broken bonzer reshape

I’ve got this broken 8’0" X “x 3 1/8” malcolm cambell bonzer which belonged to a friend before it was snapped by an icy-cold, barreling, head+ wave in New York City a couple of years ago. The guy riding it was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the lip came down right on top of it. It broke about two feet from the nose. Originally I just put it back together, but I did a terrible job and sanded through too much glass on the rails so it ended up breaking again in basically the same spot in very meager beach break. The two halves have been haunting my garage ever since.

Anyway, yesterday I finally decided to do something with it. I thought about making a fish of it but If I cut the swallow tail around the fin box, the most I could have gotten out of it would have been around 5’2". There was still plenty of thickness through the nose, but as I weight 200+ I just didn’t think that would work. Also, my first shape was a longboard-to-fish redux so I know perfectly well that that is waaaaay more work than just starting with a proper blank, so I decided to just keep as much of the original glass as possible and just reshape the nose.

here’s my progress so far:

The shape is a bit odd and I have no idea how it will work, but I’m eager to try it out. 

you can see the darker brown area behind the exposed foam  which is where I replaced the glass from the original repair with some bamboo jersey from greenlight. I didn’t have much success with that so I’m going with two layers of 4 oz. glass on the bottom and freelapping it up the whole way to the old glass on the deck. hopefully that will be enough strength in the rails.

My biggest concern right now is the rocker. I’m having trouble smoothing out the inflection point where the new glass will meets the old. I filled in the space with spackle and sanded the glass down but as you can see in the photos there is still a bit of a kink in the bottom. Not sure what I can do about this, so I’ll probably just glass it and give it a go.

Any advice will be appreciated.

just glass it and give it a go

…now I gotta go look up “inflection point”

BTW I used to have a 7’ 6" bonzer with a similar plan shape, had a lot of fun on that board, keep thinking about building another.

Hi Huck,

As I understand it, “inflection point” means something like a kink. It has something to do with tangent lines. Maybe I picked up the term working with adobe illustrator a computer design program. It operates with points and vectors like ACU shaper but 2D instead of 3D.  I think “anchor points” is the term used in AKU.

Basically I was just trying to say there is a kink in the rocker. I figured microballoons would get too hard and I wouldn’t be able to sand it smooth close to the exposed foam. I sanded down the glass a bit and built up the foam with a bit of spackle. its not perfect, but I guess, what can you expect from 3/4 of an old bonzer?

Anyway, I threw some glass on it over the weekend and hopefully I’ll be able to hotcoat it and get it into the water before this swell backs off.

Swerfle, I was wondering if you could take some measurements on The Fin positions? 

Looks like you’re on a roll now. Glass it up and post some pics along the way.

overall dimensions on the original board are 8’0" x 15 3/4" x 21 3/4" x 14 1/2" x 3 1/2".

the 8.5" center fin box is 4 7/8" off the tail.

side fin plugs- (the kind that go the whole way through the board) (front): 17 1/4" from tail

7" off centerline, (1 15/16" off rail)

7 1/8" off centerline (1 3/8 off rail)

Side fin plugs (back): 12 1/4" from tail

The back of the rear boxes are 5 3/4 off the center (1 5/8 off the rail )

front of the rear bonzer boxes are 5 7/8 of the center, (2 5/8 off the rail)


first a bit of background: I’m 38 years old, ~ 6’4" and around 200 pounds. I grew up in a landlocked state and although I drive right past rincon on my way to work, I don’t get to surf nearly as much as I would like. I’m an average surfer on a good day.  So I was more than a little nervous about such a small board. (I attached a shot of me next to the board to give a bit of scale.) plus this shape is a little weird, to say the least. wide point way forward with a relatively narrow tail. I wasn’t sure if it would float me but even if it did, I had no idea if I’d be able to catch anything. Still, I was so excited to give it a try that I skipped the hotcoat, gave it a quick hand sanding and took it out this morning for a maiden voyage. I figured that if its a total dog, I’d save myself the trouble of a hotcoat.

the waves were shoulder high beach breaks which normally pretty mushy but were walling up nicely today.  paddling out the board was completely submerged and I had to arch my back to keep my face out of the water: not a good sign, especially with enough SUPs in the water that I’d likely have to really fight for waves.

A set rolled in just as I made it to the line up and on my first wave I knew I had a keeper. On the second wave I stuffed it right in the curl, but it wasn’t hollow enough to be called a proper barrel. (I was more “in” the lip than under it). I’m not a great surfer so that alone was GOLD. super fun, fast and loose and no problem making the turn on a late drop. I have a feeling that this is going to be my go to board for a while. might even have to do a hotcoat.

That said, I may need to work out the fins a bit. The tail is narrow, but the bonzer setup generates tons of lift (maybe too much). In fact, going straight down the line there was so much lift in the tail that it almost feels like the board is trying to skip out of the water. My bud who also rode it today said he almost felt like the board wanted to ollie. I suspect that with all that lift in the tail, if the nose were any narrower it would have problems perling, but it never did.

Next, I’m going to take out one of the sets of fins and see how that goes, then try it as a single, but so far so good. anyway, its a fun little shape. nothing like anything I’ve ridden before, but I like it.

Board looks good…you on the other hand…

I’ll second that.

In the original post you say this is an 8-0 bonzer, but it sure doesn’t look like 8 foot in the pic!