Gloss vs. 400 Grit Sanded Finish for Surfboards

Always, as in never forget, remember that boat hulls and fins move THROUGH the water, and a surfboard moves OVER the water.      You want water to be repelled by the bottom of your board, and you want water to stick to your fin.

Shaped for a Pro back in the day who knew nothing about surfboard design but could go extremely fast on a board as a natural talent.  One of the boards came back from the glasser with these kind of wavey ripples in the sanding coat (some form of contamination, I think) but the bottom was really flat.  He brought the board back to me and said it wasn’t what he wanted, wouldn’t go fast, etc…  I asked, “did you surf it at the >>Pier this weekend in that big surf we just had?”  “No,” he said, I just don’t like the way the bottom looks, it doesn’t look fast."  I then proceeded to show him how fast a drop of water would run off a spoon vrs. my finger with all the ripples from my fingerprints which was faster. (It was actually a lot shorter distance, so it was always faster).  “Cool,” he said, “I didn’t know thats how it worked!”  He then took that board and proceeded to win two local contests on that board until he snapped it in the Islands before a big contest.  LOL   Remember:  “Beauty (bottom finish) is in the eye of the beholder”…   Just my 2c!


Makes no difference. Gloss or sanded. Same old same old. it’s all in your head.


I have a buddy that is really into RC model boat racing. After looking at some of his hulls I passed on some FGH polish compound and showed him how to do it with low rpms. The races use a radar speed gun. He gained 4.2333 mph on his first run after polishing.

Take a board, and put car wax on the bottom, and go for a surf. The wax only lasts about an hour, but you will feel a difference. Smoother is faster. Only it costs more, and adds another coat, so more weight. But all other things equal, smoother is faster.

Yep, this topic has been beaten to death with many opinions.

These links address almost every topic mentioned so far.  You must be willing to read what has been written/posted in its entirety.  If you are unwilling to do that, do not waste your time.

Waxing kayaks:

Sailboat hulls:


One thread:

Another thread:

I forgot to mention this in my previous post.  The top speed of a Sailfish is 68 mph.  Maybe adding Sailfish scales and mucus would reduce drag and increase surfboard speed.

Or maybe use the shape of the Sailfish body form…