details and prices

" A fantastic opportunity
to share ideas and
experiences with other
fieldwork leaders"

"Both extremely enjoyable
and very valuable career

"Fantastic group
interaction, enriching

"A very interesting,
instructive and
motivating course
led by welcoming
and knowledgeable staff.
Highly recommend"

" It was an opportunity
to meet and learn from
other academics but
not in a conference
room but outside in the
environment that you
have to teach in. That
made all the difference"

"The CERES workshop
helped me to feel more
confident and
enthusiastic about
organising field trips for
my students. Working
outside in the beautiful
natural surroundings
was inspirational"

"Invaluable learning,
both socially and

"I gained some
interesting insight into
creating interdisciplinary
field courses, and
benefited from sharing
ideas for field activities
with other academic staff"

"Excellent opportunity to
build skills, develop links
with colleagues and
critically look at how field
courses operate for the
maximum benefit of
students and academics

"Excellent and engaging
discussions about
fieldwork planning,
logistics and pedagogy"

"Working with an
international team was
wonderful and I would
love to find further
opportunities to do
"       SPW May 2019

"Different backgrounds
are very much enriching
and contribute so much
to a project"
              SPW May 2019

"It was by far the best part
of my BSc time. I have
never before learned so
much in such a short time,
and I would have never
believed that living in one
big house with 15
international students
would be that much fun.
We all have grown to be
a family, there will be
reunions and future
cooperations.  I wish
everybody could get a
chance to experience
what I did."
             SPW May 2019

"One of the best
experiences of my
life, 10/10
            SPW May 2019

"I am planning on
working in a field
that requires an
multinational team.
The course  has
made me realise
the importance of
having experts in
different fields and
necessity of a person 
that combines all that
knowledge into
something useful for

            SPW May 2019

CERES Project surfboard building Aljezur, Algarve, Southwest Portugal

surfboard building


board building

The course offers a unique opportunity to build your own custom made surf-, kite or skimboard under the guidance of an experienced shaper. The CERES course goes beyond a board building workshop by providing you with a comprehensive and exciting introduction to board shapes, fin technology, composite theory and an insight into the surf board industry.

The CERES team places a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability in surfboard construction and the use of modern high-performance materials to achieve the perfect balance between performance, durability and environmental impact. You will have a lot of opportunities to talk to likeminded surfers and share stories and experiences. And – of course - you will be able to put theory into practise and surf in (probably) the best conditions in Europe.

do I need to build a surfboard?

No! You choose how much you would like to get involved. You can build a surfboard, kiteboard or skimboard from scratch to your own specifications, team up with a friend (or your children!) to build one board together or order a custom board from our shaper and only apply the finishing touches.

You are also very welcome to participate by helping other group members and use the in-depth knowledge gained during the workshops to make the right decisions when ordering your next board. You will also learn how to repair surfboards.

The course is essential for people working in the surf retail business who have to advise customers on hardware purchases and practitioners who have to repair boards on a daily basis.

customizing your board

When you are enrolled on the course our team of experts will help you to choose the right shape and blank material to suit your requirements. We order a high quality blank from a leading manufacturer and get it machine-shaped to your dimensions (you only have to apply the finishing touches). Anything can be customised, and if you are unsure get in contact with us.

You should think early about your artwork. You can purchase a Hawaiian flower design cloth for retro-style boards, use Posca marking pens to draw on your blank and/or sketch a (simple!) airbrush design. We can print multi-coloured logos up to size A4.

workshop format

The course will be split in two groups for the workshops. One group will be working in pairs on one or two boards each. The other group can either start to prepare their own boards, relax around the pool at the Surf Lodge or go surfing and test fins. Two members of the CERES team will be with the groups all the time to help you.

 fast facts

  highlights :
  Board design
  Shaping techniques
  Art work and airbrush
  Glassing (resin and fibre)
  Sanding and polishing
  Ding repair workshop
  Fin tech workshop

  dates :
  Spring 2012 tba
  duration :
  Saturday - Friday: 7 days

  fees :
  include accommodation,
  all meals, local travel, 
  workshops, use of power
  tools, personal protective
  gear:         €790*
   *excluding cost of materials

  number of participants :
  8 - 12

  activity level :
  Your choice

  prerequisites :
  Confidence in working with
  power tools

  application deadline :
  Rolling admissions. Intake
  closes one month before the
  course starts.

  Please contact us.

course itinerary

Day 1:  Arrival day
Pick up from Lagos, arrival at the CERES Lodge, ice-breaking session (coffee, tea, and biscuits), introduction to the project, presentation of staff and team members, detailed information about safety measures.
Take delivery of pre-shaped blanks. Round table discussion on board shapes and on design features relevant to the first board building step:  longboard, short board, fish, stubby, etc. the effect of bottom contours (flat, concaves, channels), nose and tail rocker, deck shapes (domed, flat and concaves) and rail shapes (round, tucked under, sharp edge).
Short drive to local spots around Aljezur to check surf conditions. A catering service prepares dinner at the Lodge.
Day 2:  Factory visit  :  Shaping and art work
Breakfast buffet (cereals, freshly baked whole-wheat bread, seasonal fruits, free range eggs, locally produced jam & honey, cheese, tea, coffee, fruit juices, hot chocolate).
Pack-up blanks; prepare packed lunch (bread, cheese, biscuits, fruit, olives, water, juice), drive to local board factory.
A local shaper explains the layout and specific features of a professional board building workspace. Demonstration of shaping techniques.

