection will make for very quick turns and lead to 'power surfing'. This is vice-versa for 'boxy' rails.


3. Laminate the board
Once you're done shaping your board, its time to laminate it. Its a good idea, before you do so, to mark your fin positions and do the artwork for the board (you can do the artwork once the lamination has been done, but it doesn't blend as easily or look anywhere near as good).

For shortboards and fishes, you typically use 2x4oz cloth on the deck and 1x4oz cloth on the bottom. For longboards, you can either use a 4 and 6oz cloth, or 2x6oz on the deck, and 1x6oz cloth on the bottom.
Once you've laminated both sides and sanded, you can apply the 'hot coat' and sand again.


4. Insert fins and leash plug
Once the laminate coats are dry and sanded down, you need to select your fin types and install the fin boxes. The most common fin plugs used are fcs plugs. You've seen them everywhere, two circular black plugs on each fin. You can also use 'future' fin boxes and rotatable fin boxes, it depends on the experience you want, and durability of the fin box.


This article was added by Nicky Kelly

Posted: January 05, 2015 by Francesca

This article was added by Francesca Bingley 

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to take stock of what has gone on in the year before that you loved, and what you feel like you want to improve on. Where did you surf that captured your imagination, or was there a particular place that you wanted to surf that you hadn’t visited yet? Do you feel your surfing could improve if you put more time into it? 
Setting a few attainable new year resolutions to get you motivated to set some surf sessions in motion is a great way to start the year. So here are a few ideas for your goals:
  • 1- Go on Two Surf Holidays

Divide your year up with two different surf holidays to keep you inspired at home, and looking forward to a new surf adventure. Having a summer and a winter surf holiday to aim for will help you keep your fitness up, and a focus to all your hard work in your job.  We love Morocco year round, but where will you choose?
  • 2- Replace the Old Beat-up Wetsuit

As much as you may love surfing, no-one enjoys getting into that hole-y, torn, smelly and generally cold wetsuit. Instead, this year invest in a new wetsuit that will see you through as many seasons as possible.  Winter steamers are great for northern Europe, or if you are planning on surfing in the warmer waters of Spain or Portugal, a spring suit is better suited throughout the year. 
  • 3- Surf Somewhere New

Surfing is all about adventure and planning your next surf trip is a big part of the fun. So make sure you pick out a destination that you haven’t been to before, and go explore its coastline, culture and embrace the chance to enjoy being somewhere ‘else’.
  • 4- Eat Cleaner to Perform Better

Everyone goes on about fad diets and how they are going to loose weight at the beginning of the year only to give up within a matter of weeks. Instead of making yourself miserable denying things you love, why not eat better for yourself in order to be stronger in your surfing? Food is fuel and will enhance your time in the surf giving you much needed energy.

So next time you’re planning a surf trip, have a think about what you want to eat in the run-up so you feel great when you finally get into the surf.
  • 5- Be Creative with Training

Along with fad diets in the New Year comes crazy gym regimes that soon make our bank accounts leaner rather than us. Alternatively set the goal to get creative with training for surfing. What can you do on the water when it’s flat? Or out in nature where its free to workout?

If you are hot, sweating, and sore afterwards, then you are doing something right… even better if it emulates surfing, such as front crawl or even balance board practice.  You never regret a workout.

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