Here's a couple of pics I snapped at the beginning stages through the shaping process of a Kneeboard for my friend Chris. I've had to make a couple of custom kneeboards this year which has thrown me outside my comfort zone (because I don't ride kneeboards and hence don't have that inherent understanding I have for the boards I ride regularly). But I found the process an interesting one nonetheless, and rewarding.
The Shaping process requires a lot of thinking... particularly if your shaping a custom board for a specific purpose, and it's a style of board you don't often make. I thought I'd share some of the thought processes which went into the kneeboard.
The top left pic shows Chris's current kneeboard (my father shaped it for him a few years back) but he wanted a bit more length and volume for paddle power and was intending to ride it when the waves got a little bigger and more hollow. The first step was to template his original board which I used to create his new outline. I didn't want to deviate too far from the board he had been riding and was happy with.
Next I roughed the rocker in... taking into account the extra length and the more powerful waves Chris will be riding. I'm actually hampered a little with the blank I'm using but get the maximum nose rocker the blank will allow. Next step the bottom contours go in - I decide to keep them similar to his original board. Single concave the whole way with a defined chine in the front third of the board. Hopefully this will help allow an easy transition from old board to new. Then flip the board over and make sure my centre, 12" and 24" points are the correct thickness (same as original board), roll the deck, and then its time to turn the rails.
If I'm going to get held up time-wise, more often than not its on the rails. And it happenned again with Chris's board. It's important to get the rails right... both the volume and shape, it relates to how your board is going to feel through turns, how much force you will need to apply, whether it's releasing, or to what degree its holding the water (suction). Chris wanted more volume through his rail, but I didn't want it to feel too 'clunky'. So I endeavored to get a rail with more shoulder on it than his last board (more volume) but with a similar apex shape (to retain a measure of sensitivity). Dad has a heap of rail templates in has Shaping Bay so I borrowed a few to use as reference points between the old and new rail and help maintain accuracy.
All up I spent a day and half templating and shaping Chris's Kneeboard.