ENSTA Bretagne : Yétishape

DIY: the Yétishape club makes surfboards at ENSTA Bretagne

Student Life
Antoine and Tanguy, two engineering students, who are committed DIY enthusiasts, started the new "Yétishape" club. They learned how to shape surfboards during their 2nd year internship and are now offering other students the opportunity to learn how to make surfboards themselves or to buy their creations at low prices.

Benoit, a member of the club, told us about it:

When did you create Yétishape and why?

Yétishape is a ENSTA Bretagne club that was created at the start of this school year with the aim of making surfboards. Antoine and Tanguy, two 3rd year students with a major in Naval and Offshore Architecture (ANO) were behind this initiative. They learned how to make surfboards during their 2nd year internship. They are now passing on their know-how. The club now includes 4 shapers including Alan and myself, having joined them as 2nd year ANO students.

ENSTA Bretagne : Yétishape

What does the Yetishape club offer?

Yetishape first of all allows us to make custom surfboards at a lower cost and also make low cost repairs.

This club also allows us to combine theory with practice (what we learn about during the course on composites in particular). The ultimate goal is to pass on the know-how from one class to the next.

What are the steps involved in making a surfboard?

You first make a block of foam (either by hand or with a numerical control machine). Then, using a router, you machine the holes for the aileron plugs. And finally, you add layers of fiberglass to the top and bottom, soak them with resin and wait for them to dry.

Do you eventually plan to use ecological materials?

For the time being, we use conventional methods of surfboard shaping. However, we are considering the use of new materials in the manufacturing process.
We are particularly interested in bio-sourced resins and replacing the glass fiber with flax fiber.
We currently try to use recycled materials whenever possible. For our next project, we've recovered some pieces of polystyrene that were going to be thrown away, and glued them together to make a big block so as to be able to shape a surfboard out of it.

How long does it take to make a surfboard?

If you work on the surfboard continuously, it takes 5 days. Given the curfew, everyone's availability and the times we can access the premises, it currently takes more like 2 to 3 weeks. 

How much do you sell a surfboard for?

We sell surfboards at cost price. In other words, we only charge for the raw materials. The aim is not to make a profit, but rather to train students while making sure we don't make a loss at the end of the month. For example, we can make a surfboard for around €300 while it would be sold for €700 on the open market. The price can vary according to individual desires.

Has the first surfboard been tested? What feedback have you had?

The red surfboard has been tested. It has been found to be highly responsive and sturdily built. We don't claim to be able to compete with the finish of the professional sector, but we manufacture durable, functional and customizable surfboards.

ENSTA Bretagne : Yétishape

Yétishape remet une planche au BDG (Bureau De la Glisse).


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