Fun Friday! DIY standup paddle board

Fun Friday! DIY Foam Paddle Board

We are near mid-summer and the weather has been nothing short of glorious! And, with all of this sublime weather, no doubt everyone has been enjoying their local waterhole, river, or lake with their favourite watercraft.

Fun Friday! DIY standup paddle board

Looking for a Standup Paddle Board Without the Steep Price Tag?

If you’ve been coveting the rash of standup paddle board (SUP) activity but purchasing one isn’t in your summer budget, the innovative folks over at instructables are offering the perfect DIY alternative.

While the cost of a SUP has certainly come down over the past few years, it’s still a rather grand sum to pay for some hollow plastic.  But, with a little initiative, a few tools, and some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease here’s a way for you to relax on the water with unique hand-crafted style and a totally do-able price tag – guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind!

Here’s What You Need (costs are approximate):

A sheet rigid foam insulation 2″ thick ($25).  This may even be something you or a DIY neighbour already has on hand, so the price may be even lower!

Insulation saw ($12).

Two large tubes of construction adhesive ($6).

A fine notch plastic trowel ($1.50).

A wood rasp ($6.50).

Orbital sander.

An optional 1/4″ sheet of plywood ($20).

Heavy items – sandbags, cinder blocks, bricks, etc. – to help set the glue.

The total cost (cash money, that is) is only about $50, possibly less if you’re able to source from your own garage, or those of your friends and family. The real cost for this project is your time and energy.

DIY Standup Paddle Board

Building Instructions:

1. Lay out the paddle board shape on heavy paper or stretches of cardboard. If you’ve got a model to use that’s ideal, but most online retailers’ product descriptions provide the dimensions you need. Prepare for this to take some time – it’s worth it!

There will be additional time tracing and retracing if you’re incorporating the plywood deck surface.  In this example, the SUP is kid-sized: 4″ thick and 24″ wide. If you want to make a 12 footer you’ll need more foam.  Note: the wood deck does make for a more slick surface, the bare foam actually provides some grip.

2. Glue the foam together.

3. The board ought not be left flat. There should be a rocker of a few degrees on both ends.
Trace out the curve of the nose rocker onto the profile and sculpt with a long razor.
Once the shape is roughed out use the wood rasp to remove the rest and to make the curves more hydrodynamic. FYI:  working with the foam is messy!  It’s recommended that you set up some means of dust collection (ie. ShopVac on hand!).

Finish the smoothing with an orbital sander, stepping down the grits.

4. To make the plywood impermeable to water, it needs to be prepared with polyurethane on both sides. After sanding the edges and top of the deck board, apply four coats of poly, sanding the top side between coats. Don’t worry about the underside as it will be glued to the foam. Once it’s dry, and before securing with glue to the SUP, test the placement of the deck. Lightly trace the outline of the deck so that you know where to spread the adhesive. Coat both the foam and the underside of the deck with your adhesive. Place the deck with care and press the two parts together and leave overnight under pressure.

There you have it! Don’t forget, you can apply laser cut vinyl, or paint designs, to customize your unique DIY board. If you’d like more photos and far more detail into the construction of the handmade SUP, check it out HERE!

BTW, if you’re new to DIY for projects like this, check out the MIDAS course calendar for all kinds of education and training into the kinds of equipment and design software that make creating these kinds of projects just that much easier.

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