Custom Built in Our Shop In Maine
We love building boards. It’s what inspires everything we do – including passing that feeling on through our HomeGrown Kits, Paper Plans & Workshops. And while we’ve done everything we can to make the boards easy to build, they still take patience, tools, the ability to follow detailed written instructions, and some hand-eye coordination.
Because you get the best board possible when it’s built by the Grain builders in our shop, lots of surfers would rather have us create a board just for them. But even if you choose for us to build it, we still want you involved in the process as much or as little as you like. Since each Grain board is custom built for you especially, we will ask you about options such as fins, wood pattern styles, custom laminates, and even modifications to our stock shapes to suit your surfing style. Modest customizations are provided at no extra cost, but some will add to the base prices shown.
If you’re ready to order, you can get into our queue right away with just an $800 deposit. Just select the board you want and it’ll be added to your cart. After you check out, we’ll give you a call to discuss details of the board. If you’d rather we communicate by email, just let us know. In either case, ALWAYS INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL IN THE ORDER’S MEMO FIELD
Most boards are ready within three months. We’ll give you a projected delivery date when we talk to you, and email a receipt with the total cost of the board and the balance – which isn’t due until we’re ready to deliver. Your builder will be in touch with you when the board is started, and can send you photos of the progress at regular intervals.
Sales tax will be added to all boards delivered in Maine, and shipping quotes will be provided to you as the board nears completion.
Putting the Experience Back in Your Hands
For too many years, surfers have felt barred from the act of creating their own boards. The industry that grew up around surfing after the 1950's (and the industrialized materials brought with it) made it seem like this once common practice - part of every surfer's experience at one time - was out of reach. We disagree. So we've found a bunch of ways that we can help you build your own at home.
If you live outside the U.S. we've also got you covered. We can ship just about anywhere in the world (see International FAQs) and in Europe, you can get Grain Surfboards' HomeGrown kits, marine-ply framesets and paper plans directly from our British friends at Fyne Boat Kits. Same Grain quality, but planks are of locally grown woods (rather than Maine cedar) milled up in their cool boatshop in Cumberland.
Most of the boards in our line are offered as complete DIY kits. Each kit contains all of the material you need to build your board, including precision-cut frameset, cedar planks and rail strips, all internal blocking, fin box, leash plug, vent, glue, epoxy, fiberglass, rubber gloves and more. It also includes a 170 page instruction that walks you though each step of the process.
If you’re good with your hands, can work carefully with an attention to detail and follow written instructions, then you’ll love the feeling of dropping into your first wave on a Homegrown Surfboard Kit you built yourself. It’s indescribable.
We developed our kits before wood surfboard kits existed anywhere else, and from the beginning, we've wanted them to be complete, comprehensible and above all, do-able. We support our kit builders by phone, email, and in person (we're not shy about stopping by to see how you're doing if we're in your neighborhood). We love this process, and we want every surfer to get the same experience we've had, and to paddle out, incredulous, on a gorgeous board they built themselves.
Note: Before you decide on a surfboard kit from someone else, make sure you understand the total cost of the component materials you'll have to source and buy separately, as well as the time it will take to fill in the gaps of knowledge that aren't covered in their manual. Usually, we'll get them out within a week or two, but allow three weeks, let us know if there's a rush, and please be patient - once in a while we have a shortage of materials and have to wait for something to come in.
You can find tools and other board building supplies and materials you might need in our online store.
Hard Copy Paper Plans
If you don't need the guidance and support that comes with a full surfboard kit, we've developed a complete set of plans printed on plotter paper that will get you well on your way to a great board.
On our paper plans we've printed full-scale keel and frames, nose and tail templates, board outline, and a few construction detail notes. These frames and keel are the inside shape of the board, accounting for a 1/4" plank thickness to be added back to the board. We also include a 46-page guide that covers the high points of the building process including dimensions to mill your planks and rails and an outline of the construction method. Buy your own spray adhesive, jigsaw and plywood, and get creative with re-purposed or reclaimed wood - let your creativity guide you.
SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW: We designed these plans for a limited number of builders, they are NOT for everyone. We intend them to help those who:
- Have experience building boards of this construction (for example have taken a class or built a kit)
- Have some unique construction ideas and just need a frameset of a proven shape to get started
- Just like to figure things out on their own
Please consider carefully whether you can manage to build your own with no guidance other than your own experience, ingenuity, our 46-page guide and the advice of friends.
For those who haven’t built a board like this before, we recommend starting with a complete Homegrown Kit or a class. Above all, we want you to be successful in building your own board, so if you buy plans and then decide it’s over your head, we'll credit $50 toward the purchase price of a full Homegrown Kit. Just call us and we’ll take care of it.
Keel and Frames
Kind of a halfway point, our frame-sets save you the cost of buying your own plywood and the time of making all those intricate cuts, but still allows you get creative with your own woods.
Each frame set includes full-scale keel and frame, CNC cut and numbered from 1/4" marine ply, nose and tail templates, construction detail notes, and just like our Plans, includes a 46 page instruction manual that covers the high points of the building process, including dims to mill your planks and rails to. Break the frames out and assemble them by number and you're off and running.
Like our plans, please note that starting with a frame set alone is not for everyone. We believe those who will be most successful are people who already know how to build a board of this style, have tools and understand how to use them and are pretty self reliant through the process. If you are simply looking for the surfboard shape defined by the frame set, this and the accompanying instruction manual should be enough for you to build a great board to our design.
For those of you that haven't built a board like this before, and are unsure of your skill level, we’d recommend you start with a complete HomeGrown Kit which includes all of the materials you need to build a board plus a 170 page step by step instruction manual.
If you purchase the frame set and then decide that this is more than you're willing to bite off, we'll even credit $125 of the purchase price towards a full HomeGrown Kit. We'll send you the full kit, minus the frame that you already have. Just give us a call to place the order.
Note: These frame-sets are included in our HomeGrown Kits
Downloadable Study Plans
We’ve noticed over the years that a lot of our customers, especially those overseas, get stuck dealing with high shipping rates. To help get around that, and give people one more resource to help turn their dream project into a reality, we’re excited to offer downloadable Study Plans for every surfboard shape we offer as a DIY product. Just select Study Plans from the drop down menu, check out, and you'll have your plans at your finger tips in just a few moments.
Please note, these Study Plans are not just an inexpensive form of our kit - no wood is included, nor are there any instructions. Study Plans are just that, full outside cross sections, profiles and outlines of the final shape of the surfboard, a perfect tool to get more familiar with the board shape you’re dreaming of.
This product is different from our Hard Copy Paper Plans (which sell for $99 and get shipped to you) which instead give you the inside shape of the frames, and include all of the notches, lightening holes, fin locations and more, as well as some instructions.
We do know that some of you more experienced builders may start your build project from these Study Plans and we won’t discourage you, however, please consider carefully whether you can manage your project with no guidance other than your own experience and ingenuity. You will need to think about your wood choices and their strength to weight properties, how thick your planking is and how to modify the frames to account for that thickness, how you will build your rails, mill your wood, etc. In other words, customers that to start a build from Study Plans should be the type of person who:
· Has lots of experience building boards of this construction (for example have taken a class or built a kit)
· Have some unique construction ideas and just need a proven shape to get started from
· Just like to figure things out on their own
For those of you who haven't built a wooden board like this before, and are unsure of your skill level, we’d recommend you start with a complete HomeGrown Kit which includes all of the materials you need to build a board. Or come join us in one of our 4-day Board Building workshops.