Help, Compsand Skimboard Rail Treatment?

Help, Compsand Skimboard Rail Treatment?

Trying to figure out how to do the rails on this. I really want to use up some of the scrap I have left over from other projects. I have some 6 oz cloth, 4 oz cloth, and all the cloth off cuts from various glassing. Lots of 1# eps chunks, some 4# pour foam and some 8# pour foam. The balsa is gone, just bits laying about for stir sticks. Enough epoxy to glass it properly.

Not sure how to do a skimboard rail. Is it just a downrail the whole way? What about glassing schedule (rails in particular)? Should I put in a fin system for behind the boat?

What we have is ¼" Luanne plywood on both sides, ½" 1# eps core. Vac’d over a fish rocker bed. It’s pretty heavy and we’re not sure if that is good or bad. I have never really looked at an high end skimboard.

Any ideas how to proceed?


I think for a skim board you need a burly rail.Like solid chopped fiber glass & epoxy,ABS plastic or casting polyurethane resin.The rails I have seen were thin like 3/8"-1/2"and rounded.

I saw a cool vid on youtube of a guy making one.


Yes, downrail the whole way around. As far as the rails, I would just glass them with an extra layer. Heaviness is good if you skim in windy conditions.

Hey Kenz,

Thought I’d show how the skim board is coming along. Went to the beach the other night to meet some friends, waves sucked, honkin’ sideshore winds. A skim board would have been the only thing to have fun on, so we’re hittin it hard again.

We used the guide contraption that came with my Harbor Freight Laminate Router to offset the deck 1/2" or so, dug out some 1# EPS to make a lip under the plywood, and poured 8# two part pour foam.

Shaped nice and easy but has spots of different consistency all the way through. It’s not too bad and I’d guess they are from improper mixing. You get about 1 min. total before that stuff expands.

You can see the ply layers on the bottom but the top ply is capped with the pour foam. Anybody ever use that pour foam? I’ve seen some of the Spoon guys using it.

Glassed it last night. I was tempted to just paint epoxy over the whole thing and not use cloth at all. The pour foam is supposed to be water proof and the plywood would soak the epoxy up. Don’t (didn’t) they do boats like that?

I’m going to try and make this “sand-free”. Meaning, I don’t want to have to sand the hot coat or filler coat at all. Any ideas how to pull this off? I don’t mind sanding the bumps and overlaps in the cloth, that’s not too bad with a scraper and green sand paper.

This is a big skim board. Any thoughts on a fin system? Would it hurt the skim performance?



Looks good. It’s good that you glassed it, because it would have sucked up too much resin and ended up heavy. Also, the rails wouldn’t have lasted too long.

It’s possible to achieve a no-sand finish but usually you are going to have to do some. You can get away with it on the deck, but you want the bottom to be as flat and smooth as you can get it, otherwise it won’t skim as fast.

I don’t think a fin system is a good idea. It would cause a lot of drag to the point that it wouldn’t work at all skimming on the sand. It probably wouldn’t work too well as a surfboard anyway with so little rocker, but maybe a paipo.

Have fun skimming!

Is that a hard down rail? Looks rounded from the pics, could you take a pic from the bottom looking down the edge? A skimboard needs a hard downrail or it will sink right to the sand really fast. It was a good idea to use the luan ply, I almost did that but I didn’t have a bed to vacuum it down to.

If I were to build another skimboard, I would find some way to glass it with round rails and then add a plastic or resin/chopped fiber rail to make the down rail. I’m not sure how they do it in the high end Victorias and Zaps etc, but when I built mine, it was impossible to get the cloth to do the laps without deforming the edge of the foam, and it was just too sharp a corner for the glass to stick to nicely. Of course, I did use heavy cloth I got for very cheap, so using more layers of say 6 or 4 ounce would be much easier. I made so many mistakes on that board I could have bought one for the price I paid in the end. Now? I think I could make one for under $100 easy.

Hey NP,

Just wanted to finish this thread up.

You can see the down rail in these pics. I ended up sprinkling sugar on the deck for traction. It is working really good, saves Mom’s van too.

For laminating we lightly beveled the bottom edge of ply then sanded. It might not be the sharpest edge known to man, but it does fine. I ended up sanding after the lam, while the cloth was “green”. Just brought everything down at the laps and such. The hot coat was extra thick, but I never had to sand it and it looks good for one of my laminations.

The kids all like the way this skim board rides, but it is heavy.

We have a surfboard underway right now using the same construction techniques. We’ll see.



I ALMOST went with that style construction or some variation thereof with my skimboard, now I wish I had. I was thinking it’d work really well to use doorskin vacuumed down or maybe do a dyvinicell layer over the eps (Most commercial are dyvinicell core) Look like you did a good job!