9'6" Balsa longboard

Well, I haven’t been shaping much lately but was happy to get a chance to shape this longboard recently.

9’6" x 16" x 23" x 15" x 3 1/8". This was originally going to be a build thread, but since I started this one from a SharkBay blank there was no glue-up, and to be honest once I got shaping I sort of forgot about the camera…

Anyway, this longboard is from a Pipeliner inspiration. Very slight belly to a rounded vee, downrails in the tail section. The fin is by Juan Rodriguez at OneWorld (Thanks Juan for the quick delivery, as usual). This one is glassed poly - standard all 6oz glassing schedule with a sealer coat before the lam. I usually glass all of my balsas with epoxy (except for the gloss), so its a bit of a departure.

I’ll try and get some better photos with my son’s camera later on - these really don’t due the wood justice.

[img_assist|nid=1061505|title=96 balsa longboard|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=480|height=640]
[img_assist|nid=1061507|title=96 balsa foil|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=480]
[img_assist|nid=1061506|title=96 balsa fin|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=480]

Originally 9’4", became 9’6" with the nice little tail-block?

Mathilde told me this one was for me. Is that true? Man, it’s so kind of you…

Very nice ride!


Thank you, gentlemen.

Balsa, this one is spoken for (Mathilde was probably trying to get boards out of the garage to make space for her car again…geez) but just let me know what you’d like!

That is magnifique!!!

Hi Jeffrey,

very nice board !!!

Could you please comment on the result of glassing with poly in stead of epoxi ?

I built 3 hws boards now ( pawlonia ), and I always used epoxi, but honestly I would prefer using poly ... but epoxi seems to be the rule for hws and wooden surfboards in general ...

Thanks in advance


Hello Daniel,

Well, that’s a complicated query! When I started building balsa boards maybe 8 years ago, I did all of my laminations with poly and had no issues. Then, when building comp-sands (I still hate that term) I started to use epoxy due to the core issues, and because of the documentation regarding wood/resin bonding. I continuted to do poly gloss coats (after carefully prepping the surface by hand sanding/scuffing with 80 or 100g after my “real” sanding to ensure a good mechanical bond). No problems with this: 1) because the boards were well prepped and 2) because a balsa board is pretty stiff  - even my sandwich boards were deliberately built a bit stiffer to ride more like a poly construction - so the flex cracking is a non-issue. At least that’s been my experience.

I do a few things to ensure a good bond, though. Like doing a slightly thinned pre-lam filler coat on a dropping temperature. Really seals the pores and ensures less bubbles as well as a great bond. Lamination is also on a dropping temperature at the end of the day. Only standard catalyst and no UV, since you want the resin to penetrate and that’s going to happen less if the air inside the blank and the wood itself is expanding. This adds a touch of weight, but the boards I built are mostly getting surfed, not hanging on walls, and I haven’t had any come back with delam issues.

Epoxy lams are almost certainly stronger - no question there. But I am sensitive to the stuff (then again, these days I’m sensitive to damn near anything that can be used to glass a board), and my glasser really doesn’t like to use it.

Feel free if you have any other questions - if I can, I’ll be happy to answer.



Your explanation was very clear !

Thanks for taking the time !


Wow, beautiful board!