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Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 10:02 AM Reply   
Well kinda...I used a drill and grinder/sander too.

I finally finished my project and decided to post it for comments and to see what people think... Please be nice as this has taken me a few months worth of putz'in around with it on the weekends and evenings. Prob over 80 hrs into it if I had to guess.

So, I wanted to see if I could make a board. Having no prior engineering education I figured this would be a good challenge. I made it out of balsa wood and fiberglass. My initial objective was to make an ultra light board. That object quickly changed to 'I better make this thing strong' - and lightness went out the window. I've never worked with fiberglass before in my life, so I had no prior experience going into this. Lots of learning along the way.

I started by ordering some balsa wood online. Based on my design concept, I had figured out how much I was going to need and as it turns out, I have only a few scrap pieces left, so my calculations were spot on.

The wood showed up and I began fiddle with it trying to figure out how to shape and cut it. I sat at my kitchen table w/ a pocket knife and made all the initial cuts. Then I super glued the internal stringers to get the desired rocker. Once I had the skeleton I cut the top and bottom boards to fit. Then I taped it all together to see what the overall size and shape was going to be. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it looked like a wakeboard...kinda. So I moved forward with the project and started fiber glassing.

Fiber glassing is a chore!! A sticky messy, difficult substance to work with. At any rate I put a layer of fiberglass on all surfaces of every piece of wood. (this is where I lost the light weight battle) This was a tedious process as it took some time for everything to dry ect. I then had to trim the excess glass off every piece. Again...not the most fun thing in life. fiberglass particles are itchy and seem to get everywhere. At this stage it was in august heat here in Phoenix, sweating balls hating it. 100+ F wearing long sleeves and a respirator. Not fun.

Once all that was done I had a pile of fiber glassed wood...didnít look like a wakeboard at all. :-( To piece it together I started with the top and bottom sheets. Each was broken down into 3 sections. 2 ends and a middle. I fiber glassed each section again to get them to stay together. Then I fiber glassed the 3 sections together to form the top. Repeated for the bottom at a later stage.

Once I had the top formed, I glued the stringers to it and fiber glassed a few of them in place. So at this stage I had 2/3s of the board built. Next was to try to figure out how to get the binding holes in place and what to make them out of. I solved that, and moved onto gluing the bottom to the top and sealing the whole thing up. I fiber glassed the rails again and sealed the tips. I spent several hours sanding and smoothing both sides so that you can run you hand down any part w/o getting snagged. i checked for wood exposure and filled any pinholes w/ resin again.

I let it all cure and painted it flat black w/ its nickname on the back. 'The log' as it's a hunk of wood and is slightly heavier than my ronix.

This is the short and condensed version in comparison to the amount of work that went into this thing. I didnt keep track of the cost of this thing, but I was constantly going back to the store for more supplies. (btw everthing except the wood can be bought @ home depot or ACE) I would guess it cost about the same as a new board off the shelf, but the satisfaction of riding something you built = priceless.

I have not tested it out yet and still need to get some fins (if anyone has any they can donate let me know!!)

I think it'll hold strong, but all my buddies think its going to break right your bets!

More photo's of the build process can be seen here:




Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 10:03 AM Reply   
Old    what what (snowman89)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-08-2008, 10:07 AM Reply   
The shape of that looks very similar to my ronix mana. Makes me wonder....
Old    Eubanks (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       12-08-2008, 10:17 AM Reply   
That is some agressive 3-stage board! Very cool and thanks for sharing. You'll have to let us know how it rides.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 10:40 AM Reply   
Thanks! I'm going to try to get it out in the water next weekend. I went w/ a 3 stage because I liked the pop of the ronix1, but wanted a little more rocker...kinda ibex-ish. We'll see if holds together. :-) Its pretty freakin sturdy, but I have no idea what a takeoff/landing will do to it.
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-08-2008, 11:07 AM Reply   
i bet that thing will have some crazy buck both on take offs and landings.

