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- surfboard repair and spray painting FAQs
Most people think that the usual
place to ding your surfboard is in the water, hitting rocks
and other surfboards. Although this does happen quite often,
most dings occur while taking your surf board to and from
the beach. The best prevention is to always keep your board
in a board cover when you're not riding it. There also many
that will give you step by step instructions
There are two types of surfboard construction on the market.
One is the traditional polyester
and the other is epoxy.
This is important as polyester resin and the polystyrene
core of an epoxy board do not mix. If you use polyester
resin on an epoxy surfboard it will be time to buy a new
surf board. As the resin will eat away the polystyrene core.
Epoxy on polystyrene is OK and is sometimes the best solution
when you're on the road, as there are many generic products
which have an epoxy base, which are suitable for repairing
The best resin mixes are
cold climates up
to 17 degrees celcius
20 drops of hardener
to 30 mls of resin
between 17 - 30 degrees
10 drops of hardener
to 30 mls of resin
hot climates such
5 drops of hardener
to 30 mls of resin
The best way to become accustomed to the mixes of hardener
and resin is to sacrifice a few batches and try different
ratios. If you make a mix too hot it will crack and turn
yellow, in the extreme it will actually catch on fire. Better
to waste a few mls of resin than a few surfboards! And it's
If you do get a ding in the water the first
thing to remember is that water has seeped into the ding
and penetrated the foam inside. Before you can fix the ding
you need to let your surfboard dry out. This could take
up to a week in humid conditions. Just push on the ding
and if water comes out it is still wet. Forum
Discussion on Drying your surfboard
If you repair your surf board before it is dry it will
certainly lead to at the least yellowing, and the worst
and/or the ugly sunken look.
Go to Surfboard
fibreglass supplies (resin, foam, ding repair kits)
shatters and fractures
The first type of ding is the
shatter, which has broken through the protective layer of
fiberglass on your surfboard. Sometimes these are difficult
to spot, but they let in water and cause the problems, as
I discussed earlier.
The best way to fix a shatter, is first to
lightly sand around the edges and any exposed edges of cloth,
if it goes through the entire thickness of the outer coating
to the foam you may need to open the crack with a sharp
knife and let it dry out first.
Next tape around the area, approximately 1 cm, with good
quality masking tape (cheap tape soaks up the wet resin
and can leave a mess). If the ding is near the edge of your
board make sure you ramp the tape so the resin will drip
off onto your mum's carpet. Oh yeah make sure you put down
some newspaper before you start! Sorry about that mum!
Apply the resin with a spatula/ice cream stick,
making sure you push the resin into the crack.
When the resin is almost dry pull off the tape, wait
a few hours and sand smooth with water and fine wet and
dry sandpaper. You should keep an eye on these type of
dings as they will most probably open up again and need
dings, fin cuts and gashes
First of all sand around the area the same as for a shatter
and then tape it off. Mix up a cold batch of resin and add
to this some foam powder, finely cut fiberglass matting
or a filler (Q-cell) and mix together, so that it is like
a paste or putty and push this into the ding with an ice-cream
stick. Make sure the resin is forced into all the cracks
and holes. Don't fill past the surface of the surboard.
When it is dry, apply a hot thin coat of finishing resin.
Peel off the tape as the resin starts to set, leave to dry
and sand flat with water and a fine wet and dry sandpaper.
There are many quick air/sun drying resins and patching
compounds on the market. These are the next best alternative
for repairing your board. Follow the steps as above and
use a cover sheet to reduce the amount, if any, sanding.
A cover sheet could be a piece of plastic or wax paper,
which you can place over the patch. Near the edge of your
surfboard you may need to use tape to hold the sheet in
place. Many of the better quick fix kits include a plastic
sheet for this purpose.
When the resin is dry just slowly peel of the cover sheet
and sand if needed.
Below are 2 popular quick fix resins
PhixDoctor Surfboard Repair Kit Epoxy/Poly Microkit 6 Pack
a broken surfboard
Firstly, send your surfboard
to a professional, as this type of repair is not easy and
has many stages when things can go wrong. If this is not an
option. read on.... but don't expect your first attempt will
be perfect. This type of repair should be done by people who
have been through the trial and error stages.
