Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Insights of Creating Rocker Templates

8/19/10 UPDATE: The new rocker template in the first photo being cut on the CNC was delivered today. Everything was fine but one critical thing was wrong, the rockers were glued-up in the blank backwards! The nose/tail rocker was glued in reverse. Classic, it was hilarious. Check your rockers!!

Occasionally I have to scale a shape beyond the usefulness of the original master rocker template. At this point a new scaled master rocker is needed for a different blank size. To maintain the integrity of the shape the rocker is isolated from the program and a new master rocker is created from the scaled file and cut on the CNC with the exact rocker of the new scaled version.

There are many different methods of measuring and making rockers templates. Most outside of the shaping arena (and a lot of shapers) have a difficult understanding how critical it is to maintaining and utilizing master rocker templates for maintaining accuracy and consistency. I feel it is one of the most critical aspects of the designing and shaping process.

Most shapers rely on the blank manufactures to deliver the blanks with the correct rockers. Most don’t bother to check before they start the shaping process. I just recently had a shaper show up at my door with a blank with the incorrect rockers and wanted me to shape the blank. I could tell immediately the blank was off and it would be impossible to shape his “model”. This after he just sent me two blanks previously from another shaper that was marked as the same two rockers that should have been identical but both were completely different from each other and the master shape. Much to his chagrin, he didn’t appreciate it when I asked him if he bothered to double check his rockers.

Contrary to many shapers I am mainly a "deck rocker" centric shaper. I prefer to design and shape the deck rocker as the foundation to my shaping methods and the process begins with an accurate deck rocker. All of my designs originate from hand shapes that are digitized by 3D scans. I do not use any of the surfboard rendering software.


  1. Great inside Wayne, that's pretty cool. I might have what you (or others) would consider a stupid question: Aside from a bad rocker, what defines a bad blank? What makes a blank unsalvageable? And what do you do if the rocker on your blank is not accurate? Do you send it back to your supplier?

    A bit off topic I realize (on top of being stupid), I'm just being curious.
    Thanks Wayne. Cheers.

  2. Alex, apart from incorrect rockers a bad blank I consider is the most obvious things like crooked stringers, holes, pour lines, inconsistency in foam structutre, overly soft foam under the crust. Those are the most obvious.

    For the most part the quality of blanks have been decent lately, but I'm not 100% satisfied. Most blank mfgrs have upped their game since Black Monday.

  3. Good To know. Seems obvious enough, but having never seen a "bad" blank, I was just wondering.
    Thanks W.

  4. Thanks for the insights, myself being a hobbyist can appreciate your technique you seem to have all the intracies worked out. I like that you start with a hand shaped shape, would it be possible to come down and meet? I have some questions regarding rockers and foiling.


  5. Tim,
    Shaping wise I'm self taught so the way I do things maybe much different than most guys that have learned or apprenticed under an elder shaper. Not sure if that good or bad. ;)

    I'm a tinkerer by nature so I'm always looking to improve on my shaping. Try and not to become complacent, try and do your own thing. New ideas and new ways of doing things are always inspiring. Don't let others tell you that it's incorrect or wrong way of doing things. If it works for you and your stoked on it, then it's all good.

    Feel free to stop by and I'll give you the ten cent tour. Please call me before heading down.