good job, i know i could never do that... however, I have thought about mixing the ol' card-board-boat-race tradition with wakeboarding though, and seeing how good a board i can make out of card board (and maybe duck-tape too)
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-08-2008, 11:08 AM Reply   
it might make a better wakeskate in the end due to the abrupt rocker style?
Old    Small Light (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       12-08-2008, 12:51 PM Reply   
Wear a cup and some pants, you never know where splinters will try and lodge themselves. Nothing personal, but I see that thing exploding into a million pieces. I hope I'm wrong!
Old    Troy (liveoz)      Join Date: May 2002       12-08-2008, 1:13 PM Reply   
Good job, I am however, betting that it will break at the rocker line joints fairly quickly.

let us know how it holds up.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 1:39 PM Reply   
"Wear a cup and some pants"

Noted. lol

"it will break at the rocker line joints"

This is the weakest link in the design, but I glassed them fairly thick to compensate for it. It's tough to capture the fiber glassing w/ a camera. The heels of my bindings are on the flat part so I'm hoping thats where most of the impact will be.

We'll see.


Boots are set here close to where the holes are (not screwed in)
Old    English (kristian)      Join Date: Nov 2002       12-08-2008, 1:48 PM Reply   
you must film the maiden voyage
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-08-2008, 1:52 PM Reply   
^^^ second that^^^ and post it here too
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-08-2008, 2:13 PM Reply   
i think this pic shows the reinforcement on the joints talked about?

Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 2:24 PM Reply   
Exactly. Thanks. The glass is about 1/4 inch thick or so in that area, maybe a little less, sanded flush. Plus the top and bottom are glassed on each side and each internal stringer is also heavily re-enforced at the rocker line. I gave this area a lot of attention due to the stress it will take. Hope it's up for the beating it's about to receive.

You can also see all the sanding and where I circle 'would be' leaks that I went over w/ resin again. It's now water proof...I hope.
Old    Kyle Marriott (kyle_m)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-08-2008, 2:26 PM Reply   
you might want to tune the edges also???
just to give it a lil better edge
they look thick and flat
Old            12-08-2008, 2:27 PM Reply   
Cool..... good luck... fun story to follow...
Old    Josh (romes)      Join Date: Sep 2006       12-08-2008, 2:31 PM Reply   
have you stood on it on dry land yet to see how much it gives?

i would be hoppin all over that thing before i took it out on the water.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 2:42 PM Reply   
The rails are thick and flat. haha. I decided to leave them like that in favor of structural support. If I end up making another one I'll play with the shape more.

I stood on it like this before it was glued together..thats the only time I've tested it. It flexed a little, but not much. Now that its all glued together I bet it wont flex at all.

I dont want break it on some arbitrary strength test. I'll take my chances. lol

Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 2:44 PM Reply   
btw.. I'm about 190lbs.
Old    David Bell (dabell)      Join Date: Apr 2007       12-08-2008, 2:56 PM Reply   
Hope you have some good health insurance.

Good luck
Old    Eubanks (eubanks01)      Join Date: Jun 2001       12-08-2008, 3:23 PM Reply   
Dude, that would have been bad news it if broke when you are standing on a 3 foot tall table!! haha
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-08-2008, 4:50 PM Reply   
^^^on one leg too^^^
Old    derek (to_blind)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-08-2008, 5:53 PM Reply   
next time you have a piece of balsa in your hand you should consider making a rocker jig to clamp it down to. do this with steam and some 2x6 material cut into the shape of your rocker. i'll try to send you some pics of the concave wakeskates I use to make..pretty simple design process and a great end product that i still use today. if you don't want to go with balsa, try laminating some baltic birch together, fairly lightweight and strong...anyways, cool to see someone givin' it a go
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 6:29 PM Reply   
Ya the one leg test could have ended up bad and the whole project would have stopped...good thing it passed!!

Derek, I'm assuming you're talking about making the rocker transition a little more subtle and not so harsh. Warp some balsa to make it a smoother transition. correct?
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 7:03 PM Reply   
It floats! but it leaks. Dang.

Does anyone know a trick to make it leak proof other than schmearing more resin/glue on it. They are isolated leaks, but definitely problematic.


