"Plyrack" DIY plywood surfboard rack

This is my design for a rack for storing surfboards and windsurfers. It has several advantages over other systems I've seen:

  • It is freestanding—no holes need to be drilled in your walls, and it fits in any room.
  • It stores your boards horizontally—this is important if you have low ceilings and/or long boards.
  • It folds flat—for storage and moving.

It took me about 5 hours to make the rack (or rather it would have if I hadn't been designing it as I went along) and cost me US$38 for materials.


  • One sheet of ¾" plywood or two half-sheets (do not use particle board—it will swell and crumble if it gets wet);
  • Wood glue;
  • Four 3" hinges
  • Twenty-four ½" wood screws (for the hinges);
  • Five 1¼" screws.


  • Electric jigsaw with thin blades;
  • Screwdriver

It's also nice to have a circular saw for some of the straight cuts, but you can make do with the jigsaw if you don't mind a few wiggly edges. A jigsaw can be made to cut straight lines if you clamp a straight-edge to the plywood and use it as a guide for the saw.


Step 1: Look at figure 1 and draw shape "A" onto your plywood. There are two versions of figure 1, one with a metric grid superimposed on the shapes, the other with a non-metric grid superimposed (the plywood shapes were designed using centimetres, so it is probably easiest to use the metric version). When drawing shape "A", use the blue dots in figure 1 as guides to draw out an angular version of the shape, then round off the sharp edges by drawing smooth curves. The rounded edges are aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly, rounding off the corners on the undersides of the shape's "arms" should give them a bit more strength. The notch on the base of shape "A" is designed to interlock with a similar notch in another piece of plywood; you want a snug fit, so for now, measure the notch to be somewhat less than ¾" wide.

Step 2: Cut out shape "A" from the plywood. It is easy to overshoot corners with the jigsaw, particularly if your blade is a bit wide, so be careful. Again, make sure you don't make the notch in the base too wide—you can always widen it later.

Step 3: Use shape "A" as a template to trace shape "B" onto your plywood, then cut shape "B" out.

Step 4: Look at figure 2 and draw out shapes "C", "D" and "E" on your plywood. As with figure 1, there are two versions of figure 2, one with a metric grid superimposed on the shapes, the other with a non-metric grid superimposed.

Step 5: Cut out shapes "C", "D" and "E", using a circular saw, if you have one. Shapes "C" and "D" are straightforward, but shape "E" requires a bit more care. As with shapes "A" and "B", the notches in shape "E" should be made somewhat narrower than ¾" at first. It is important to cut out only one of the notches in shape "E" for now; the exact placement of the second notch will depend on the size of the hinges you bought and the accuracy of your other cuts.

Step 6: Assemble the rack. Attach shape "D" to shape "A" as in figure 3 , using the 1¼" screws and some wood glue (shape "D" allows the entire rack to fold up flat when it is completed). Next, screw the hinges onto the edges of shape "C". Finally, use the hinges to attach shape "C" to shapes "B" and "D". Note that the hinges attach to the surfaces of the verticals, rather than to their edges. If the hinge barrels are of large diameter, it may be necessary to gouge out little trenches for them with a chisel or a screwdriver in order to make the hinges lie reasonably flat.

Step 7: Step 7: Attach the cross-brace (shape "E"). The notches in the cross-brace interlock with those on shapes "A" and "B", but at this point, only one of the notches on the cross-brace should have been cut. First, widen this notch and the one on the corresponding upright support (shape "A" or "B") as necessary to get the two pieces to interlock snugly. Then, with shapes "A" and "B" parallel, determine the correct location for the second notch in the cross-brace and make the cut. You may want to cut a length off one or the other end of the cross-brace to make it symmetrical.

User contributions

  • "Soulbrother Mike" has sent me some photos of the rack he built from my plans. They are worth looking at, because he did a better job than I did of building it, and he added a handy shelf to it as well.
  • Andy has created a five-board version.
  • Brian has taken the plyrack to new heights with an eight-board version of the plyrack!

Other surfboard-rack sites

Bonus feature: Surfing tips for beginners

These are the surfing tips I wish I'd been given when I was first learning!

Another bonus feature!

A link to another web page I created, This is an online javascript tool for playing still images as movies. It is intended for use in data analysis, but it can also be used for viewing photos as a slideshow, or as a flipbook animator. None of this is in the least bit relevant to surfboard racks, but I'm putting the link up here to improve the search engine results for it.