Custom Board FAQs

Find the answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding custom surf and paddle board building. The process is very intricate and it is only natural for someone to have a lot questions, both general and specific, about the procedures. These FAQ’s will explain why a custom board will suit your needs better than any surf or paddle board you may find on the rack in your local surf shop.

The board building experience is a very intimate process where communication between the customer and the shaper is key. A detailed conversation about exactly what our customers want is key to shaping an exceptional board.

All questions both simple and complicated are welcome. If the dream board that a customer wants is above their budget, we can work with you to get the board you want at a price you can afford.


Custom Board FAQ’s:


Q: Do you make surfboards and stand up paddle boards?

A: Yes! Ian has designed and built surfboards for close to 20 years. Starting with boards for himself, then friends, then friends of friends, and growing from there. Ian has also designed and built cutting edge Stand up paddleboards of all designs for the last 6 years. Only now with a talented crew of craftsmen lending a hand.


Q: Why would I order a custom board, rather than buying off the rack?

A: Buying off of one of the racks at one of our dealers allows the instant gratification of seeing and holding a new board, and being able to make an immediate decision to buy that board and hit the water that same day.  Whereas ordering a custom board from us is usually reserved for the customers that are willing to wait to get exactly what they want, or need. You get the chance to discuss with Ian exactly what you want your board to do, and how you want it to look. Some riders already know what they want, but the only way to get it is to go custom. Some riders don’t know what they want, but they know they need some guidance. And that happens to be one of our specialties!


Q: How can I get one of your boards? 

A: Ian Balding surfboards and paddle boards are sold in some local surf shops but most of our orders are directly from the customer. You can submit your contact info to us with a little insight into what you’re looking for, and we’ll take it from there.


Q: Can I get a board other than the models shown on the site?

A: Yes! Through the custom consultation and ordering process you can work with us on a completely new design built just for you. And don’t forget to ask about other designs that Ian may have worked on in the past, or may be working on for the future. The design process never ends.


Q: Can I order a custom board through the website?

A: Yes! It only requires a consultation by phone or fill out our contact form to get the custom board process started.


Q: Is the look of the board on the website exactly what I would get if I were to order a model?

A: No! The boards on the site are all custom orders that represent what we either have done, or can do. Your imagination is the only limit here.


Q: How would I get a board delivered to me if I don’t live in the region?

A: We ship boards all over. California, Hawaii, The Caribbean… You name it, and we’ll get your board to you safely! We pack for the rigors of shipping, and insure them to get to your doorstep as safely as possible.


Q: How would I know if a board design is best suited for me?

A: Send us an email, or give us a call, and we’ll walk you through the process of design, making sure that you get the right board for your skill level and physicality. Design and overall volume are two key ingredients to getting fit properly, and we’re here to help  make sure you do.

Major factors that will dictate what is right for you include skill level, experience, height, weight, and most importantly, the intended use of the surf or paddle board. Different wave sizes and water surface conditions will influence the board model and dimensions.

Q: Do I get a fin, or a set of fins with my board?

A: Each custom order currently comes with a set of either Futures, or FCS composite fins. Upgraded fins from Futures, FCS, or Captain Fin Co. can be discussed and added to your order as well.

Q: How do I follow where the Airstream pop up store will be?

A: Follow us on Facebook at: Ian Balding Custom Paddle&Surf, and on Instagram: @ianbalding_custom_boards  or subscribe to our blog for current updates (all of our links are on- site).

Our mobile Airstream store will be partnering with our retailers for events locally, and also getting out of town for events up and down the coast. Maybe even a cross-country haul one of these days!! It’s a great place to pick up a fresh board, a new T-shirt design, or a cool hat. Or, just come hang with us!