Board Repair, one man's story
by Art Goodwin
I had a great time in Hawaii with my wife in March of this year. We stayed in Waikiki, and I rented a board from Local Motion on advice from Shamrock. I ended up with a fairly beat-up 9í0", and had a great time for a few mornings in the glassy ankle slappers at Popís.
The waves were small and gutless, but being in the water for the first time without head-to-toe rubber made up for it. For a while. I came for warm water but was also hoping for some Hawaiian surf. Being that we were there between seasons (North Shore action fading, South Shore still sleeping), it was a crap shoot. We drove up to the North Shore for the day and it looked pretty good. That night I bought soft racks for the rental car and headed back with my log the next day.
Sunset looked good, so we stopped there. My wife settled in the sand with a book and I paddled out. This week was my first time on anything bigger than 7í4", so despite having zero turtle roll skill, I managed to get outside. It was friendly out there, but kinda crowded, and I was anything but aggressive. After nearly two hours, I had two waves. My first was pretty good by South Vancouver Island standards, and the second was the ride of my life. Well overhead, nice takeoff and walled-up down the line. Fastest Iíve ever gone on a surfboard. I was loving it. Allen Sarlo (of Dogtown fame) was out with his daughter; both were ripping. Great session, I was stoked.
Within ten minutes of that ride, a set showed on the horizon. For the past two hours, though the peak shifted side to side, all the set waves broke in roughly the same spot. I was about to start paddling further outside, but nobody was moving. I decided to stick with the pack. This proved unwise. All at once everyone realized what was coming and started scratching. I came up a couple meters short for the first wave, and tried to turn turtle. I got worked. When I popped up, the next lip was hanging overhead, so I dove. When the spin cycle ceased and I made it through the foam to the surface, half my board was bobbing at the end of my leash.
The board had snapped pretty much in the middle. A chunk of foam had been ripped from one side of the stringer on the back half. Damn. I got a sympathetic smile and a "bummer!" from another victim of the cleanup set before paddling in. I collected my pieces and made my way painfully down the beach. I had ground off some skin on the sole of my foot after being washed inside earlier. Not bad in the water; irritating in the sand.
The manager at Local Motion was super nice. When I first picked up the board a few days prior, they took a $600 Visa imprint. This was on my mind from the time I first saw the damage. They ended up charging me $300, waived the rental fee ($77), and replaced the board for the rest of my trip. They also packed up the pieces in bubble wrap and cardboard. I spent about $120 on repair supplies.
Both sides have been laminated and hotcoated, and you can still see the old logos and some of the repair. Iíll have to paint it.
Painted with Krylonís "Fusion", which is meant for plastic products and supposedly chip-resistant. I painted on Local Motionís newer logo, Ďcause logos are important for image, after all.
Glass cut back, chunk glued in. You can see the glass didnít peel nicely. Lots of missing foam thatíll need filling.
Dings prepped for repair, wax (mostly) scraped off.
The removed glass.
I took my time to shim up the halves to get the correct rocker before gluing. When it looked good enough, I mixed some resin and filler for glue, slapped it on and weighted it down. Notice the wax paper on both sides of the joint; this keeps it from bonding to all the garbage piled above and below. I also have my rack against the nose and a little storage box against the tail to keep it all snug while it sets up.
Ready for filling.
I mixed up more resin and filler (mix of glass bubbles and cabosil) and went to town on all the gouges. Then as a final coat I used spackle to fill all the dimples. This shot was taken after I laminated the break area with 6oz cloth. (two layers top, one layer bottom).
Dings filled. I like the tape dam method. When the filler has started to kick (but isnít fully set) I use a surform blade to cheese-grate the filler flush. This leaves very little sanding.
Fin box and plugs taped off. I did the same for the leash plug. I spent forever scraping wax off the whole board, both sides (the board must have been stacked with another, there was a fair amount of wax on the bottom), the using a citrus cleaner on the residue. Youíve got to get ALL the wax off any area you expect resin to bond to. I also sanded the whole thing until it had a dull finish (ignoring all the pressure dings that remained shiny) for better bonding.
4oz cloth cut and ready on the bottom.
Laminating resin, mixed with colour paste and ready to go.
Bottom laminated. You can see through the weave, which means Iíll have to colour the hotcoat as well.
View of the deck with the bottom laminated. The laps have been sanded down in prep for the deck lam.