Surfing School - Shaping - Template History
Surfboard designs were, and still are, a combination of shaper skills and surfer inputs. Boards were normally designed and built using a number of different templates, with a new templates taken from a design which proved to work very well. This new templates could then be used to shape other boards with similar characteristics and virtually any size.
Prior to the foam board, templates were built rugged, and often made of heavy 1/4" plywood. Often a separate nose, side, and tail template was used. Shaping a board in the longboard era (and sometimes even now) took long hours, with the template sometimes used over and over to check on uniformity of the shape. Foam boards require a lighter, more flexible template that can fit closer to the blank and also to prevent scratching the blank. Using the lighter and thinner material available since the mid-sixty's for the template's construction also enabled them to be made much easier.