Old    110outlet            12-08-2008, 7:16 PM Reply   
Im impressed, id like to see video as well of your first time out.
Old    Keith (tversetti)      Join Date: Jan 2008       12-08-2008, 8:40 PM Reply   
I think you are going to kill yourself!!!

no offense, truly original idea
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 8:49 PM Reply   
Well after a trip to the store for some more (and hopefully the last) resin, I have put another coating around the rails. I also re-did the fiberglass on one end, (it was the first one I did before i honed my skillz) so thats why that looks all messed up. A coat of paint and no one will ever know. :-)

Tomorrow it will be float tested again for leaks.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-08-2008, 8:56 PM Reply   
Hope not Keith, and thanks (I think).

Its the off season, so if something catastrophic happens I'll have a few months to recover.
Old    P C (pc332)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-08-2008, 9:16 PM Reply   
Thats pretty cool Scott, hope it works! I'm also looking forward to seeing the video of this!
Old    Tony Miorana (tentcitygoon)      Join Date: Mar 2006       12-08-2008, 10:16 PM Reply   
That is cool, always good to try and do something new. If you can bust a sick slaysh on it, then it will be all worth it.
Old    Jim Aikins (ccryder)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-08-2008, 11:02 PM Reply   
Can you drill some small holes in the areas between the ribs and put some spray foam in to fill the voids? Can't wait to hear how it rides.
Old    Michael O (2007_x2)      Join Date: May 2007       12-09-2008, 1:10 AM Reply   
looks good bro! good luck i think ull get a few sets on it!
Old    Drew McMillen (xmcmillenx)      Join Date: May 2006       12-09-2008, 7:25 AM Reply   
that photo of him standing on the chairs reminds me of an old wakeboard video where they do that and i think Bruce Clem falls from on top of the board. then they try it again and break the chairs.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-09-2008, 8:18 AM Reply   
Thanks for the encouragement guys! I just ordered the fins. I dont know when they'll arrive. I'm hoping for the weekend, but its been my experience that I always get my goodies on monday.

I went w/ (4) 1.3's . Maybe I'll do 6 down the road, but 4 should get the job done for now.
Old    Lyle Ramsdell (sunsport)      Join Date: Sep 2002       12-09-2008, 9:10 AM Reply   
Hey Scott,
Nice looking board. Too bad I didn't see this post earlier I would have hooked you up with some fins. I have built 37 board myself. And of course we started Chrome Dome selling fins. If you want some tips on building boards let me know.

Skiing made me board,
Chrome Dome
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-09-2008, 10:39 PM Reply   
Hey thanks Lyle. 37 boards? Thats a lot. 1's tough enough, but perhaps you know a better system. Feel free to email me some pics or info.

I spent tonight trying to iron out the leak issues again. The binding holes are the culprit, so I got some rubber washers to put in between the bindings and board. I also re-coated the edges just for good measure. I'll re-test it tomorrow after everything is dry.

It appears that I didnt pay enough attention to water resistance. I was too worried about the strength and structure. I also figured it would naturally seal itself w/ all the glass and resin, but apparently I should have been more concerned about this.

If I were to do it all over again, making it water tight would have been higher on the priority list.

For some reason, I thought the screws would seal out the water for the binding holes...not true. So hopefully the rubber washers keep out the h2o.
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-09-2008, 10:55 PM Reply   
again, if you find it a fun first wake ride and it and you survive AND you decide to not ride it again much, then seal up the holes and put some grip tape on the top and skate
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-09-2008, 11:15 PM Reply   
Old    Lyle Ramsdell (sunsport)      Join Date: Sep 2002       12-10-2008, 3:55 PM Reply   
Hey Scott,
So I've made a couple of boards like the one you are making. I call them hollow core boards. They are very difficult to seal. One thing you can do is drill a hole in the tip of it, thread a 1/4-20 insert into it with silcone caulk. Then use a 1/4-20 machine screw with a o-ring to seal the hole. The hole will serve two purposes, a drain when you get water in it, you can stand it up right and allow the water out. The other thing you can do with it is push the board underwater and blow air into the hole. Bubbles will come out where ever the board has leaks.

