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Build an Enviro Wooden Balsawood Surfboard with Mark Riley at Miranda

The group of 2 will be customised to the type of board you want to build. It will be hands on getting dusty on a any day that suits the students. Mark will take you step by step in building your own solid or foam core wood board that can be glassed and surfed or hung on the wall just like in the 50s and 60s. All equipment will be supplied in a kit form and all tools necessary will be supplied in a safe and clean environment. The whole process is environmentally friendly and boards will be built to your requirements and your ability.

You can build your own size board - the recommended shapes are fishes, mini mals, and guns from 5 foot to 9ft. If you don't want to build a board you can experience a build along side mark in his workshop. 

The boards that you will build are not hollow with a frame- there are no restrictions to YOUR shape. This is the way boards were built in the 50s and 60s. These last a lifetime when they are glassed properly (no cheap wood stains or oils or clear varnishes here that need maintenance).

You will learn to use a band saw, circular saw, electric planer, electric sanders and to design and draw your own shape, all under the supervision of Mark.

You can choose your preferred stringer layout from no stringers to 5 stringers in different arrangements (kit comes with 1 stringer, extra $50 per stringer).

Photos will be taken of the students during the build and sent to them.

A certificate will be presented on completion.

This is a great escape and relaxation after a long working week. Normally the guys are sad when they have finished the course and want to help and volunteer to help out building other boards. They all want to learn more and meet more like-minded people.

We will meet once a month to try out your creation at Fluro Fridays at Wanda Beach. Send a message to ask when the next one is on. Or visit Fluro Surfing on Facebook -

 Kits are purchased separately - you could also make a tide clock or short board or fish or mini mal or longboard in solid balsa. Purchase here –

Time lapse video of Mark building a balsawood surfboard in PNG

Balsa surfboard shaping set or kit $400 - $750 (this is subject to change) plus the cost of the course. Glassing is extra.

Help Mark build a balsa board. Just pay for the class (no need to buy the wood) work along side Mark to build a custom order for Riley Balsawood Surfboards.

Click here to see a video of the classes.

Have you ever wanted to build a wood board like Cody from Surfs Up Movie?

 So sign up now!

Extra 20% surcharge for Saturdays.

If you build a second board a 10% discount will apply.

All accessories like board covers will apply a 10% discount.

You can then take your board away for glassing or come and see it being glassed one on one with Mark at his glassing bay (this is extra).

A wooden board needs to be glassed and polished or a matt finish is cheaper to have it last a lifetime.

Course Outline:

Process below is building a solid board - slightly different and cheaper for a foam core balsa board

Day 1  – Introductory talk
 – Hand over of kits
 – Layout of wood and cutting wood with band saw
 – Glue up blank

Day 2  – Remove clamps
 – Draw plan shape on bottom
 – Cut out plan shape with circular saw                                                                             -Clean up plan shape with belt sander
- Mark out deck for shaping,  Shaping deck with electric planer

Day 3 – Sanding deck with electric sander, Shaping bottom with electric planer              – Sanding bottom, Shaping rails with block plane
– Sanding rails with sanding blocks                                                                          - Finish sanding board

 Learning Outcomes:

To have an understanding about balsawood and the environment and how mass produced surfboards are impacting the environment. How to use power and hand tools to achieve a great looking wood board and one you can surf on or hang on the wall.

What to bring:

  • Covered comfortable shoes.
  • Old clothes because you may get glue or dust on them
  • Bottle of water
  • Purchase a Balsa surfboard shaping set or kit $400 - $750 (this is subject to change)

The Tutor:

‘I have been building balsawood surfboards since 1996. I have been importing balsa from Ecuador and Papua New Guinea for over 20 years. I send boards all over the world and can be seen in the surf, in restaurants, offices and showrooms. I am very meticulous with the finish and am a perfectionist when building wood boards. I care about the environment and want to change the physic of mass produced toxic board buying communities to a hand made custom long lasting wood board community by teaching how to build a sustainable balsawood surfboard one board at a time.’ Mark

Other Information:

Bring a face mask

By ordering and paying for this course online you are accepting this waiver.

  • By accepting this waiver, you are accepting in its entirety the following conditions.

I agree that during the time of the ''surfboard making course” I waive any and all claims that may arise in relation to my personal or others injury, damage to property, death or any other claims relating to my participation in the course.

Whilst there might be certain risks in partaking of the course, I acknowledge I have received all the necessary instructions and safety gear to safely conduct the course without any safety incidents to myself, others or property.

I am a mature adult and am very aware of all the risks and requirements to safely navigate my way through the course.

Contact Mark via email to let him know your suitable dates to make a start -

Customer Reviews

Based on 17 reviews
detailed instructions

Hi Mark,
Thank you for all your guidance, support in helping me achieve the making of the Balsa board, I really appreciated the detailed instructions and getting an understanding of the components that made up the board.
The display was amazing, and I got a lot of questions and interest in the design and build process. I also scored a high grade for the project!

Thanks again,

You did a great job, great enthusiasm and interest shown, good luck in the HSC marking

Thing of beauty

Thanks so much, again, Mark :such a brilliant experience!!; such a beautiful board … “a thing of beauty is a joy forever” is certainly true for this!

Cannot wait to see you in the water with the grand kids. You should be proud of your build.

True Craftsman

Thanks Mark, fantastic job and great experience going through the process, you are a true craftsman.

It’s a shame Guy spoils the photo of my board!!!!



I know what you mean.

what a blast

Thanks again for all of your help and for putting on the course and taking a risk doing the foil board with me! I had an absolute blast every step of the way and am so happy with the end result. Couldn’t have done it without you!

This was a challenge but you did it? Well done. Glad your happy mate.

Highly recommend

Thanks for all your help and direction throughout the whole process Mark. Highly recommend your course to anyone.

This polished up unreal Ryan, great job