Split into two groups.
Group 1:  Prepare rails, bottom and deck contour and surface of pre-shaped blank under the guidance of an experienced shaper. Prepare blank for art work.

Group 2:  Light informal lunch on the beach, rest / recreational free time (opportunity to go surfing, test different boards, and explore some new spots).
Groups swap activities.

Drive back to Aljezur. Dinner at a nice beach restaurant.
Day 3:  Composite theory  :  Glassing
Breakfast buffet (as on the first day).
Workshop on composite theory (function of the core, fibre and resin) and laminating techniques (lay-up, vacuum, resin infusion). Alternative constructions: wooden blanks, hollow, thermoplastic, foamies and inflatable boards.

Split into two groups.
Group 1:  Prepare blank for glassing, cut fibre cloth to size, mix resin, laminate bottom.

Group 2:  Light informal lunch on the beach, rest / recreational free time (opportunity to go surfing at our local Aljezur beaches, or to work on own blank).
Groups swap activities.

Workshop and demonstrations on core materials used in surf board construction:  EPS, PU, PVC, recycled blanks, EVA foam soft boards, stringer materials, bamboo and balsa layers.

Split into two groups.
Group 1:  Prepare blank for deck glassing, cut fibre cloth, mix resin, and laminate deck.

Group 2:  Discussion on the impact of surfing and the board building industry on the environment.
Groups swap activities.
Dinner at an excellent local restaurant.
Day 4:  Fin workshop  :  Fin box fitting
Breakfast buffet (as on the first day plus freshly baked pancakes).
Workshop on fins I:  thruster, quad, single, five fin set ups, function and placement (cluster configuration, two-in, cant, angles).

Split into two groups.
Group 1:  Mark position of fins, set fin boxes, and leash plugs.
Group 2:  Test drive and evaluate different fin types and sizes at local surf spots.
Group swap activities.

Workshop on fins II:  fin box systems, fin materials and shapes. Open discussion in the relaxed atmosphere of the CERES Lodge.
Dinner at a great local pizzeria.
Day 5:  Resin systems  :  Hot - coating and sanding
Breakfast buffet (as on the first day).
Workshop and demonstrations on resins used in surf board construction: polyester, epoxy, linseed, uv-curing, pre-preg materials etc.
Split into two groups.
Group 1:  Prepare the blank, hot-coat the board.
Group 2:  Test different fin types and sizes.
Groups swap activities.
Workshop and demonstrations on fibre types used in surf board construction: glass, carbon, dyneema, kevlar, hemp, exotics.
Split into two groups.
Group 1:  Start sanding.
Group 2:  Test different fins. Discuss and evaluate results.
Groups swap activities.
Dinner at our favourite restaurant.
Day 6:  Ding repair  :  Sanding and finishing
Breakfast buffet (as on the first day).
Workshop on board repair:  ding repair, creased boards, broken boards, delamination, fin box and leash plug replacement.
Split into two groups.
Group 1:  Finish sanding and polishing.
Group 2:  Production surfboards: demonstration of the latest surf equipment from a brand distributor. Open discussion on the future of the surf board industry. 
Groups swap activities.
BBQ with fresh, locally caught fish etc. at the CERES Lodge.
Day 7:  Departure day
Breakfast buffet.
Summary and feedback: (examination optional).
Pack up and transport to Lagos.


details and prices

The Board Building course runs for seven days from Saturday to Saturday. The fully inclusive package covers:

Accommodation in the CERES Lodge; a luscious all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast (enough to prepare a packed lunch for a day in the field); evening meals (we take you out to our favourite local restaurants); expert tuition and specialist workshops; entrance fees; licenses; all obligatory insurances; transport once here, personal protective gear (spray overall, gloves, mask) and tool rentals.

•  Expert tuition and workshops     •  Accommodation included     •  Local transport included   
•  Certificated   •  Luxury meals included    •  Protective gear    •  Carbon offset contribution    

The CERES Board Building course is supported by SeaBase, Future Fins, Prolimit and BIC surfboards.

Material costs largely depend on the choice of board you want to build. We buy materials in bulk at trade prices from our partner SeaBase and pass the full discount on to you. Expect material costs of less than €200 for a short board build with aircraft-grade epoxy resin, Hexcel glass, F3 fin boxes and a first-class blank.

On completion of the course, you will receive a Certificate of Participation. Those who want to take things further can take an exam at the end.

introductory price €790 + materials (optional)

7 day course

We offer group reductions.  Contact us for details.

our partners for the board building course


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