Broken surftech repair - suggestions welcome

A 4oz fiberglass over the veneer will increase skin stiffness noticeably wich contribute to board overall stiffness even more on stringerless board. With this added stiffness, weight and toughness i am sure you’ll improve this board a lot. 

Last tufflight itération are make like this, a wood veneer  “cellulose sandwich” between fiberglass. From long user of all tufflight builds, midlenght, this  give the best boards.

I’m not looking to improve the weight or flex (rigidity), only the strength / ding resistance.  I haven’t ridden the board yet, so I’m sure I wouldn’t be aware of any improvements in performance.  But I just don’t feel I’m going to damage the ride in any significant way.

Discussing Surftech is like ordering coffee at Starbucks: they have their own proprietary language, which I am new to.  TufLite seems to be a bit different from this board, as John Mellor pointed out earlier in the thread.  TufLite apparently has an outer layer of fiberglass.

I really don’t know if Surftech even still makes these “wood tech” boards without an outer layer of fiberglass.  Maybe there was enough negative feedback they discontinued them in favor of the stronger TufLite builds. 

There was also mention somewhere of a “classic glass” option which apparently means that an outer layer of glass was added, I guess like I’m doing. Except that I am using epoxy resin for the exterior finish, and apparently Surftech used epoxy only for the bonding layer of fiberglass, and polyester resin for the exterior layer. If you look closely at the diagram below, you will see “epoxy fiberglass” for the bond, and then “fiberglass lamination” for the finish. Probably because of proprietary secrecy, they’re not real transparent in explaining exactly what they’re doing.  Which is why I suspect a lot of people who own these wood tech boards are probably not aware they don’t have fiberglass over the wood.

I’m not sure of the year of this build, but I’m guessing its 10 or 15 years old. Which leads me to wonder if the shell is more brittle now, with age.  Perhaps the resin was more resilient at first? My guess is that this is the case.

For sure you will improve this board with fiberglass over wood.

I don’t see a surftech with visible wood like yours for long time. I repair tufflight for long time and see évolutions from pvc foam with light fiberglass to a lighter xps like foam with heavier fiberglass and now wood veneer sandwiched.


Honestly man I can’t wait to here what you think after you have ridden it.  You have built a lot of wood construction boards and quite a few traditional foam and fiberglass boards.  I may be overstating, but my point is;  There will be a lot of difference between this board and others you have ridden.  The real question will be whether or not you like it better.

Yes, I need to get back out in the water. With lockdowns, a new business venture, and just this morning I pulled a calf muscle badly, put me back on crutches and in a lot of pain, paddling out seems a distant dream.

I have concluded the fin is a standard fiberglass layup with wood veneer either side. Sanding the resin off I nearly sanded thru the wood too. So I laminated a layer of 1/16" balsa to either side, and glassed that.

So the halo isn’t really a halo, it’s the actual fin.  While it looks like a wood fin, it isn’t.



I’m going to place an order with GL for Veneer and some of that exotic ply they are making.  Going to try to use it for something besides cabinet refacing.  

Finished it up & paddled out, I like the rode.

Huck did you weigh the Yater before and after you completed it? Just finished adding 4oz top and bottom on a mystery 10’ styro / epoxy board.  With all the repairs and glass board went from 16 lbs to 21 lbs.

I weighed it before but forgot after, now its waxed and finned.  I can take the fin out, but don’t really feel like taking the wax off, or know how much that would affect the weight.  Probably not much.  I will take the fin off and weigh it when I get a chance.  But it doesn’t feel significanly heavier.  Be interesting to see.

I didn’t sand through the cracked resin, I just sanded enough to rough up the surface for glassing.  Because the veneer is very thin in spots, and the danger is its easy to sand all the way through it.  On the fin I did sand all the way through the resin cracks, and ended up going through the veneer in spots.  So I laminated a new layer of balsa on the fin, then glassed it with 3 layers, its thicker now than it used to be.  I added a pinline to the fin, I’m real happy with the way it turned out, will have to get some pics. 

On the board, you can see the old dings under the glass.  Not horrible looking, but definitely there.  On the  worst ding, the one I did when the board fell off the stand, I painted “falsa” style to blend it in, unsure of how it would look under glass, its noticeable but doesn’t look bad at all.

You can see I added a lam of my own just to probe there is now glass there, haha.


I went from 16.5 lbs to 18.5 lbs, so a 2 lb weight gain with the 4 oz. glass.

