Finishing the Wakesurf Style custom board

Designing the Wakesurf Style custom board-Part 3 Fin box, graphics, lamination and finishing

Welcome to Part III of our blog series detailing the making of the Wakesurf Style custom wakesurf board by Blusurf.  To celebrate the launch of Wakesurf Style we arranged for Blusurf, a world leader in custom performance wake surf boards to build a Wakesurf Style themed board for one of the Wakesurf Style team members.  Blusurf products utilize the finest sustainable elements and build processes offering riders a performance-based, environmentally conscious board designed and built in Washington State.  We worked with Jonathan Matthews – Blusurf’s “Founder and Shaper” throughout the process.

In Part I we discussed why custom-made wake surf boards are a great option for all wake surfers.  In Part II we detailed the board shaping process. With the shape customized and targeted for our Wakesurf Style team member. In Part III we detail adding the fin box, graphics and finishing the board.

Designing the Wakesurf Style custom board:

To recap, this board is being designed for one of the Wakesurf Style team members.  Their profile is as follows:  5’ 10” ~220lbs – the rider is intermediate level, free surfs with ease and expanding skills, exploring 180s, 360s and airs so more pop off the board is desired.  The board will be a Surf style board.

Completing the Shaping of the Core

In the previous blog we left off with the board shape being cut from special purpose made Styrofoam by a computer-controlled router.  Next the board core is hand routed to carve the fin box holes. Hand Routing the Fin Box

You can see the board after sanding with the fin box holes carved into the board below:Fin Boxes carver in Wakesurf Board

The board is then hand sanded to make sure it meets Blusurf highly crafted standards.  Specially configured lighting and visual inspection is used to make sure the board core is properly shaped and meets Blusurf’s exacting to standards:

Final shaped wakesurf board core

The final sanded board core is shown below:

Final Wakesurf board core

Next the Futures fin boxes are installed into the board core.  This is done by coating the fin box slots with epoxy resin, covering all surfaces.  With the aid of an angle gauge finder, the fins are set to the intended cant angle. 

Futures Fins recommends a standard of 6.5 degrees cant (think of the fin falling away from the center of the board, center would be 90 degrees straight up and then lean out towards the rail 6.5).  The cant angle for the fin has a large effect on the performance of the board:

  • Straight up is fast yet the board won’t want to pivot much
  • Lean them over some and you free up carving, surface rotations and response when pumping to generate speed.

In the case of the Wakesurf Style board the hand fin box carving using the routing jig was flawless, and the fin boxes landed perfectly in the carved fin box cutouts.  The angle finder shows the placement is exact:

Measuring the Wakesurf board fin box

Like all the stages involving the epoxy resin, about 4 hours cure time is required for the fin boxes to set before moving onto the next stage.

Adding the Graphics and Laminating the Board

Once the fin boxes have cured, the next stages are to add the graphic and laminate the bottom (hull) and top (deck) of the board.  This is done in two separate steps; the process is similar. 

The graphic layer is rolled out onto the blank (core) and trimmed to size.  The fiberlam graphic is printed on a 3oz Aircraft Grade fiberglass weave – this is great for handling high resolution artwork, yet it is not strong enough by itself to hold up to riding.  A second layer of fiberglass is placed over top and the two are laminated to the blank by spreading epoxy resin evenly throughout.  This process has been honed by Blusurf over the past decade and entails using a spreader (squeegee) to evenly work the resin across the board, balancing allowing some to seep through all layers of fiberglass and into the foam while not allowing any pooling or excess resin build up. 

With both sides of the board laminated (glassed), the perimeter of where the fiberglass rolls over the edge to the other side of the board is lightly sanded to reduce the edge of the fiberglass.  Think of drywall spackle finish or frosting a cake…if you have bumps and ridges, any layer you apply over top only magnifies these, so we need to smooth things down as much as possible.

After the laminations have cured – the same epoxy resin is used to spread a hot coat or sometimes referred to as a fill coat over both sides of the board.  This layer of resin seals all of the fiberglass and provides the candy coat smooth surface you feel when ride your board.  The hot coat is sanded down using progressive stages of sandpaper.  Most often, with epoxy, it goes something like 80 grit, 150 grit, 220 grit and many builders top here.  The higher the grit the more reduction in swirls and the higher gloss finish is achieved.  Most of the Blusurf boards will finish between 600 grit and 2000 grit. 

After sanding, the board is cleaned up, the traction pads installed, and it is ready for surfing! Here is what the final board looks like: 

Final wakesurf board hull
Final Wakesurf Board deck

Here’s the board, packed and ready for us to hit the lake:

Wakesurf board packaged and ready to go

We love the design of the new board; the graphics came out fantastic and the board rides like a dream! 

Surfing the new Wakesurf Style board

We highly recommend getting a custom board for riders of all levels.  We appreciate you following along on our custom board build and invite you to head over to the  Wakesurf Style store where you can join the PNW Wakesurf Team by grabbing one of those t-shirts (women’s style / men’s style) used in the graphics for the top deck or other apparel.  And be sure to visit the Blusurf website if you want to learn more about their history and products.

Designing the Wakesurf Style custom board:

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at

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