Surfboard blanks are the pieces of foam that are cut, shaped and designed into specific surfboard shapes. These pieces of shaped foam will become the center or foam core of surfboards, after going through the final lamination stages of the surfboard shaping process.
Shapers veiw a surfboard foam blank as the vital foundation of the surfboard shaping process, and without this piece of foam, there literally would be no surfboard.
It is very important that the shaper selects the right surfboard blank that is relatively close in size and shape to the desired final board. This is because too much cutting away of the foam blank will leave the foam weakened and result in a surfboard with poor flex.
Just as there are endless possibilities in surfboard design, there are endless surfboard blanks. Lengths can range anywhere from 5’8″ right through to 12’1″. Widths are also available from 18″ to 31″.
Another important feature of a surfboard blank is the density of the foam. A surfboard being shaped for a beginner surfer would be shaped using a different foam density to say to a surfboard designed for Kelly Slater or tow in surfing.
The sort of surfboard shape and outline you are after will have an effect on the foam density of the surfboard blank you choose as well. For example a malibu requires a different foam density to a short board.
Don’t get too overwhelmed by all this information. Unless you are thinking of becoming a professional surfboard shaper you really just need to know that there are many designs, sizes, weights, and densities of blanks.
If you are an amateur shaper reputable surfboard blank merchants will be more than happy to advise you as to the right foam blanks for your specific shaping needs.