3D printing: the next phase of custom boards
Manufacturing Series
By Dakota Smith

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The future of custom wakesurf boards

Picture this, it’s the start of a new wakesurfing season and summer is right around the corner. You’ve spent all winter reminiscing on how great last year was and how you can’t wait to get back on the water to perfect the shuv that you landed for the first time at the end of last season. Having all winter to think about it you’ve come up with one or two ideas to make your wakesurf board even better and to go for even bigger tricks to wow your friends. 

With those ideas in hand you walk over to your computer and design the perfect board. You show the designs to your friends and they all agree, this is the board that will take you to the next level. That’s when you send off you design to favorite wakesurf brand and with a little behind the scenes magic, 2 days later you have your perfect board in hand and are ready to go hit the lake for the summer. Sounds pretty good right?

With how boards are currently made, you either get an off the shelf board that is a one size fits all or you can get a moderately customized board that fits your size and may have a custom graphic on there. But that all may change soon when 3D printing makes it onto the wakesurf scene. 

3D printing and wakesurfing

3D printing is the game changer that enables the next phase in custom board design. With it’s infinite ability to customize every aspect of a wakesurf board 3D printing opens up a whole new level of board personalization. When 3D printing hits the wakesurfing industry, those with the imagination and ability to translate that imagination into high performing wakesurf boards are going to thrive. 

And we’re not that far out from seeing this. Current 3D printing technologies are getting better and better allowing for faster printing with more materials in bigger shapes. Currently 3D printing designs that are larger than a few square feet is to costly for industries outside of home building and aerospace where the final product price is in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. But as these costs come down, designs the size of wakesurf boards will become easier and easier to build making 3D printing a wakesurf board a reality in the coming years. 

A new era of wakesurf board design

Here at Smith Board Co we’re taking an active role in bringing 3D printing into the wakesurf industry. 3D printing currently allows us to prototype designs that we can then test out at small scale before iterating and getting into our upcoming boards. But we’re not stopping there, we’re partnering with 3D printing experts to see what more we can do with 3D printing and how we can help usher in a new era of wakesurf board design. 

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About The Author

Dakota Smith
Author Photo

Dakota Smith is the original founder of Smith Board Co and is deeply involved in every aspect of the company. The idea for Smith Board Co came about when Dakota, who stands at 6’5” and weighs 230 lbs, couldn’t find a wakesurf board that was both big enough for him and fun to ride. With his background in product design and innovation, he recognized that the wakesurf industry was ripe for someone to apply engineering principles to create exceptional boards for everyone.

Dakota holds a B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering and an M.B.A. with a focus on Entrepreneurship. He channels his education and passion into bringing new ideas to life at Smith Board Co.

In his free time, Dakota enjoys reading, competing in CrossFit, writing about his passions, and spending as much time as possible out on the water. He lives in Erie, CO, with his wife and two dogs.

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