OK you didn't take your surfboard to a professional..good
for you, for giving it a go...... but you have been warned!...firstly,
you need to clean the broken ends of dirt and wax and let
them dry out. Then using a disc sander, very carefully sand
the jagged edges of fiberglass back and bevel down the edges
of the fiberglass approximately 5 inches wide, don't sand
through the outer layer of fiberglass cloth. Then tape off
Next, using a hand drill (not an electric drill) drill
two ¼ inch holes into the face of one of the broken
ends about 3 inches either side of the stringer and about
3 inches deep. Slide 2 x 6inch long pieces of dowel into
the holes with a hotter mix of resin to secure them in place
and leave to dry.
When dry, lay the two broken ends together on a flat surface
and using wedges line the board up. Make sure that the rails,
deck and bottom line up perfectly. Mark on the other end
of your surfboard the insertion points of the dowel and
drill 2 holes.
Next, attach with masking tape, four splints to the biggest
end of the broken board. You will need to use wedges, so
that the splints hold the two pieces in line. Prepare a
hot mix of resin (not too hot!) and use it to glue the two
Don't forget to put resin on the dowel joints as well.
Just slide the smaller end of your board into the splints
and when the ends are in perfect alignment leave to dry.
Make sure everything lines up before you apply the resin
as a hot mix will give you a short working time.
The next step is to fill the open holes and cracks of the
join. Using filler resin fill the cracks even with the surface
and apply a cover sheet. When dry, rough sand the joins
to give the final application of resin something to stick
Cut 2 strips of 6oz fiberglass cloth (1 for the top and
1 for the bottom) wide enough to cover the join and the
area you previously sanded and long enough to overlap on
the rails. One side at a time, lay the cloth in place and
apply laminating resin using a paintbrush or squeegee and
make sure all of the cloth is wet and turns clear.
Sand off any edges if needed,
and apply a final coat of finishing resin with a paintbrush.
Finally, sand with wet and dry sandpaper and water.
FCS (Fin Control System®) fins and plugs
are designed to break off at the fin tabs when they hit rocks
or you. This minimizes damage to you and your board. If this
happens just undo the fixing screws and remove the fin tabs
with a small screwdriver.
Replace the fin and you're ready to go surfing.
Sometimes though, the FCS fin plug can be damaged and you
will need to replace it.
You will need to drill around
the outside of the damaged plug with a 1 1/8" hole
saw. Mark the holesaw at ¾ inches so that you don't
drill too deep. The hole saw should be cutting around the
outside of the plug.
Next pry out the damaged plug,
by putting a screwdriver in the fin slot and wiggle it back
and forward until the plug cracks out.
The next step is replace with
a new fin plug. Fix a fin into the new FCS plug. I like
to use epoxy with a little white pigment, instead of resin
to fix the plug in place as it is very very strong.
Put enough epoxy into the hole
to glue the plug in place, making sure the epoxy doesn't
get on the top of the plug. fix the fin into the plug being
replaced and then the other undamaged plug and screw down.
This will hold everything in alignment while it drys.
If you are replacing both plugs
use masking tape to hold the fin in alignment.
When dry, remove the fin, screw
the grub screw below the surface and fill any small holes
or cracks with finishing resin (remember to not get any
resin on the surface of the plug) and sand with wet and
dry sandpaper and water.
You could also try browsing
our surfboard repair books page
Got any questions?
Post them in the surfboard
repair forum and get them answered.
How To Give Your
A Custom Paint Job
Due to adding
more and more information to this page.
We have moved the spray painting surfboards information.
Go To How
to Spray Paint a Surfboard Page
The page includes:
What you need
to Spray your surfboard
Planning your design
Spray Paint or Paint
Preparing Your Surfboard
for Spray Painting
Cutting your design
Painting your surfboard
The Clear Coat
We've also put together a resource page on
books and DVDs about painting your surfboard that will
help you to decide. Drew Brophy's DVD is a must have if you
decide to go for paint pens.
Post your questions in
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