Big deck delam repair

My sister’s Ricky Carroll HPLB has a gnarly deck delam. The board is super fun to ride and worth saving, I think, or at least worth trying to save so as to keep it out of the landfill. I’ve started tackling the project. This is the first time I’ve attempted a repair of this size. See pictures below, all advice is appreciated. Let me know if I’m on the wrong track here.

Cracks along the stringer let the water in. It spread out across the deck. The board was in a bag in storage for about a year and never dried out.

An opposing view of the damaged area. You can see the stringer was wet and there was some rot.

I cut the glass with the Dremel along the edges of the damaged areas and peeled it back, revealing the extent of the damage.

Another view of the damaged area. The yellow foam here is actually hardened, like there was an excess of resin in this spot when the board was glassed. Not sure how to deal with this part. When I try to remove this yellowed foam, it lifts up chunks of good foam underneath.

Over the weekend, I did a little more work. Smoothing of the top of the stringer w/the hobby plane. Cutting out the rotted foam with a rasp and sandpaper and trying to level it all off. My thought is to do a base of spackle to fill in all the mini holes, bumps, etc. Then, mix a slow batch of resin with a lot of qcell (Marshmallow fluff consistency) and fill in the entire area, then sand to level. Maybe spray to cover. Then glass with a double layer of 4oz cloth. Thoughts? Thanks.

The first Rickey C board I ever saw was also the first EPS that I ever rode, (about 15 years ago). First, you should test the scraped foam to see if it will melt with your resin. (If what you have is PU.) If you can find some foam in sheet form of any type, then you can sand what is left down smooth. Then using any of the foaming polyurethane glues, glue the sheet over the old foam, weighting down with sand bags, bricks, etc. Then or after curing, re-shape, Q-sel the little bad spots, and glass over. If the sheet foam you found is EPS, use epoxy resin. If it is low density, go with three layers of 4 Oz. cloth.


Old foam under delam’s like this will become “stratified” or separated. That’s why when you pick off the yellow stuff more foam underneath comes off. If you hit it with a blast of air, it will begin peeling and you’ll see the layering. Forget the spackle, that’s for filling tiny spaces between eps beads, not filling voids. A resin filler will weigh a ton because you’ll need so much. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Remove as much of the rotted foam as possible (don't go crazy, but get the loose stuff out).
  • Get some 2 lb. pour foam, mix it , pour and spread evenly over the opening. Cover with wax paper and tape it down. You only get about 45 sec. to do this, so work quickly and have the wax paper/tape prepped.
  • After the foam cures, pull off the wax paper and plane down the mound level with the deck. Fill any big voids with a smaller batch of pour foam and repeat the process.
  • The pour foam surface will be full of holes from the foaming process after planing. Fill that with a very thick resin and foam dust mix and sand level.
  • Laminate 2 layers of 6 oz. over the opening, hotcoat, etc.
Here's the truth about fixing delam's: The board will be heavier, it will start again someplace else (maybe right next to your repair), and it's a lot of work and costly.

Pete’s right, as ever -

Spackle is nice stuff…on sheetrock. It has zero bonding strength on foam. On a delam, fahgeddaboutit. It’ll only encourage a further delam. Immediately.

The discolored and more brittle foam is the result of our friend the ocean: salt water plus UV light has the effect of making foam hard and brittle, Kinda like over-baked meringue, without the flavor.

My answer to such problems is to basicly do what Pete says, though maybe go a little nuts with extra layers of glass over - the less the fix can be compressed, the longer it’ll last.


“Here’s the truth about fixing delam’s: The board will be heavier, it will start again someplace else (maybe right next to your repair), and it’s a lot of work and costly.”

Ohhh yeah. Extend your ‘jeez, why not put on a coupla more layers of cloth over the repair’ well fore and aft. That’l delay the return of the delam, but that’s the best you can hope for.

hope that’s of some use, and some small consolation