Pressure Cracks?

Dear All

I have a simple question regarding a very recent purchase of a custom 9’6’'. After the boards light maiden voyage and on closer inspection of the deck I have noticed two heel dents where the glass has cracked close to the stringer. Could anyone explain the reason to why this has happened on a new board with one light session under it’s belt. Are the cracks appearing because the stringer was not levelled correctly or is it due to the glass job itself?

If anyone could shed any light on the problem and advise a solution ie. do I take it back to the shaper?

Many thanks.

The stringer resisted compression, better than the foam next to it. Simple as that. See this sort of thing most often with the lighter glass schedules, over lighter lower density foam.

If you have boney feet ,expect it to happen to all your boards

I have seen some cheap boards in shops with “high stringers” both top and bottom. Not only is this a sign of questionable craftsmanship, it can cause problems with the boards “longevity”. The ones I have seen have real flashy color jobs and no logos they are cheap so people think they are getting a good deal. Rub your hand back and forth across the board, if you can “feel” the stringer,not good. As said, foam density and glass schedules will also have a effect. If you know your shaper he should know what blank, glassing, was used for your board.

Many thanks for the sound replies.

As it was a custom and not a board straight off the rack is it good form to register my general disappointment regarding the build or materials? Obviously I paid good dollar for the board and want longevity, I certainly didn’t expect to see weakness after one session.

not necessarily bad craftsmanship. as thrailkill pointed out, a wood stringer is a lot more rigid than foam. You can crush foam with a lot less weight than you can wood. That being said, if they are right next to each other supporting the same load (your feet), the foam might indent while the wood doesnt, which leads to your glass cracking. A heavier glass schedule on the deck (deck patch?) might resolve this problem, but then again it might not. I have had this happen to me on allllll of my boards that have stringers.

Starting a discussion (dont complain) with your shaper about this isnt a bad thing. Discuss what can be done on your next board to prevent this, or how to prevent it from getting worse on your current board

Yeah it is definitely a bummer on a brand new board, but just make sure it isnt sucking water and you should be fine.


while the baby is wet behind the ears new fresh

clean off the wax and put on a deck glass suplement!!!

call it a deck patch call it a stringer patch

now’s the time to do it

a couple years back

I droppd a deck patch on a board I made

and some body else glassed for me

I have the board now

it is quite a few years older

and the deck is perfect YES perfect…


Magic, I’ll have a chat with him to see what he thinks might solve the issue or at least help prevent it on the next board.

Cheers for the information.


How long did the board cure before you rode it? The poly boards get stronger if you let them cure for a while. I once picked up a custom board from the glass shop a day or so after completion. It was a performance longboard with a fairly light glass schedule and foam. After one session, the deck was very noticeably compressed. I’ve had glassers tell me to wait a month to ride a new board. I once made it almost 3 weeks, but only because the surf was flat.

I picked the board up and then the next day I had to travel abroad for work so it sat unridden for 23 days.

if it was a custom board he should have asked you what glassing schedule you wanted and then proceed to explained the pros and cons of each option he gave you.

If someone wants a low density blank glassed with single 4oz on the deck I make sure i explain to them that they will have pressure dings after one surf even if they let the board cure for two months. ( long periods for curing is a myth, especially in summer).

take it back and ask if he can fix it for you, and tell him you did it after just one surf and he will probably put a deck patch on for nix. If you were the one who chose the glassing schedule then pay the man the money to glass it heavier.

Good luck


At no point during the process of getting the board together were any glass schedules discussed. Partly my fault as I didn’t ask but as it was my first custom I placed a certain amount of trust in the hands of the shaper. Obviously next board round I shall ask for heavier schedule and as you mentioned get a patch to see if that helps.

How does the board ride? Will the dents on the top affect the ride? Do you love the shape so much that you can’t wait to ride it again and again? Did you consider rubbing some extra wax into the dents.

Every board I own has dents on the deck. (all glassed by me). The good boards are also crushed on the rails from my “death grip Duck dives”.

Sorry to rant…I see it as a non issue for a custom hand shape…

maybe you need a compsand…or…


Next time ask for higher density foam, a heaver deck glass bill, a deck patch made with impact resistant material (certain types of cloth or wood) or panel of HD foam.

Or go with perimeter stringers!

In answer to your questions, of course the board rides great, he’s a skilled shaper and I am completely fine with how time and usage shapes a board.

The reason I posed the initial question was to gain a greater understanding to why I have many fractures on the deck running next to the stringer, which

appeared after one light session. Thanks to this forum I now have enough information to help try and prevent this on my next custom and hopefully get the board fortified to avoid the deck taking on water.

Hello Dr A ,

I’m Stoked that the board rides great.

The reason I started fixing boards is because I was never happy with the “Pro” repairs. Every board that passes through my hands has heel dents. Where I live it is not uncommon for boards to get heel dents on the first session. That’s why I started glassing my own. Keep an eye on your center fin box. It’s very common for the glass to crack in front of the box. Lot’s of “non production” solutions to these problems on Swaylock’s.

There is one company mass producing surfboards and heel dents don’t seem to be a problem… most people here hate that company so I won’t say the name. Their boards ride a little stiffer…and float little higher…