Does anyone really want to see another balsa compsand log?

I know we’re hitting saturation with these, but…

This is the one where I vacc’ed on the skins with top & bottom glass at the same time, then connected the skins & glassed over the rails with 4" glass tape. Eventually, the result was nice. But it was more work than it was worth. I got wrinkles in the outer glass on my second skin (the deck). With only one layer of glass on the rails, I got sand throughs after hotcoating. The glass tape needs lots of relief cuts to wrap smoothly at the ends, and those folds need careful sanding.

The good news is the board’s 10’2", 3 1/4", and only weighs about 16#. And that’s with 2# EPS core and 4oz. glass inside & outside. The balsa’s only 1/16". I did 4 x 1/4" strips for the middle 6.5’ of rail and then pieced in the curves & the ends.

I also won’t do that again - it was a little easier to piece them in but it wasted a lot of balsa and planing & sanding the exposed end grain was no fun. Besides, after lamming on the bottom skin while the blank was a rectangle,

I had offcuts left that made great rail-piece clamps:

So I think I nailed the lightweight (at least I know how & with 1# foam & 2 oz glass, I would) and it has lots of flex. It looks like Bert’s boards - at least in construction, if not shape:

But for me, laminating the outer glass by hand & getting double wrap on the rails is worth the weight penalty. I’m going back to that next. But for now…big swell coming for the weekend & hopefully I’ll have the finbox leash hole drilled & epoxied by Sunday :slight_smile:

Wow, I like that shot of the rocker and profile on the square blank. . . the fore and aft concave in the deck looks amazing, and the board looks to be quite thin, what’s the maximum thickness?

The rocker looks tasty too.

The middle’s 3.25". Its thicker than it looks. Tail rocker is about 4.5", nose about 3.5". Wide point is 24", pretty much dead center. And you’re right - the center of the deck has a crown that transitions to deck concaves front & back for weight reduction & adding flex…

Its funny, Roy, when I wrote that post yesterday about how you were surfing in the video, I was wondering how you’d like this one. Its not that different from my others, but I’m hoping for a little better ‘feel’ with the thinner tail & more foiled rails.

Plus, I just love shaving wood by hand…

That is one nice looking board Benny; love the shape. I can’t speak for others, but I never tire of viewing these compsands. I say as long you keep making them, post them.


There is no way we are hitting saturation with these (unless of course you went overboard pretreating the balsa). This is exactly why I lurk on swaylocks all day at work. If anything we are hitting saturation with the “Why did god create Kelly” threads.

Where did you get your blank?

Have fun with that swell. No such luck on the right coast.



I made the blank from blocks of foam I bought from an insulation factory.

(BTW - hosting images at is free & helps with Sway’s storage situation…)

Wow Ben, it looks great! I really like the way it all came together. Thats one monster noseblock. I feel the same way you do about wasting the wood. It bums me out when I have to waste even one piece. I would like to make my next board with the balsa bottom and rails but a corecel deck. If I go that route then I’ll only preglass the bottom skin then do the top skin more traditionally (I’ll still bag it but I’ll rap it over the rails). By the way, if you ever want to try some 2 oz under I can send some up to you. I have almost a lifetime supply.


thanks for those shots. i have some down time coming up, and never tried this process. i was wondering how you guys put the foam together…thanks for the pics.

a visual learner, like ol’ chipper i guess.

Nice job! Keep posting.

nice one benny …

novel use for the off cuts …

im curious as to why you would go back to the old way of glassing ??

i thought you had some good ideas that time , that with a little refinement could have gone somewhere …

your covering some good ground tho with variations of techniques …

another job well done …



Dang, Bert, now you’re making me rethink it again :slight_smile:

Ok, I surely see some advantages to this one. I think part of my reluctance in continuing has to do with the akwardness of the sequence…

I’d certainly consider bagging on all the glass if it made any sense at all to :

  1. Do the bottom skin, glass inside & out, just like I did on this one.

  2. Add & shape the rails

  3. Glass the rails & catch the bottom skin & the deck foam with the tape

  4. Bag on the deck skin, both outer & inner glass, with the top glass oversized a little so it double laps at least the top part of the rail.


I also didn’t seal the balsa rails before glassing. Never had needed to before, hand laminating. But with wetting out the tape on a sheet of plastic first, it went on to dry wood & I got air bubbles. Had to do quite a lot of slitting, digging, painting, and patching. Too much work, even for a garager like me.

Of course…I haven’t surfed it yet. If its a better rider than any of the others - light weight, good flex, responsiveness, etc. - then I’ll do everything much the same, only try & refine.

I guess the true bottom line isn’t how much work goes into it, but how it works. What I said about how I’d build another isn’t a final statement until I’ve logged some waves on it.

BTW, Bert, I also remember something you said about ‘other bits of fabrics’ and I also remember a problem you’d had (and solved) with the skin pressing into the foam right next to the rails & getting little cracks under the hand spots. And also with the stiffer deck/flexible bottom in mind, and since my glassing/wood schedule was the same both top & bottom, I added my own extra bits of fabric, under the deck only. What do you think?


We are no where near saturation yet!!

Keep going, it is so encouraging to see how other people are progressing, because there is no doubt that we are all getting better at this, maybe not catching up with Bert too fast, but these boards look and ride so good, we can’t stop now!!!

Keep up the good work.