Fiberglass cuts for nose and tail.

Hey there,

I am about to start glassing a freshly shaped long board either tomorrow or Wednesday. I have one concern on the best way to cut the cloth around the nose and tail. It is a rounded nose and tail. I’ve done the diamond cut at the nose for a short boards and the double V cut on a flat bottom tail. I am just curious on how to get the smoothest flaps on the nose and tail but cutting th cloth the best way. Any hints or special tricks.

Thanks for your help,


cut at the tip and about 2 more cuts about 4 inches apart on each side of the nose

same at the tail but maybe 2 inches apart

Guys who are pros probely do it with less relief cuts

If theres a tight radius then you should relief cut the glass

  I"ve seen as many as 9 cuts for a really wide noserider's nose.  Foot back, maybe 20", and totally rounded tip.

  Oh, and the cuts do show, especially when glassing with Volan cloth, which accentuates the beauty of the handmade board.

  As opposed to the look of the Thai made production boards.

Thanks for the input guys, I will give that a shot.

LeeD - you’re saying you can see the splits after the top glass and a hot coat with that many cuts?

  If you use a really clear glass, then apply styrene to the lam before hot coating, it hides the cuts as well as possible.

  But every log I"ve seen glassed was with Volan green cloth, to accentuate the weave, to show the cuts, to give it the HANDMADE  classic look.

  A careful inspection reveals the direction of the weave of the cloth, so any educated log rider can count the number of lap cuts on your nose and tail.

It is possible to glass a longboard nose with just one relief cut at the very tip (if you are not going for the look LeeD described, of course).

One way I was taught was to start tucking from the center toward the nose and then when you are about a foot or two away, to tuck the relief cut really tight and work back toward the center of the board. Where the two tucks meet, you need to sort of finagle it flat. This will prevent the cloth from bunching up at the tip and creating an air bubble. Longer laps will make this more difficult and 4 oz lays much easier than 6 oz, but I’ve been able to do it with almost any combination. I haven’t cut more than one relief cut on a longboard nose since Tom Mahady taught me this.

kensurf is right though–super tight radii may need more relief cuts so keep a pair of scissors and some acetone at hand.


The fewer relief cuts the better. You should only need one on each end for a rounded nose / tail. Just cut straight down the middle in line with the stringer by no more than 1/2" past the nose/tail onto the board then cut a corner on one of two the flaps on each end just for arguments sake. 

Personally I've never had a problem turning any radius on a surfboard except for the V cuts at the nose, or the corner of the tail.   if i'm doing a pintail i have one cut at the nose, and one cut at the tail.

Wetted out cloth can turn some amazing corners if you work it right. and if you do cut the cloth, use the least amount as possible. The over lap will leave you with a high spot that will add additional bubbles and sanding....especially if you are just starting out to glass.

Thanks everyone, 

The advice is much appreciated. I’m doing a general clean-up in the shop today and may or may not start to glass tonight. I’ll let you know how I make out. 

Sound like the one cut at both tail and nose works just fine. I get a bit nervous making multiple cuts and then things get messy.

We shall see!

Thanks again


“keep calm, surf on”

keep the sizzors handy

better a cut than to fight a wrinkle

one V cut at the end of the nose.

this is a test. LeeD is using code

Handmade Look is an euphamism.

the narrower the nose the wider theV.

the trick is tack the end and close the last 6’’

with a little wiggle massage of  the squgee

and well saturated glass.Let the weave wrack

you know like when yo pull it on the diagonal

to the warp and weft It will conform to any curve.

Two layers simultaneouly is some times much harder

in that case make sure the cloth layers are nice and flat together

when you hsng em over the rsil  snd cut the hsnging dry glass

with the scissors together at the same time integrating the fabric.

topper said to me 'when you have the glass laid out and smoothe

pull the cornersdown and forward.’ Do this before you cut.

when you pull the corners down and toward the end (forward or back)

the whole length of cloth lays out all the way to the wide spot

at mid board.doing the smoothe out with clean hands

integrating cloth to be saturated with resin goes

a long way to solving laminating problems

further along in the process.

the more you disturb this ‘laid down’

cloth the more problems you are likely to have.

like pulling up the cloth to put a printed lam underneath.

dont panic and dont over catalize for your

working time is your salvation

slow is good and any drain out

can be fixed with a squgee applied fill coat.

relief cuts are a cop out…you can do magic.

watch more youtube laminating videos.




dont panic.

after it’s down and tight Dont squeege it

other than perpendicular to the curve of the rail template 

with lots of saturating resin .if it’s dry it is worse…

or you will make wrinkles…Making wrinkles gets worse and worse

best to do it first time and them leave it.The more you diddle with it

the worse it can get.Thats why ken say’s to keep scissors handy

as insurance for when you have resin up to your elbows

and the laps in the nose are a total rats nest.

Excellent advice, Ambrose.  thx