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Cutting Edge Technology on the Cliffs

"The release of the APS3000 is changing the way surfboards are made, from idea inception to final product. The research behind this product is dedicated to serve the surfboard industry, especially the production of custom surfboards.”

The mission was worth it. It came all the way from Australia and we had to demolish three walls and rebuild half the factory to get it in, the APS Dino-D 3000 shaping machine has just been set up at the Cord Factory in Wheal Kitty. It’s the best shaping machine in the world and the only one in the UK (and one of only two in Europe!) Using state of the art technology and updated software, we’ve never known cuts like it. Needless to say, we’re already amazed at what it can do.

“I looked at those pre-shapes for the first time and went, ‘Wow, how good would it be to be able to shape off something like that? You’re not going to end up having to just plane your whole life away and fill up the whole room with dust.’ Anyhow, it was just a much nicer working environment.”

- Long time friend and legendary shaper Maurice Cole, from The Surfer's Journal 31.1

The main difference between the Dino-D 3000 and our old shaping machine that has been mowing away for us for the last seventeen years, is accuracy. It’s insane. With the old machine, the cutting disc moved side to side and the surfboard moved forwards and backwards on belts,so there was lots to co-ordinate and plenty of moving parts that could, and often did, break down. This new bit of kit holds the surfboard still, with an updated cutting blade nicknamed “The Golden Orb” that moves on 3 axis, up, down, left, right and curving over the top. The machine also has an option to use a router for cutting features like channels and fin boxes. Plus, it’s been equipped with a software update, which gives us increased accuracy and the opportunity to further fine tune all our files and shapes, or really dial in custom designs from surfer to surfer.

“One of my favourite tools is the shaping machine. People say the machine has no soul, but it’s just another fucking tool.” Maurice Cole said in issue 31.3 of The Surfer’s Journal, when Ben Waldron asked him about his favourite tool. The Dino-D 3000 doesn’t just provide us with insane accuracy, but it takes out the grunt work. For surfboard shapers, the machine wins back hours of mowing foam and making dust before we can get to a roughed out blank and the point at which our decades of learnt skills becomes applicable; the art of design, fine-tuning and hand finishing. “Made by hand from start to finish” may be romantic, but it’s not so crash hot when you’re the one walking up and down with a power planer for hours on end, watching your order list rack up whilst performing a time consuming and comparatively skill-less task. The romance is in the details, not the dust.

Technology has obviously moved on in the 17 years we’d been running our old machine, acquired and set-up by Chops back in 2006. The Dino-D 3000 is a massive upgrade. It boasts a rock solid aluminium profile construction, a vibration and dust proof design, industrial quality tracks and bigger bearings, 30-second blank set up, radical fast adjustment, ‘Stanley knife’ surface finish, and a top shelf controller unit with diagnostics and on screen display, highly advanced surfboard design software and the ability to cut flat, V, concaves, wings, stingers and more.

“We’re now set up and ready to go with the best kit I’ve ever seen or used. We’re stoked and back to full production.”

- Markie Lascelles, owner and head shaper at Cord Surfboards

With the Dino-D 3000 locked and loaded, and factory walls rebuilt (we took the opportunity to do a bit of interior remodeling while we were at it) we’re stoked to have just become the most technically advanced surfboard factory in the UK, and one of the top facilities in Europe. We’ve got new design ideas brewing, extra time to fine tune, and the ability to tailor each board to the individual from beginning to end. Pop up to the factory for a chat, and let’s get your new board on the machine and into the shaping bay in time for summer.

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