Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Everything On The Inside...brought to you by US Blanks (Part 3; BLANK SELECTION)


       In Part One we discussed the various foam types available (Polyurethane, Superfused EPS, and Block-Cut EPS). In Part Two we discussed the various densities of foam available and how to find the exact right strength-to-ratio fit. In Part Three, Blank Selection, we’ll help you choose the blank that has just enough foam for your design. 


       Selecting the appropriate blank for your build is pretty easy to do, but selecting the RIGHT blank will reduce your time, workload, materials waste, and allow you focus your attention on fine tuning the details of your design.

       US Blanks offers 85 blank models, from Shortboards to Guns to SUPs. Your goal will be to envision your desired final design, and then fit that design within the shape and dimension of the foam blank. For this example, let’s assume that you’d like to build a shortboard with the dimensions 6’1” x 21” x 3”.

No shortage of thickness in these Longboards

      There are 3 main criteria that you’ll assess when selecting the best blank for your build, in this order.

   -Genre (surfboard style)
   -Width & Thickness

Genre - US Blanks categorizes their blanks by 6 categories; Shortboard, Fish / Egg, Funboard, Longboard, Gun, SUP. Page 10 of their blank catalog has each Blank grouped by category (see the attached document). Narrowing the genre will help you to find the blank with the correct outline and rocker for your desired design. Obviously, for this example we’ll be selecting Shortboard genre.

Height - Selecting the right height is the best way to reduce wasted material and time in your build. Why buy 10’ of foam when you’re planning to build a 6’ shortboard? That said, it’s best to select a blank with just a couple inches of added height beyond your desired design, just to allow for subtle adjustments or potential errors. Since we’re planning to build a 6’1” shortboard, consider selecting a 6’2” - 6’4” Shortboard blank.

Width & Thickness - Once you’ve selected Genre and Height, you will likely have narrowed your search down to 3 or 4 blank options. The selection can be finalized by determining your desired Width & Thickness. We’d like to net 21” of width and 3” of thickness.

Following our criteria thus far: we have 4 blanks to choose from:

Only 1 of those blanks offers enough foam to fit your desired width and thickness, the 6’4” MB.

The US Blanks catalog ( Blanks Product Catalog.pdf) is a terrific resource to become familiar with. 

Once you have the right Foam Type, Density, and Blank Selection, you can dial in the specific Rocker Profile for the style of waves and surfing that you’re board will be built for. We’ll address Rockers in Part Four of this series.