First board and a few laughs

Good Day fellas!

Long time reader - I reckon I’ve learned everything I know about repairs from Swaylocks over the last 5 years. So cheers for all the insight.

I’ve just started laminating my first board - built a bay over the summer (Australia) and I’m making a 7’7 Egg, pretty thick and boxy rails. I must say - it’s an addictive process, can’t wait to float this one out and start another.

I reckon my highlights from laminating are as follows:

  • Doing my rail pour ... and seeing globs of gel float out of the bucket. Sheer terror, sheer terror.
  • Running around in panic and kicking over the tub with the last of my acetone ... and then trying to clean the gooey squeegee with the spilled acetone on the floor. 
  • Noticing remnants of my glove laminated to the deck.
  • Scraping drips off the floor to try and wet out the laps.

But, it looks pretty salvagable. I’ve cut off all the dry cloth from the lap, will patch it tonight and get a photo up soon.

I now understand more comprehensively why everyone recommends a clear free-lap for the first board - but hey, who am I to listen?





Knock that stringer down.  Otherwise looks fine for a first shape.  Of course that observation is based on one photo.  But based on that photo, it looks like to me that you need to plane your stringer.  Nothin’ like a high stringer under foot.   OK didn’t notice that you had already glassed it.  As I said;  “Nothing like a high stringer under foot.”

Cheers. Yep, in retrospect I probably should have run it over a few more times - I guess impatience will have the last laugh.

I’ll just make up a theory that a raised stringer gives it a better drive from bottom turns or something and go from there.

Let’s see how the glassing looks before I post another photo. Off to buy some more acetone tomorrow …



Not meaning to discourage you.  Get her finished, get out there and ride it.  You will have learned a lot and the next one will be better.  Shoulda seen my first couple of boards.  Lowel

All good - I’m a healthy critic of my work, so always happy to hear feedback. Can’t wait to pop a fin in - we are just coming into winter swells, so the Egg will cover me when the log is too unwieldy.

Any tips on opaque cutlap? I couldn’t see the tape underneath, so had to scribe a new cutlap and cut it before it hardened too much. Missed the tape in a few spots, so I’ll have to get rid of the pencil line under the tape now!

If the resin is really opaque you can free lap it.  With a true opaque, it won’t show,  Otherwise use two or three layers of tape around the tape line.  When I double or tripe the edge, I just use 1/2 or 1 inch.  In other words I put down my tape on the foam and then use tape and paper to cover inside that and then come back and double or triple tape the edge.  You should be able to feel it it.  Also if you find the tape edge at the nose and tail, cut those first on both sides  about a foot towards the center of the board.  Then you will be able to fold the tape over and see exactly where the edge of the tape is.   Then cut. With the razor blade on its side folding the rape back as you go.  Not cutting into the foam.  What they call a “Zip Cut”.

Hello; If I may; I suggest to have dark walls and nothing hang in the front wall (to have a better way to check lines). Best is light Blue on the sides; Black fronts and White on the ceiling. Add another light on one of the fronts to see concaves etc and to use when your taping if you have only one room.



Thanks McDing; and sorry for the late reply. I wrote one last week but obviously didn’t click ‘post’.

I cut the lap and it wasn’t pretty. I was going for opaque deck to a lap/clear bottom. But my ugly cutlap and enough stain under the tape means I’ve just glassed opaque all over. I’ll fill and sand over the next week and try and get a picture up.

And yep, the stringer is nice and high on the deck. Does the glassing process tend to pronounce the stringer more? I could swear it feels higher now than before I glassed. I will refer to this as a Vee-Deck …

Cheers for the idea for the opaque cutlap. Will try that a few boards later … next one might just be clear!

Cheers Reverb. Yes, good advice, and once the first board gets in the water, I’ll put a little bit of love into the bay.

Want to show us a photo of your bay? ☺

With respect to the cut laps, we cannot repeat often enough the importance of:

 - Blowing ALL the dust off the blank prior to taping (most people use a compressor),

 - Letting the dust settle and sweeping the room clean to keep the dust out of your glass job

 - Using a high quality masking tape

 - Pressing down on your your first line of tape to make sure you get the maximum amont of adhesion.  (Personally, I use the flat of a single edged razor with a pulling motion to do it, squeegee style)

 - Masking off the rest of the dry area that you don’t intend to hit with resin


Otherwise the resin may leak under your lap line

Some decent swell and some family time has kept me away from the bay, but back into it now.

Laminated, filled, and the fin box should go in over the next day or so. I will get some better photos that show rails and  rocker once it’s out of the bay and sanded a bit, but here’s one for now.

7’7 x 21.5 x 3 (from memory - will check my notes at home!)

Wide point is 6" north of the centre, and it will surf with a single fin and lots of enthusiasm.

First board, plenty of mistakes, but it won’t be the last board, that’s for sure.

Good days indeed.

Hotcoat done, went much better than the laminating. Finbox in.

Half way through sanding, then drill a hole for the leggie and off he goes to the sea!

No shortage of learning with the board, can’t want to push it into a wave.

And here it is. I finished it late June, only just got around to plugging the camera in.

Surfs OK. First surf, had it out at shoulder high on a fat beach break. Beautiful speed and lines.

Since then, only had it out in smaller, mushier water and it struggles without speed.

Wide point is 6 inch north of centre, and the rails are pretty soft and down, which is the biggest flaw in my work.

But, it floats and I’m happy.

Cheers for all the insights and tips. This won’t be the last board for sure.



Good to here from you.  Keep it up .  You’re getting there.  Nice job.  Get out there and ride it.

+1 to what he said ^^^. 

You’ll have a lot of fun on that board.  

Thanks fellas - yep, plenty of fun to be had.

Good Days.