The best way to seal around the binding holes is instead of using threaded inserts (assuming this is the way you are doing it) is to use 1/4-20 carriage bolts all the way through the board inserted from the bottom. Oversize the hole by about 1/32". When you install them glue them in place with JB weld or 30 minute epoxy. Before glueing them in place push them up through the bottom of the board and tighten them down so they make a good dent on the bottom side. Use a big flat washer so you don't dent the top side of the board. Unscrew the nut, put masking tape on the threads that are sticking out so you don't get glue on them. Pull the bolts out. Wax the washers and the nuts so they don't stick to the bolt if they get glue on them. Pull the bolt out and glue in place. Remove tape and tighten washer and nut in place.

Structurally I am going to guess you are going to have problems where the seams of your plywood come together to form the rocker. Those are pretty high stress areas on a wakeboard. I would at least go to like Tap Plastics or something and get some unidirection carbon fiber to put across those seems. When I make hollow core boards with plywood for the top and bottom the sheets are continuous and I have broke them before.

Oh and your board would look way better with some Chrome Dome fins

Skiing made me board,
Chrome Dome

(Message edited by sunsport on December 10, 2008)
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-14-2008, 11:47 AM Reply   
Alright folks...the fins are installed. The board is completely sealed w/ no leaks. I tested it in the pool about 6 times to reassure that it's water tight.

I was able to solve the leaky binding hole issue by pouring some resin in the holes,then put a screw in and I kept moving the screw around so the resin didnt have a chance to setup on the screw. I also put some teflon plummers tape on the threads.

The fins went on pretty straight forward. Drill a hole all the way through, slop some resin in the holes, thread the bolt through w/ a rubber cap for a washer and whalla...a fin is installed. I dont plan on removing these, so I sealed the fin to the board w/ resin to ensure no water got in from the bottom.

A pic of how I lined them up...


I also installed a 'plug' at the end just incase water gets enters in the future.

Here it is in it's final state ready for the lake:

Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-14-2008, 12:03 PM Reply   
Sick bro, now test it out so we can see how it works. If it doesn't break on the first wake jump, consider it a success. I know I would.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-14-2008, 1:15 PM Reply   
Headed to the lake right now. I'll admit, after all this work I dont know how much I wanna jump it. lol. I know its going to lay down some turns, but I really dont want to break it. We'll see how holds up...might be a gradual progression. I also havent ridden in about a month. Should be interesting.

Look for a video update later tonight.
Old    Kevin Denbroeder (stepintoliquid)      Join Date: Sep 2005       12-14-2008, 1:35 PM Reply   
Good luck Scott, have fun!
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 1:37 PM Reply   

Looks sick dude.
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       12-14-2008, 1:59 PM Reply   
All of WW is sittin here on the edge of their seats... i can't wait to see how this goes man
Old    Blake Lawrence (blake2wake)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-14-2008, 2:21 PM Reply   
good luck...pretty inspiring
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-14-2008, 2:29 PM Reply   


All of WW is sittin here on the edge of their seats... i can't wait to see how this goes man

