Ding Repair ends up with a smooth lump? How to flat?

I’m a hack.  I’m trying to repair my own dings and have a question for anyone.

Is there a way to make the finished ding repair area perfectly smooth, rather than the extra ‘lump’ of the fiberglass and resin coat?

Does it really matter in terms of performance?  Doesn’t in also ADD to the strength if you make a whole new layer or two over the existing glass and over the repaired ding hole?

These questions and more…


Thanks, Chris

Hi Mark:

Thanks for your thorough and considerate answer.  I’m pretty new here so having someone actually take the time and give a thoughtful answer is refreshing.  I’ll use your suggestions.


You could hot coat the rest of the board to match the ding. As a trusted friend once said, “A little hot coat’ll fix it.” 

Sand down the repair to below the original glass.  Down to the foam is fine.  When you sand, thin down the surrounding glass too.  create a slight depression where the new cloth will be.

Fill any missing foam with resin/ cabosil/ microbaloon mixture.  Again keeping the fill lower than the surrounding glass. 

Lay out a piece of plastic sheeting on a table.  Cut the size cloth you need for the repair, and lay it out on the plastic covered work-table.  Add resin and saturate.  Squeegee off any extra resin. 

Pick up the saturated cloth, and place it over the repair area.  Cover the repair with either wax paper, or a little new piece of plastic sheeting.  Pull the plastic sheeting tight and smooth.

Wait for it to cure, and then remove the plastic sheeting.  If the plastic sheeting was done right, and you kept the air off while curing, it shouldn’t be tacky.  Go aread and sand smooth.  Paint on your final sanding coat. This sandind coat will have surfacing agent added.  A light sanding on that and your’re good to go.

Go to your local surf shop and buy “The Ding Repair Scriptures”.

All your questions will be answered grasshopper.


I do something similar to everysurfer. Sand the hotcoat off around the ding… right down to the weave. If it’s on a rail, I cut one patch to fit the ding, and the other to overlap the sanded area. Then I wet the area to be repaired, then lay on the patch, rather than put the patch on then wet it out, then have to pull out the excess.


Go to your local surf shop and buy "The Ding Repair Scriptures".

All your questions will be answered grasshopper.




...modify methods with time...

Not to hijack anyones royalties, but can you sport me a sweet tidbit of how to get the ding sanded down easiest… by hand, by grinder, tools?  I guess someone out there has perfected a method I can try myself?

     Howzit Grace, It really doesn't matter some times but the size of the ding can is one thing to consider and how good are you with a grinder is another factor. I hand sand small dins and use my grinder for the bigger ones, there are other variables that can determine how to fix the ding and I think you need to get the book since it sounds like you are not a ding repair vet. Good luck and just make it water proof and ride it,pictures would help. Aloha,Kokua


Not to hijack anyones royalties, but can you sport me a sweet tidbit of how to get the ding sanded down easiest... by hand, by grinder, tools?  I guess someone out there has perfected a method I can try myself?


I hate to be an A hole but here's the deal....

...you buy the book for $12 plus shipping. It's a little hippy paperback fun book. It's all there. Diagrams ,easy to read , funny stuff ,learn about sanding and grinding, great tips about problem solving, how to do glass on fins,long board box install , how to make your own rubbing compound...what to do when you screw up.....The book is old , it's all poly stuff.

The best $12 you will ever spend on surfing.....no royalties for me............after you read the book you can update and modify your methods to suit your current needs.........



I find the easiest way to fair the edge of a patch or take down the hotcoat lump fast is with a hard block. I have a few different sized blocks to fit different places on the board.

Feel the lump

like feel THE LUMP

FEEL te Lump



there is two countem’ low spots

on either side of the ahigh spot

do not sand these low spots


don’ san em’


with your block sand the curve back into the rail

without touching the low spots.the hard block can be straight

or have some flex or even be a circumfrence curve,(diferentiating 

the curve from a radius which might be called a convex curve)

the end game is to prep for a gloss that will match the original curve

and disolve the diffrence between the patch and the original surface.

At some point you will have to decide that the diffrence between

original and patch are acceptable without going to oversand

aand perhaps a FLAT spot!!!

When in your evolution you get more perceptive and 

more anal retentive these tollerances will become more and more close


more likely than not the lump wont make a difference

when You are kooking out at a mush junk beach surf

but when your peers are looking at your repair

they wont be able to rag on your efforts,and 

or you wont beat yourself up when

you are looking for something to blame

for misjudging a perfect wave kook out.

now resale is another topic in fsct a 

higher price can be expected when

you hav a somewhat continuous curving 

rail that don’ look like a bumpy road…


No blane me I neva patch dat ding

Juan Odda Guy did em’


denial is a good policy about ding repair


Back in the day of 10+10 with deck patch Your dings were your badge of courage ! Patch em rough ! Everyone of them had a story, a place , a name ! Now days everyone wants their board to look show room ! A ding is your Scarlet letter !!!

I have to say,,,,,,,, Ambrose's ding repairs are the best

most all of them have referances to how they came to be ,,sometimes art.

My kid asked me to draw a shark biteing the board where the ding was...

kind of gives the repair a bit of character or at least smething to distract from the repair itself.


Maybe a thread on "Show us your ding repairs"

I’ll start. One I did a couple months ago…

I’d love to see the shark bite repair if you’ve got a picture kensurf.


I started doing repairs a while back and found it quite therapeutic. Of course friends found out then and the snowball started. Now I take on weekly repairs (which is good right now because I got laid off from my full-time work). I had to start logging it all because I couldn’t remember who owed me money and how much. According to my log I’ve done 67 repairs in just the last 3 months! It certainly doesn’t feel like it but it even blows me away thinking about it. I have no idea how many I’ve done in the last couple years since I started getting really serious about perfecting the craft. 

Unfortunately I’ve never had anyone ask me to “art it up” like your shark bite. I generally get two types of repairs:

  1. I want it cheap as possible-No color/ No gloss & polish 

  2. I want it to completely vanish (I really try to explain to them the process and manage their expectations on this one)


Here’s another one…


I dont have a pic (camara's on the fritz)

I just drew a shark face with a bunch of teeth

the ding was only about 1" diameter

I have a beater longboard which I’ve been practicing on.  About 10 separate dings which are giving me a good sampling of problems.  

And I did order the book, so hoping to keep ‘perfecting my craft’… it is kind of therapeutic… Thanks for all the answer dudes! 

Search for Barnfield’s Surfboard Repair thread. Between that, and digesting the scriptures, you’ll have a lot better idea of what you’re trying to accomplish. Then it’s just experience and learning sander control. <– Harder and longer than it sounds. Good luck.


Yea… the latter of the two is always followed by, “It’s a repair. It won’t look like new, but it will feel exactly the same as it did before the ding.” Unless, of course, it’s a snap. Then it’s, “It won’t feel exactly the same as it did. But at least you’ll have a surfboard.”