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  1. #1

    Repairing a surfboard...tips?

    Hey y'all,<br /><br />I was out on that big day in Jerz at the end of December and ate **** pretty hard on a monster. I did not have my rail-saver line tight enough, so when the wave pulled my board one way, and my rag dolled body the other way, the little rope tore right through the ass end of my board. Its a thin slice in the tail of my 7S superfish which is fiberglass and epoxy. I've acquired some \"Ding All\" and would like to attempt to repair this. Any tips or links to repair vids you think would help so i don't F#&k this up?<br />Im attaching a couple pics of the damage...
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  2. #2
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    Been there once. My string ripped through one of my thrusters years ago.

    Seems like you have the right materials. Major difference in working with epoxy vs poly is curing time and sanding. It usually takes 24 hours for it to cure hard enough to sand. So be patient. Also, any loose fiberglass and foam must be sanded or dremel (my personal tool of choice for ding repairs) before applying. Open that crack up slightly more with some sandpaper or a dremel and drizzle resin into it and layer it up with cloth. Its easier than it seems. Do it in small amounts and make sure your mixtures of catalyst and resin are exact. Build up the new material and sand it flush with rest of board. Epoxy is harder to sand than poly so dont be scared to be too aggressive with sand paper grit, but stay cautious, and be patient, because of epoxy this repair can take place over a few days to a week if you want it done right only because of the curing time.

    Just go for it.

  3. #3
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    First, be sure your blank is polyurethane if you bought polyester Ding All resin. If you bought epoxy Ding All, you can use it no matter what. Usually, but not always, epoxy resin is used to glass over polystyrene (EPS) foam. If so, you MUST use epoxy resin. You can use polyester resin to repair an epoxy or polyester lamination, but only if the core material is polyurethane, and NOT polystyrene. You can tell polyurethane foam from polystyrene foam by looking at it closely... polyurethane foam will be crispy and crumbly; polystyrene will be little beads (EPS) or tough and kind of rubbery (XPS).

    Put your board on the rack bottom up, and level the damaged area. Remove any loose fiberglass and sand. Tape off the deckside slice with masking tape, wrapping the tape around the tail rail and ending at the bottom edge of the rail. This prevents the resin from running through the slice and dripping out the other side. Mix your resin and hardener and some filler material... either q-cell or microballoons or cabisil... to make a thick paste that barely flows, and pour it into the slice to fill up the gap to the level of the flat bottom. Don't use too much or too little. Just fill the slice level with the bottom of the board. Let it cure. Remove the tape, sand the area around the slice, and laminate a patch over the bottom side slice that wraps around the rail to the deck side. Let cure; fair the edges of the patch. Flip the board and do the same to the deck side, wrapping the patch around to the bottom. Let cure; fair the edges of the patch. Tape off the bottom edge of the board, deck side up, so the tape hangs off the edge and forms a drip edge. Paint a hotcoat over the patch; let cure. Flip. Do the same to the bottom, taping off a drip edge, and painting a hotcoat over the patch. Sand smooth. Done.
    Last edited by LBCrew; Feb 13, 2012 at 10:50 AM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DaMook View Post
    Been there once. My string ripped through one of my thrusters years ago.

    Seems like you have the right materials. Major difference in working with epoxy vs poly is curing time and sanding. It usually takes 24 hours for it to cure hard enough to sand. So be patient. Also, any loose fiberglass and foam must be sanded or dremel (my personal tool of choice for ding repairs) before applying. Open that crack up slightly more with some sandpaper or a dremel and drizzle resin into it and layer it up with cloth. Its easier than it seems. Do it in small amounts and make sure your mixtures of catalyst and resin are exact. Build up the new material and sand it flush with rest of board. Epoxy is harder to sand than poly so dont be scared to be too aggressive with sand paper grit, but stay cautious, and be patient, because of epoxy this repair can take place over a few days to a week if you want it done right only because of the curing time.

    Just go for it.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by LBCrew View Post
    First, be sure your blank is polyurethane if you bought polyester Ding All resin. If you bought epoxy Ding All, you can use it no matter what. Usually, but not always, epoxy resin is used to glass over polystyrene (EPS) foam. If so, you MUST use epoxy resin. You can use polyester resin to repair an epoxy or polyester lamination, but only if the core material is polyurethane, and NOT polystyrene. You can tell polyurethane foam from polystyrene foam by looking at it closely... polyester foam will be crispy and crumbly; polystyrene will be little beads (EPS) or tough and kind of rubbery (XPS).

