9 foot Balsa board restoration help !

Well my mate has asked me to restore a Balsa board which was being used as a shelf in his uncles place. The board was originally his fathers so he is keen to restore it and i’m keen to fix it. 

This is my first attempt at fixing a Balsa Board so i am looking for some hints and help from people. 

There are a few holes that need filling, The fin is almost rotted so i think i will have to build a new fin to replace it, I haven’t removed the timber yet but i’m guessing it’s not Balsa by the colour of it.



You Butcher!

Why didn't you post up before the so called resto.  This an old balsa board that is worth it's weight in gold, and you just go ripping off glass.

heck why not just reshape it too?....(being facious here, don't do it.)


The best retorations are the non intrusive ones.  The ones that restore not reshape.   But since you decided to rip off the glass...carry on, reglass the whole thing.   Don't put a new fin on it...fix the fin and make it original.


Actually I’m not a BUTCHER !!! 

This is how I received the board someone else had already removed the glass. I have no idea how bad the condition was but by the looks of it I’m pretty sure it wasn’t good. It was being used as a shelf in a garage for years !!


But thanks for your 2 cents worth !

My friend Kenny Woleen has an old Swastika balsa/redwood, that rodents chewed through, so he took it to Dale Velzy to have it fixed before he died.  Dale called him and left a cool message on his phone which I had him send to mine, and I’ll play it every now and then just to hear the Hawk’s scratchy old voice and his admonition: “to keeps it where the mice can’t get at it”.  Probably should forward it to the Surfing Heritage Museum.

Davey Abbott was one of the hottest surfers to come out of Newport Beach in the 60’s, so hot that he was Pat Curren’s team rider when Pat had a shop in NB in the sixties.  Davey loves to tell the time when he knocked a freshly shaped balsa Curren off the racks tearing a gouge, into what today is considered a masterpiece.  Davey thought Pat was going to come unglued, but when Pat saw it he calmly walked over and grabbed a miter saw and cut out the damaged area, and pieced in another piece of balsa, and he never said a word.  A couple of years ago, I asked Pat if he remembered the incident, he said:  “Of course, I’ll never forget that”, I asked him if he was mad, and he replied something like: ‘O yeah’.



What is rotted about the fin?  it looks like some water  / staining damage?   But I don't see any dry rot.   In the marine environment they used to sell some stuff called "GetRot" or something like that. or you can preg the balsa with it or  resin and stiffen it up for sanding etc.   Then you glass it.

Stop trying to make it new.