DIY: How To Make A Bodysurfing Handplane

Making a handplane for bodysurfing can be a fun and rewarding project for anyone who loves the ocean and wants to improve their bodysurfing experience. In this guide, we will go through the process of making a handplane step by step, including materials needed, tools required, and techniques to achieve the desired shape and finish.


Materials Needed: 

Wood (e.g., paulownia, cedar, mahogany, or balsa)

Template or design (printed or drawn by hand)


Jigsaw or coping saw

Sandpaper (60, 80, 120, and 220 grits)

Drill and paddle bit (size 1/4 inch)

Rope / nylon cord /strapping (size 1/4 inch)

Varnish or sealant


Step 1: Choose the Wood

The first step in making a handplane is to choose the wood. There are many types of wood that can be used for this project, but some of the best options are paulownia, cedar, mahogany, and balsa. These woods are lightweight, strong, and buoyant, making them ideal for bodysurfing handplanes.


Step 2: Design the Handplane

Next, you need to design your handplane. You can either create your own design or use a pre-existing template. There are many handplane templates available online that you can use as a starting point. If you decide to create your own design, draw it on a piece of paper or cardboard.


Step 3: Trace the Design onto the Wood

Using a pencil, trace the handplane design onto the wood. Make sure to trace the design accurately and clearly, as this will be the outline for cutting the wood.


Step 4: Cut out the Shape

Using a jigsaw or coping saw, carefully cut out the handplane shape from the wood. It is important to take your time with this step and cut along the traced lines as closely as possible to achieve the desired shape. Be sure to use safety goggles and gloves to protect yourself during this process.


Step 5: Sand the Handplane

Using 60-grit sandpaper, sand the entire surface of the handplane. This will help to smooth out any rough spots and create a more even surface. Be sure to sand the edges of the handplane as well, as they will be the most exposed areas.


Step 6: Refine the Shape

Using 80-grit sandpaper, refine the shape of the handplane. This step is crucial in achieving the desired shape and contours of the handplane. It is important to take your time with this step and sand evenly and carefully.


Step 7: Drill the Handhold

Using a paddle bit, drill a 1/4 inch diameter hole in the center of the handhold area. This is where the rope or nylon cord will be threaded through to create a handhold for the handplane.


Step 8: Sand the Handplane Again

Using 120-grit sandpaper, sand the entire surface of the handplane again. This will create a smoother and more polished finish. Be sure to sand evenly and carefully, especially around the edges and corners.



Step 9: Add the Handhold

Cut a piece of rope, nylon cord, belt or strapping that is about 12 inches long. Thread the rope through the hole in the handhold and tie