    Put your board on the rack bottom up, and level the damaged area. Remove any loose fiberglass and sand. Tape off the deckside slice with masking tape, wrapping the tape around the tail rail and ending at the bottom edge of the rail. This prevents the resin from running through the slice and dripping out the other side. Mix your resin and hardener and some filler material... either q-cell or microballoons or cabisil... to make a thick paste that barely flows, and pour it into the slice to fill up the gap to the level of the flat bottom. Don't use too much or too little. Just fill the slice level with the bottom of the board. Let it cure. Remove the tape, sand the area around the slice, and laminate a patch over the bottom side slice that wraps around the rail to the deck side. Let cure; fair the edges of the patch. Flip the board and do the same to the deck side, wrapping the patch around to the bottom. Let cure; fair the edges of the patch. Tape off the bottom edge of the board, deck side up, so the tape hangs off the edge and forms a drip edge. Paint a hotcoat over the patch; let cure. Flip. Do the same to the bottom, taping off a drip edge, and painting a hotcoat over the patch. Sand smooth. Done.
    Great instruction..thanks for responding. I have "polyester resin ding-all", and my foam is crumbly/crispy, pretty sure it's polyurethane...so I think I'm good in that department.

    As for the filler material, can I just snip up some pieces of the fiberglass cloth that came in the package? I don't know what q-cell, microballons or cabisil is, or where to find it.

    I obviously just mix a small amount of the resin and hardener at a time right? I am going to have to go back a few times so I need to make sure to save a bunch of the stuff, correct?

    Also, what is a "hotcoat"?

    THANKS AGAIN!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by justinjones View Post
    As for the filler material, can I just snip up some pieces of the fiberglass cloth that came in the package? I don't know what q-cell, microballons or cabisil is, or where to find it.
    I've never had good luck snipping up fiberglass cloth to thicken up resin. It's hard to describe what you get from doing that, but stringy jell-o might not be too far off, and the problem is sometimes it just wont flow at all, so you might have a hard time getting it down into that crack.

    q-cell is the right stuff for that job, and if you go to a surf shop with that does real board repairs, with a few bucks, and a ziplock baggie, my guess is you'll come out with a half cup of q-cell, which will last you this repair and the next half dozen. If you do get some, handle it carefully...its nasty stuff and gets airborne easily.

    if getting to a surf shop is not convenient for you, my guess is there are plenty of "home substitutes" for q-cell, but i've never tried any of them so i wont speculate.
    Last edited by mitchell; Feb 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM.

  7. #7
    Q cell. Only way to fill it. Just don't mix it too hot.

    Greenlight in Manasquan has the Free ding repair classes on Saturdays, might be good to go there first...

  8. #8
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    Q-cell and microballoons/microspheres are hollow glass spheres used to make resin more viscus while making it lighter and easier to sand. Cabosil is also a thickener, but adds strength, so it's harder to sand. All of the above also make the mix whiter so the repair matches better. Chopped strand is harder to work with, like Mitch said, and makes it harder to sand as well. You can get filler material at you local surf shop/ding repair guy, like the guys above said, or you can order it online. West Marine and other boating supply places carry it, but it's really expensive there. You can do the repair without it if you have to... you'll just have a clear repair. Just don't over-fill your hole so you have nothing to sand before you laminate. The only substitute I've tried it talc, but don't worry about that...

    A hotcoat is a coat of catalyzed resin painted over the laminated patch. It seals the repair and gives you something to sand when faring out the repair and blending it into the surrounding area. It's referred to as a hotcoat because it's usually catalyzed "hot" and kicks quickly. Use just enough to make the weave disappear... not a big, thick puddle that you'll have to sand all off anyway. Taping around the repair helps keep the resin where you want it. Pull the tape once the resin starts to gell.

    Paper dixie cups or cut off water bottle bottoms work fine for mixing small amounts of resin. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how much catalyst to use. You can eyeball ounces of resin and count drops of cat. If you're using filler material, mix it into the resin first, then catalyze.
    Last edited by LBCrew; Feb 13, 2012 at 11:14 AM.

  9. #9
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    a tip- specially if using epoxy- the stuff is super runny... use alot of masking tape, even when preping/sanding the area- mask it out, like LBcrew mentioned... the repair will look much better. Use the tape to create a cup on the bottom to catch excess resin and to keep the resin inside the ding when trying to fill it- gravity has its way sometimes... dont worry if you end up with alot of resin built up when trying to keep the resin inside the ding, you can sand it off. AND- like LBC mentioned- MAKE SURE you take OFF the masking tape right when the resin starts to cure- I like to wait till right after it gels- then your a knife to score the area and take off the tape- otherwise it will create a mess. Don't cut/sand too much of the area away before filling- there is a balance- when you take out too much is could create more problems. First fill the ding with your choice if filler- its so small, I would just use resin, plus it gives more strength. then sand it down to just below flush- then add a layer of fiberglass, then sand careful not to sand away all the fibergalss, then hotcoat with a paintbrush, still masking out an area everystep of the way. sanding could be the most important part to making it look good.

  10. #10
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    the blue ding all bottle is for epoxy and the yellow is for poly. Make sure your using the right stuff or your foam will melt! Determine for sure if your board is EPS or poly. I forgot to mention the cabisol as a filler, but don't use it as a top coat.