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Build a Hollow Wood Stand Up Paddle Board


Building a Hollow Wood Stand Up Paddle Board is significantly more complex than building a foam board.

It is more like building the wing of an airplane. The boards built in this class are stronger and more durable than foam boards. These boards are ideal for use on the relatively flat waters of Puget Sound or lakes. Wood boards typically feel heavier on land, but feel lighter in the water. The slightly heavier weight of a hollow wood board results in more drive and momentum. The design of the lightweight inner frame and the thin tensioned wood skins allow for an efficient energy transfer between the wave and the rider. During the workshop you will build a paddle board starting with the assembly of a supplied frame kit. After that, you will create the deck and bottom “skins” from very thin solid wood strips, fiberglass and epoxy. Next, the skins are attached and tensioned to the wood frame. Then the outer rails are built onto the board with bent plywood and cork. The rails are hand shaped and the board is given a light final sanding. At the end of the process, the board will be fiberglassed.


I would need to know the tools for this class. This might be some research that needs to be completed for all classes before we switch over to this format.


Paul Jensen

Paul first started surfing in 1971 and has exclusively built his own boards since 1977. He has also worked as a finish carpenter and custom woodworker.  Paul developed a sustainable and innovative method for building contemporary hollow wooden surfboards.  He has taught hollow surfboard workshops around the world in conditions ranging from open-sided, dirt floor barns to state-of-the-art industrial woodworking schools.  A testament to the simplicity of his teaching process is that many of his classes had a significant language barrier, yet even the roughest and most challenging conditions produced beautiful results!

Hollow surfboards are functional art: beautiful and durable, made from common-sense materials, without compromising performance.  As much as possible, Paul uses woods that are local to the Pacific Northwest.  He creates surfboard based on the Rolls Royce principle: build less, but make them last.  At the Arbutus Folk School, Paul will teach more than just building surfboards – he will also teach fine furniture and hand-cut, repetitive abstract-patterned wood veneering for surfboard bottoms and as framed wall art.