Monday, October 03, 2005

00080 New project -plywood kite board

So I’ve decided on my next homebrew project – a kitesurfing board. Everything I’ve read or heard leads me to believe that it’ll be fun and cheap, my two favourite words.
I’ll be using (or so the current intention goes) 3 sheets of 4mm marine ply laminated together with an epoxy resin and placed on wedges with bricks to weigh the board down, creating a rocker of 5-6 cm at the tips, leaving a flat section in the middle. Images of the design to follow.
My only decisions are what size to make the board (I reckon 145cm x 38 cm) where to get the fins from, whether or not to reinforce the edges with glass fibre and whether or not to add a design. I might even consider sticking a piece of fabric to the base of the board with epoxy.
The 8’x4’ sheet of marine ply is on the way, now I have to source the epoxy, glass fibre, footpads, stainless steel bolts to countersink into the underside and the fins.
What’s going to happen – no one knows.


  1. Anonymous7:08 pm

    This comment might come a bit late for you, but a 'natural curve' rocker line with no flat section usually works better than curved tips. Curved tips tend to make the board slower and harder to jump. Also it would be good idea to keep the board as light as possible - so forget the glass and forget the layer lamination... just buy standard 9-12mm nordic birch plywood, not marine plywood and cut it into shape. Soak it in water for 24h, bend it in a jig with initial bending of about 50-70mm supporting the tips and placing the weight in the center. You probably end up with a rocker between 25-40mm (the plywood tends to spring back a bit). Let the board dry for a week and coat it with lacquer meant for coating wooden boats (3 layers) or 2-component epoxy (that might need some sanding afterwards), attach pads, fins and straps and you're done. Also you should consider making the board shorter and wider, e.g. 135 x 43 and use a 'Crazy Fly'-type outline. With this recipe you should end up having an early planing fairly light kiteboard which goes upwind like a rocket and jumps like it's on springs.

    Building plywood boards should be kept fairly simple and low cost, since these beasts are not meant to last forever. :)

  2. Thank you for the post, I am really very happy to read that you built it yourself, so how was it?


  3. It was great, thanks. Of course I built it as a large beginner's board and progressed rapidly after that, so although it played it's part, I only used it a couple of times. I still love it, though. Can't bring myself to do one in glass fibre - wood is so much nicer to work with.

  4. 9-12 ply is that one sheet or two ? i was going to use 18mm for mine

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