I began surfing when I started my master's degree in Providence and fell in love with it. What I didn't love was the negative impact traditional foam surfboards have on the environment. There are alternatives to foam-based boards: some boards are simply made from carved wood (as the first ones were!) but these boards tend to be heavier and harder to ride than their foam-based counterparts. I ran across a designer who created a semi-hollow wooden longboard using a CNC router, crossing the environmental benefit of using wood with the reduction of the weight of a foam-core board. I wanted to try this for myself. I chose to model the shape of the board after Donald Takayama's In the Pink 9'6" surfboard.
Starting with a Fusion 360 model, I was able to split the design into several pieces that would be manufacturable on the CNC and create tool paths to do so. It has been an iterative process, mostly in terms of the stock material I used. I began by trying to laminate by own plywood so that I could create a custom-thickness sheet to minimize waste. Unfortunately, the sheets began to separate while cutting, so I had to return to the drawing board. The next iteration was edge-glued cedar boards - this was more economical than trying to buy a thick sheet of cedar, but sadly it too began to separate along the seams while cutting. Lastly, I moved to a design modification, splitting the board parallel to the top face into 4 pieces so that I could use 0.5" plywood instead.