Firstly we would like to apologize for being so quiet lately. We have been split across the world doing courses in England and South Africa but now find ourselves back in Mozambique where it all started for us just over a year ago. Being apart, our babies have been neglected...those being our surfboards. So out came the resin and the sandpaper, which brings us to the subject of this post, "What to do with your busted ride." Well like the old relic below, if it's big enough and old enough, paint the exposed foam with enamel paint and keep surfing it, you might find that it rides better... like this back end of a longboard.
That only took 15 minutes to sort out.. Now we are going deeper into surfboard surgery. It started when we found 2 boards (6'3 and a 6'5) on the side of the highway. The 6'3 had its nose chowed, tail in pieces and fins ripped out, and the right rail had a tire print in it, it didn't look like much. We decided to try and Frankenstein this one into something different with what was left.
Seeing that all but the centre fin was ripped out, we decided to do major surgery and create an alaia (old Hawaiian finless wood plank) hoping that this one would actually float.
Chris has made one of these alaias out of an old plywood shelf, which works well but as it has no buoyancy, it's extremely difficult to paddle.
Due to the fact that a car had driven over the right hand rail of our road kill board, compressing it and making the rail a whole lot sharper and the fact that home is a right hand point break, we figured an asymmetrical tail would be a fun thing to try experiment with.
You will need:
· Second hand strips of sandpaper
· A blunt saw (that Dad lent to Noah)
· A rusty set square
· A brand new pencil (that mom moans at you for because you took it out the art box without asking... And is now lost)
· Green resin that doesn't match your board.
· Fibreglass (donated by my uncle)
· Screw driver
· Scissors from my grade 3 pencil case
· Kitchen knife (as with the pencil, I also got lip for that from mum.)
After scrounging the wrong tools, that we can hopefully blame our poor workmanship on, we cut the tail off just in front of the centre fin, at a mathematical angle discovered by Plato, also known as, "Baby does that look straight?"
We then moved on to stripping some of the fibreglass off the bottem deck at the tail end of the board so that we could shape some channels into the foam. Having it as a finless board meant that we needed a sharp, long, straight rail so that the rail and the channels keep the board from sliding out.
From there we proceeded to guesstimate the volume and length that we wanted it to be, by the old "hold it under you arm and wiggle your shoulders " method, and chopped the nose off. The nose was now really square so we cut it at a bit of an angle so that it wouldn't stop dead in the water if the nose started to dig in. We then sanded the angles down slightly and rounded the nose off just a little bit.
Next we needed to add our own form of leash plug...we drilled through the top deck, through the stringer from both sides and threaded it through.
The glassing came next, in all it's itchy, messy glory. Our first mix of resin had too much hardener so it dried on us too quickly. After that the mixes got a bit better. You only really need about 10 drops of hardener per cup of resin. Don't be tempted to add more as it just hardens way too quickly and will get hot and burn the foam. But dont put too little hardener as we did while ding repairing all of the boards in the fisrt picture. We are still sitting, a day later, waiting for the resin to harden on 5 sticky boards...Disaster!
When applying the resin, first put a coat of resin on the board, then quickly put on the glass and then more resin and stroke the bubbles out with a comb. We were using a wax comb to spread it and it seriously sticks to your hands so unless you want your mom telling you to scrub your nails for the next 3 days or waking up with your toes stuck together, wear gloves and beware the drips!
Once the resin was dry, we sanded it lightly and painted the areas we worked on with enamel paint to hide the green and neaten up the board.
A new board for the quiver. What was heading for the dump is now drawing interesting lines down the point. It floats so it's 100 times easier to paddle than an authentic alaia and it goes well, if not better. The asymmetrical tail with the channels holds well and gives enough hold for a bottom turn.
And it was free!