Posted: Nov 24 2014
A few years ago I became obsessed with the idea of carving foam. I wanted to hear the sound of the foam knocking down and see the dust fly off. I wanted the object I've been visualizing to be real. I wanted to feel it under my feet and sink the rails into some turns at my home beach.
The adventure began with a starter kit that by fiancée bought from Greenlight Surf Supply. It was a birthday gift that ruled all birthday gifts.
Starting in October, I spent the next few months in the semi-ventilated basement of our rental house in Long Beach (NY) learning and finding my shape. Tirelessly hand sanding and planing EPS foam. I did everything from gluing the blank, shaping, painting, glassing, polishing, and finally surfing.
The experience was incredible. The board came out better than I imagined, and it worked. With only one session on it, I already had enough faith in my creation to take it on a trip. I brought it to Barbados and ripped apart waves on the south and east coasts. Friends asked to try but I was too in love to let it go for even one wave. It was perfect. It was built for me. Literally. The curves and lines blended into my surfing style seamlessly and it was magic.
If you have a similar desire to make something for yourself, I would recommend these guys to get you going:
http://www.greenlightsurfsupply.com/ - great if you are on the east coast. You can drop in for a visit and pick up blanks, or they will ship. Un-glued blanks are cheaper to ship for residential addresses.
http://www.foamez.com/ - these guys have been around forever. Very fully stocked with all sorts of tools and supplies.
http://shapersupply.com/ - I've never ordered from this site, but I love how clean and organized it is. The Skil 100 pictured in this post is for sale here, if you are looking to mow some serious foam. They also offer shaping classes if you are near LA.
If you have a vision, some space, and a hunger for foam, I can't recommend enough. Build a board and surf the shit out of it.
Here is one of the first turns in tropical waters on my fully hand shaped, handmade 5'9" quad fin fish. Pure fun.