I don’t have good pics of the fin when I got the board, it looked bad, structurally unsound. But it was just cracks in the glass-less resin.

Sanding through all the resin tho, I had to sand into the wood a little. Discovered it was just a veneer. So I ended up gluing a new layer of 1/16" both sides. Then 3 layers of 4 oz glass each side, with sanding in between. 

The fin is now 3/4" thick, it was 5/8". I used contact cement, which was gummy and didnt leave a clean line around the edge, hence the painted pinline between layers of glass.

I also took the liberty of shortening it just a tad, it seemed a bit big at 10".

I just recently bought another one of these, almost identical, but the dings & cracks were worse. I got it cheap, good thing cuz its been a project to clean it up. I didn’t take good before & during photos, but will try to get some pics soon, its almost ready to glass.

Revisiting this old thread brought a few surprises. One, I had forgotten that flex was even part of the discussion. For the boards I ride, and the type of surfing I do, its something I seldom think about.

The other Surftech wood board I worked on didn’t get ridden much, simply because I found I needed some cash and it sold quickly. We’ll see how it goes with this one.

I also had forgotten how I did the leash loop, taking the tail block off then putting it back on. So on this one, I did it a little different. Should work out OK tho.

I had some serious cracks in the resin that looked horrible. Since there is no glass on the outside of the board, resin cracks aren’t as serious structurally, but they look like they are. And on the deck, dirt and wax got into the resin cracks, and made a permanent tattoo on the wood veneer. So to cover that up, I added a fabric inlay on the tail (deck side), and a fabric inlay horizontal stripe on the bottom side.

I also tried using balsa wood for the repairs, which was a little trickier than I thought it would be.

Overall it is much improved, but up close there are a few things that didn’t go exacly as planned. But its not done yet, I suspect some of the nit picky things will be forgotten once it gets glassed and finished up.

When I cut a slot in the tail to add my leash attach, I noticed a different foam around the fin box. So I would say yes, there is evidence of a high density foam in certain spots.

I would have taken pics but I just saw this question tonight, and its covered up now.

Dang that board looks like it was run over in a parking lot. I’m still using My Yater Surftech I bought in 1996 as a daily driver. Every few years I do an overhaul and take care of all accumulated damage. I sanded off the poly gloss coat and use epoxy for all repairs and finish coat. I feel the the epoxy minimizes the cracks I would get from the poly gloss coat I used to use. Also over time I have noticed more flex from the board vs when it was new. Not sure if it makes much difference when I surf it but it’s fun to demo it to people in the water

Yes thats just apparently what happens to these no-glass-outside boards from basic unrepaired dings. No pressure dents, but shatters, cracks, and blow outs galore.

Looking through the posts on my last Surftech project like this, I had forgotten about the “falsa” paint to blend the repairs, so I’m gonna give that a try on this one also. Most of the repairs are decent, but still not pretty up close. So I may do some pinlines also, to dress it up a bit and draw the eye away from all the patches.

Here it is this morning.

If you see a rail-wrap and bottom side tail patch in the pics, its just resin tint, no glass. Again, for visual effect. It will have a rail wrap with cut laps, but with 4 oz. glass you probably won’t see them, and I wanted to kinda blend or cover the rail ding repairs without going opaque, so just a little tint.

surftech 01
surftech 02

Finally (after 1 mid-lam quick- kick disaster) got glass on both sides, and I’m on the home stretch.

I ended up patching a lot of the dings with scraps of balsa wood. I basically just routered out a small area at each ding and filled it with balsa wood. It sounds easy enough but definitely wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

The fabric inlay is to hide some nasty cracks in the finish, but I tried to make it look like it really was an aesthetic decision not just a cover up. Fortunately I had an old aloha shirt that fit the sizes I needed.

Yes it did end up being more work than I anticipated, but I suppose its worth it if it gives an old board a new life. As it was, it had sat in the surf shop for 7 years. I don’t really know the whole story, but they said the owner owed them money for a ding repair but never picked it up.

So 7 years later I made an offer, and they jumped at it.

These old Surftechs without exterior fiberglass cracked & shattered so easily, but in terms of longevity, they were actually built very strong, if you just kept up on all the ding repairs. It should be much tougher now with a layer of 4oz glass all the way around. I just need to sand and add a couple finishing coats, then sand & polish. It feels good to finally be to this point.

Done and dusted, had it out for a few small waves on a windy day, so far so good!

The 4 oz fiberglass top & bottom with epoxy resin added exactly 2lbs, went from 17.5 to 19.5 lbs.