Skimboarding design and how 2D CAD can give you an adrenaline rush!

April 24, 2012 by Darren Design, Engineering, Hobbies, Tell Us Your Story! 1

Alex Sesto - Skimboarding2 - Summer 2011

Let’s face it, when Mountain Dew does their thrill-seeker commercials featuring skateboarders, motocross riders, water skiers, snowboarders and rock climbers, it is highly unlikely they’ll be showing footage of a CAD user in action.

Unless you are doing your CAD drawings while using a treadmill desk, it’s also unlikely that your heart is pounding very rapidly during the design process.

But of course, what happens when you step away from the computer is up to you.

Toronto’s Paul Sesto and his 13-year-old son Alex have been designing skimboards with DraftSight, the professional-grade free 2D CAD product from Dassault Systèmes.

Skimboarding is like a combination of skateboarding and surfing, but it’s done from the water’s edge so you don’t need large waves to do tricks. The sport started in Southern California in the 1920s by lifeguards who wanted a quicker way to travel across the beaches.  Today, it is a global phenomenon, with international competitions in United States, Mexico and Portugal.

The shoreline sport is particularly popular on beaches where it is considered too dangerous to surf — such as Brazil’s popular Boa Viagem beach in the city of Recife, which has historically been plagued by shark attacks.

Paul Sesto uses DraftSight to design skimboards.

Skimboards are shorter and thinner than traditional surfboards. They also don’t have any fins.

“Two summers ago, I got into building them myself as a hobby and now I’m teaching Alex design and construction techniques so he learns to do it himself,” says Sesto, a business manager for OneCAD Solutions in Markham, Ontario.

“I downloaded DraftSight in order to do the basic profile design for the foam core layout and the stringer (a ¼” thick piece of wood running down the center of the board that gives it the shape). I have a couple more designs already on the go – I am building one and Alex will be learning to build the other design,” he adds.

Paul and Alex Sesto are looking forward to this summer's skimboarding season!

The father-son duo make their boards out of Corecell (a foam material used by boatbuilders), fiberglass cloth and epoxy resins.

“DraftSight is easy to use, quick to learn, and it is simple and intuitive when you are getting back into the 2D mode,” Sesto says. “It’s fun doing the board designs and teaching Alex about design and geometry as it compliments his Grade 8 math studies.”

(How do YOU use DraftSight?  Drop us a line and share your project screenshots at


Leave a comment   1

  1. Paul Sesto says: April 24, 2012

    Thanks very much Darren & Draftsight for the post on my son Alex & our board making efforts. My background is mechanical engineering but my job is business manager at OneCAD (a professional engineering company) – I get new clients to our front door. The reason I do projects like this is that I miss the creative design aspect of engineering – so I kind of get my fix off hours. OneCAD has 15 seats of SolidWorks, which are always in use and I didn’t want to tie one up and for what I needed Draftsight fit the bill. Doing projects like this is how sons and daughters get interested in engineering and though my son Alex is more interested in marine biology or becoming a vet it gives him the skills to create something from his own imagination – a skill that he can use no matter what he does in life. Thanks again!

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