Ouch! Help with Broken Compsand…

Ouch! Help with Broken Compsand…

Buckled my wife’s board this weekend. I’m so bummed. It was the best board in our fleet.

Riding backside, went to do a floater, board ended up upside down in the flats, I landed on it fully from 4’-5’ from the lip. I knew it was broken before I saw it.

I think I broke the ½” balsa rail all the way through. It pivots there when pushed on. The foam is sheared inside too. The skin has the crack and slight elevation difference of about 1/8”.

I can get it waterproof, but I know it will never be the same.

Any advice on how to proceed? Speedneedle? Anyone…Bueller



I hate to say it, but do a search on here. I seem to remember a thread some time back where Bert Burger put a broken CS back together in a very clean fashion. Don’t worry, as long as the repair is true (rocker and rail line), the board will work fine.


Take off the bottom skin.

Dry it out

If eps is broken then reglue with G glue

Cut about 20" of the the outside rail wood out then stagger the next two cuts(assuming you have 3 total layers of rail wood) so the final cutout looks like a stair step.

Glue in new pieces of rail wood

Reshape rail

vac on new bottom skin

glass bottom with rail lap




have done it 4 times

They end up riding the same and sometimes better

It is a good time to make little changes ie rocker , rail shape etc.

Have fun


Never fixed a “really broken” (like yours) compsand rail, but I did replace some sections that had gotten fin gashes in the fashion described by CJ. here’s one pic, I don’t think it’ll hotlink from my blog, so you’ll have to clicky:


With a full break like that, I would definitely use longer sections to reinforce the rails than I did, but at least the pic gives some idea of the concept.

That’s not bad! My first broken comp sand was total! In two places! I ended up on the beach with three pieces!

And… it still surfed GREAT after I fixed it, could hardly tell! I sold it a few months after I started using cherry wood for my rails (tip!).

I just finished fixing a friends compsand. It buckled in 4’ crushing beach close-out.

Do as Cj3 says it’s tried and true.

Also, you might do a search on my name (tridrles) for the rebuild that I did on the above board, it was posted here.


It will work as good or better afterwards and look as good!

Thanks CJ,

Originaly, I put the bottom skin on first. If I peel (?) the bottom skin off, wouldn’t the rail material be standing high? How’d ya do that? Got any pics or a link? I searched your posts and didn’t see it.



Thanks Tridrles,

Do you have a link to your old post? I couldn’t find it right off.

Does the Cherry Wood have a tough time bending to form the rail? How thick?




Unfortunately for you your board flipped over and you landed on the bottom of the board.

I have only had to replace the top skins so far which is a bit easier than the bottom.

So you have a few options

One is you can remove the skin and then plane down the rails so they are flush with the eps and then vac on a new skin over the rails.

From a selfish standpoint I would like to see that option and then hear the ride report … ie same flex, stiffer, more flex etc…

The other option would be to do your best to take off the bottom skin in one piece and use that as a template for your new skin. Vac that skin on between the perimeter stringers. Even if you are a bit smaller that would be ok. It could be filled with balsa or cabosil/epoxy paste afterwards before you glassed it.

You will have to cut out holes in your new skin for your fin plugs.

A pic of my first repair on Dan B’s board

sorry can not find the mountains anymore to upload my pic

Thanks CJ,

I hope you can upload that pic when you get the time. I guess you go “inline>upload>then the mountain become availible”. Or something.

I use a small router to outline my boards at the bottom skin phase, so I could just use that same template and trim to it. I will try it with some paper tonight to check the fit.

How bad does the eps rip chunks? I would think the eps wants to come with the skin. Hmmmm.

One thing is for sure, I know what kind of board I need to be riding. We had a nice swell this past weekend on the east coast from Bertha. I had recently sold my Speed Dialer “Quasimodo” fish to build a couple more and all I had were thrusters. I did ride a thruster one session and it was lack-luster even though the waves were great for me. The wife goes out of town and I score her twin keeled fish (that sounds weird)…anyway when she comes home, I’m stuck with the unwanted selection. My buddy lets me ride his poly Quad Egg set up McGee style. I’ve riden it before and I knew I wanted a Quad or a fish for the last good day of the swell. Man, that board was so stiff for me. It went really fast and normaly I’d say 'just make 'em fast and learn how to turn ‘em’ but I was having a tough time. My wife lets me take her fish out for a few, and it was a brand new day. The compsand fish is the call for me. Fast and Loose, just makes sense.

Anyway, thanks for the tips,



The amount of eps that will come up will depend on how much resin penetrated the eps. If you went light( 1:1 or better) you will have random single eps balls come up with the glass. If you went heavy you will get chunks.

Take it real slow and do not worry about the random missing pieces. If they are big enough you can GG some scrap eps to fill and then reshape. If you premake the skin very little will be noticeable when you are done.

Having the template will make it much easier. It is very difficult to get the skin off in one piece.

Take the top glass off first and then remove small strips of the balsa/ bottom glass slowly.

Hey Christian - its good to hear your still around. Here are the pictures you were talking about.

Thanks Dan

Those are the ones.

I will be around your way next month

See yah soon



Sorry to hear about the board. You are welcome to use my Balsa fish until you can get yours back together. Call.


Thanks, Stan! (it is Stan, right?) I think the longing will help me get things done.

I guess the tried and true way is to remove the entire bottom skin…I really want to try and just take about 24" or so all the way from rail to rail. Then I could GG the eps back together, vac some new balsa on, lam a large section on the bottom.

I thought maybe I could route a channel right next to my existing balsa rail, 8-12" past the break, dig eps down to the deck glass if needed, GG some new balsa rail material down in there, shape to accept the skin, then lam. What do you guys think? Bad idea? Removing the skin has me worried. When I did the fin boxes, I cut the hole and filled with expanding pour foam. That stuff sticks to everything and I may rip the entire system out.

Thanks for the pics Dan. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.


In many ways its easier, but its not the only way. Here’s a thread that shows a board just cut in half, and there’s another thread regarding Bert’s favorite board that shows just sticks of balsa being replaced.

Christian - When are you expecting to make it into town?

My limited experience tells me that the rail stringers need to be replaced.

Dans longboard had broken stringers on both sides, while both skins and the eps were in good shape. The board was floppy like a wet noodle. Eventually the top skin creased so I did the repair as shown.

I remember reading the post of berts sons repair but I never referenced it before doing my repairs. I have always just put a new deck skin on because it is fairly easy and I knew it would as good as new. It looks like it might be possible to cut out just the broken skin pieces of balsa and then replace with new balsa. Though I would replace the rail wood with some good dense balsa if it was mine.


Hey WM

I’ve done a similar repair just recently

I had a large delam in the bottom skin. I cut out a section and carefully lifted it off. It pulled out a bit of eps. It looked like the delam was due to some poor glassing on my part, some water left in the core from an earlier repair, and maybe the 2oz inner just being too light give the other issues.

I ground down the glass with a dremel along the joints, cut through the glass along the joints with a razor, ease the panel off, filled the pulled out eps with epoxy/microballoons, painted some epoxy on the inner part of the skin (left the old inner glass and pulled out eps beads on the skin) and vacc’d the whole panel down again.

I wouldn’t recommend the epoxy/mb mix unless you put in a small amount - I used too much and it left some bits proud.

We’ll see how long it lasts. I’ll post some pics