Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a surfboard? You ever have a shaper that just can’t seem to get it right when you order a board? Well, the Surfboard Room in Atlantic Beach is bringing board building to you.
Lawton Hall, 32, owner of The Surfboard Room, opened the business to give those looking to invest in a new board a more personal experience when ordering and building boards. Hall, who has over 23 years of surfing experience and board ordering, bought a 3DM shaping machine four years ago. With his heart in surfing, and his frustrations in his equipment, he came up with the idea to make a business that allows people to make their own boards, exactly the way they want.
“The possibilities are endless,” Hall said. “We can make anything you want for a fraction of the price and half the time as hand-shaping a board.”
The 3DM machine runs off a computer program called, “Shape 3D,” where the dimensions are plugged in and all the measurements, curves and tweaks are established to make the perfect board. Next, using a CNC program, you have to match the design up to the proper blank needed for the machine to cut.
After making the board just right on the computer and tweaking everything to the perfect parameters, you run the blank through the 3DM machine.
You finish by perfecting and sanding out cut marks, rails and the tail. Once that is done, board production goes as normal, fiber glassing and sanding until the board is finished.
“I’ve found that people like getting involved with it,” Hall said. “It brings the hands-on experience to you, which is cool to watch and brings the board to you much quicker.”
It’s not like other shapers don’t use this technology either. The Surfboard Room has a number of local shapers that use the machine by plugging in templates they created by hand.
Hall opened the machine to the public because he thought the technology would be something the whole surf community could benefit from.
“You know obviously this is my business and my source of income so opening it up to the public generates more business for us. But you know, I also like to think I’m helping people out, whether it be people looking for better boards, or helping shapers get boards done quicker,” Hall said.
Prices for cutting a board vary in size and how much help you want from The Surfboard Room team to finish the board. Blank cuts start at $30, and price goes up for as long as it takes to design and finish the board.
For those looking for a new board or wondering what it’s like to be a part of the board building process, check out The Surfboard Room at 45 West 6th St in Atlantic Beach, FL or give them a call or email to get your board started today.
Did You Know?
- Hall also runs a high quality graphic printing business. Customers can use his high tech printers and programs to design and print logos and designs to be incorporated into the most personal surfboards available.
- There are lots of Shaping Machines around the world, but Lawton is one of, if not the first person to let the public use his machines.
- Technology found at The Surfboard Room cuts surfboard production time by 75%.
- Once a board is made, the exact template and measurements are saved on The Surfboard Room’s file. So if you love it and want the same exact board, or notice where you need to change things on the last board, everything is saved and ready to go for the next version of your shape.