Handheld, rotary-blade, belt-driven power tool used by shapers to sculpt a board from a blank. Originally used by carpenters for tasks like trimming doors to fit into doorjambs, planers were first used on surfboards in 1951 by Southern California boardmaking pioneer Dale Velzy. Previously, boards had been shaped with axes, knives, hand planers, Surforms, and sandpaper.

The shoe-box-sized power planer is held in both hands and run along the length of the surfboard blank, removing layers of fo...