Best programs to create your own Surfboard or Indoboard

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Best programs to create your own Surfboard or Indoboard

Programas for designing Surfboard shapes

This is a translation of Luigier’s Crest artcile on “how to create your own surfboard or indoboard” and you can find it here in Spanish. Making a surfboard is an art that only a few hundred people around the world truely dominate. Although the process has been automated over the years, the largest and most delicate part is still done by hand. I mean the shape, to give the shape to the surfboard in order to sail the waves in one way or another. Making a board is a bit like learning to surf, you need time and practice, but for the first thing there is a shortcut thanks to computer science. Both for companies where thousands of boards are made per year and for those who embark on the wonderful journey of making their own boards, here are the best virtual shaping programs:


Shape3d LITE is FREE and it has the main design features:

  • Design of outline, stringer and as many slices as you want
  • Display curvature, curvature radius and acceleration curvature radius (SurfCAD)
  • Save in the Shape3d X format (.s3dx) and Shape3d 8 format (.s3d).
  • Open .s3dx, .s3d, .brd, .brdx, .srf, .kms and .pbd. 3D
  • View with Solid redering.

This is the free version of a more professional designIing program. You will be able to design your boards and print the model but you will not be able to print the templates to cut the shape easily, for this you need a subscription. To download it first you need to register and have an account with which to activate even the free version. Available for Windows and Mac.


  • 3D and 2D design and panel perspectives, cutting instructions and board notes.
  • Change the board length and slices, rockers and thickness can automatically adjust to changes in board length and slices.
  • Interactive measurements along board from tail to nose.
  • Ghost board comparisons to any board.
  • Dynamic zooming and visual control.
  • Fin positioning.
  • Dynamic thickness measurement calculations at every part of the slice and throughout the board.
  • Rail line handle lets the lower rail be precisely defined.

The demo version of this program doesn’t let you save your design in a file. So every time you open the program you start from scratch. At least here we can print the outline (the line of the shape) to cut the board with its perfect shape. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.


BoardCAD is an easy to use CAD/CAM-program that allows you to quickly design your own surfboards. It is written in Java and can export STEP-files for compatibility with other CAD-systems, and g-code for CNC machines.

For me this is the best program of the three. It is completely free and Open Source, so everyone can make a copy and improve it, the source code is available on your GitHub. Unfortunately since 2012 the founders of the project left the development and still no one has picked it up again. Anyway, the latest version available is very stable and powerful. We can create new designs, save them and print the plans to cut. The latest version is 3.01 and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

These are the best 3 programs to make your own surf board designs. But remember, if you want to learn how to surf before making them visit our Surf School in Tenerife.

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