RAW Surfboard Restoration
I purchased this surfboard as a gift for my surfing buddy, who then decided to move to America, leaving me with nobody to surf with, and one surfboard too many. Brilliant.
So here I am again, selling another surfboard. I figured I may as well do a little work on the board rather than just relisting it, to gain more experience of working with surfboards and understanding their contours and construction. There wasn’t any real damage to this board; it was perfectly surfable when I bought it, but there were a few cosmetic deficiences and some previous repairs that weren’t quite up to my standard.
I decided to work on the entire outer rim of the surfboard, known as the rails, nose and tail. Fibreglass was required in 4 or 5 places, but other than that, my plan was to apply a smooth coat of resin right around the edge of the ‘surfboard to fill all the scratches and cracks that wouldn’t polish out. I would then paint the surfboard and lacquer it, hopefully leaving it looking almost brand new.
I decided to get some professional advice about spraying surfboards, and found that Chris Harris, the artist at Nigel Semmens’ Ocean Magic Surfboard Factory in Cornwall gave me some very helpful advice on his techniques and experience.
So here goes, surfboard renovation #2!
Nigel Semmens is a living, breathing 1980’s European surfing champion.
I set about de-waxing the surfboard, and found there were numerous scratches along both rails, only cosmetic damage but I knew I could get rid of these. The previous repairs weren’t brilliant, and some of the paint was chipping off the repairs, so I rubbed these right down and marked the sections for fibreglassing.
There were 2 areas along the rails that had previously been repaired, so I will fibreglass these areas and ensure they are finished to an impeccable standard.
##Base chip A tiny indent in the base of the board, I will fill this with fibreglass strands to get it back to the level surface.
Just the usual damage to the tail where it has been stood on end, I will fibreglass both corners to ensure strength is maintained.
I am going to repair it. Obviously. I mean, I fix things; that’s what I do.
Materials for repair
As well as using the Ding-All epoxy repair kit, I took the surfboard over to Specialist Car Colours in Bromsgrove to get some paint matched to the colour of my surfboard. This guy is great, he has never let me down with colour matches, and within a couple of hours I had my own spray can of suitably named “Surf White”.
My shoddy cling filming efforts left me with 2 hours sanding the resin smooth. Super.
Covered with cling film to smooth out the resin mixture. You can just see the small chip in the top right of the photo.
Covered with cling film to smooth out the resin mixture. About as useful as a waterproof teabag. The only decent finish came from the plastic sheet. I gotta get more of that stuff.
Cling film again, sigh.
2 hours of sanding later.
Now it looks mint, all of the scratches have gone, so the next step is to paint.
I masked up the central areas of both the deck and the base, and sprayed a thick base coat of the surf white paint. 2 coats, then turn and spray the other side.
As you can see, I created horrible runs, but this isn’t a problem. The purpose of the first coat was to be thick to get all of the colour down, I can sand out the runs and anywhere that I rub through that needs more colour can be touched up with a light coat that won’t require further sanding.
Already looks mint ( don’t look at the runs ).
Resisting the temptation to do any more work on the board, I must be disciplined and leave the paint to harden for at least another 24 hours. Huff.
Having left the paint to bake in my incredibly warm downstairs loo, I then sanded out the runs with superfine 1200 wet and dry paper. unfortunately in some areas I had rubbed through too much of the paint so the colour wasn’t vibrant enough, so I will apply several more coats but thinly applied to build up the colour. Once this has dried, a quick key with 1200 wet and dry and lacquer can be applied.
Tonight I gave the board 2 thin coats of surf white to cover areas I had rubbed through, and then used the rest of the spray can on the tail and nose of the board where it would take most knocks. The final stage of lacquering the board can now be done, once the paint has fully cured.
Keyed the surface of the board all over, so I could apply the lacquer. unfortunately I only got 1 and a half coats on before the can ran out! The lacquer is touch dry within 20 minutes and gives the board an excellent shine all over. I will apply two more coats tomorrow, concentrating on the tail and the nose for extra protection.
Added the final 2 coats of lacquer this evening, the board is now baking ready for a final polish tomorrow once it has hardened.
The runs in the lacquer came out really easy, I then gave the board a 4th coat of lacquer and hey presto, finished! Check out the photographs, look at that shine! Only thing left to do is to T-cut the board to make it super slippy. Think I will wait for a nice sunny day before I get the elbow grease out!
Check out the gloss on this bad boy! I applied about 10 coats of lacquer to the tail, since it takes the most abuse.
This is where I had runs in the paint, AND in the lacquer! All gone.
Looks as good as new, aside from a dirty thumbprint right on the edge of the rail that I managed to seal under the lacquer, aaaahhh! Can you spot it?!
Something you should be proud to take home to your parents. Trust me on this one.