Old    mark wilson (amark)      Join Date: Nov 2008       12-14-2008, 3:54 PM Reply   
AHH MAN THE WAITING IS KILLING ME!!!! Does anyone know how the maiden voyage went!?!?! CANT WAIT!!
Old    Conner Thurston (connerthurston)      Join Date: Jun 2008       12-14-2008, 5:17 PM Reply   
haha i just read this like whole thread im excited to see if that thing worked best of luck
Old    David Christman (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-14-2008, 6:00 PM Reply   
haha. im stoked to see how this turns out. i cant wait
Old    Sander (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       12-14-2008, 6:32 PM Reply   
Cool project!
Place your bets all; is he editing and uploading the video as we speak.... or did he kill himself on the first jump?!
Old    Steve - O (misteve)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-14-2008, 6:44 PM Reply   
tic toc... tic toc...
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-14-2008, 6:55 PM Reply   
Just got home...editing. Hang in there.
Old    David Christman (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-14-2008, 6:59 PM Reply   
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 7:03 PM Reply   
Old    Chris M (chrism4668)      Join Date: Sep 2007       12-14-2008, 7:38 PM Reply   
cant be long now
Old    Tom Adams (gunnertom4593)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-14-2008, 7:39 PM Reply   
ok the suspense is killing me (pretty sure its not only me). Give us the News Already!!
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 7:39 PM Reply   
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-14-2008, 7:44 PM Reply   
You guys are going to kill me...
Old    David Christman (lfrider92)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-14-2008, 7:46 PM Reply   
YOU FUC!@%&$)(#@$#@() A@!#)&*$)#@( WHOLE!!!!!!!!!! lmfao. come on man!!! ive beeen sitting here hitting refresh hahahhaha
Old    Chris M (chrism4668)      Join Date: Sep 2007       12-14-2008, 7:47 PM Reply   
Did you even ride it or nothing yet?
Old    Tom Adams (gunnertom4593)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-14-2008, 7:50 PM Reply   
Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-14-2008, 7:51 PM Reply   
He wimped out.

Fool, I was trunking it at 64. Quit complainin!
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 7:55 PM Reply   
IM CRYING........
Old    Tom Adams (gunnertom4593)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-14-2008, 8:01 PM Reply   
I had a great deal of respect for you for building your own board. But that respect faded and disappeared in the past 10 minutes...
Old    Bryce P. (macanudo247)      Join Date: Apr 2006       12-14-2008, 8:05 PM Reply   
100 degree rule... for shame
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 8:15 PM Reply   
What is the 100 degree rule ?
Old    Bryce P. (macanudo247)      Join Date: Apr 2006       12-14-2008, 8:24 PM Reply   
Air temp plus the water temp equals over 100 your good to go. We were out two weeks ago in 58 degrees
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 8:27 PM Reply   
Oh I understand now.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-14-2008, 8:36 PM Reply   

Water temp/air temp had nothing to do w/ the end result today. You'll notice in the second to last pic, I had my wet suit at my hips under the shirt.

I was all suited up, ready to go and something happened w/ the boat. We put it in gear and it started vibrating funny. Had to call it a day.

So....that being said if anyone here in phx wants to give me a pull tomorrow or this week, I'll take off work to get this done. Otherwise it's lookin like a post holiday adventure.

Trust me...I'm just as disappointed as you.
Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-14-2008, 8:43 PM Reply   
I will steal a boat and drive down there tomorrow. Screw exams, and the concept of driving across the country in a day.
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 8:45 PM Reply   
Hahah speaking of exams I should have been studying for one but instead this thread has kept me distracted
Old    Nick Schrein (wakeboardern1)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-14-2008, 8:46 PM Reply   
Dude, I should have been studying for a math exam I have to take tomorrow. I have been lurking here, facebook, and call of duty. I'm a terrible student.
Old    David Bell (dabell)      Join Date: Apr 2007       12-14-2008, 8:48 PM Reply   

Nice.... Sorry to hear about the boat but I have been looking forward to the results like everyone else.
Old    Nick Kondylas (homedawg678)      Join Date: Jan 2007       12-14-2008, 8:51 PM Reply   
Wow Nick talk about the exact same thing. Except I got an English one tomorrow. I am more of a Halo guy though.
Old    Scott (phxwakeguy)      Join Date: Dec 2008       12-14-2008, 9:38 PM Reply sucked. Bummer. This isnt the end of it though. I will ride this thing.
Old    Sander (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       12-14-2008, 10:31 PM Reply   
Bummer! Nice boat, any idea what was wrong with it? Fix it and ride it! Tomorrow!
Old    Steve - O (misteve)      Join Date: Aug 2007       12-14-2008, 11:18 PM Reply   
Ha! I finished last week!
Old    Drew Gibson (tribute)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-16-2008, 4:35 AM Reply   
nick kondylas: what grade r u in?


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