question of strength: airbrushed blank vs. clear

Aloha After a decade of riding clear boards, I am considering some color on my next one. Lots of it, actually, and was wondering if the rumors I have heard in the past are true: is a board that has been airbrushed completely (i.e. solid red or yellow) any weaker than a clear board (if the same amount of cloth is used in the lamination process)? I heard that paint on the blank can sometimes cause a weaker fiberglass cloth bond onto the foam, resulting in a board that will break/delaminate easier. Of course, I could always opt for a resin-tint, though this may not always be an option. Mahalo for your kokua thank you for your help, Kit

I’ve heard the same story… can’t tell you if it’s true or not, but I’ve had seven white boards, 1 half coloured (either side of stringer) and two full coloured ones and am yet to break any of them. The half coloured one was run over by a car when it came off the roof of the car at 120k’s and went under the car behind… I don’t think it made any difference in that instance but [smile] (can smile about it now, but was devastated for many months afterwards, a piece of irreplaceable art from the hands of Sam Egan, had another couple shaped to same dimensions since, but have never been as good) I’ve only ever surfed up to 8’ but, and generally only surf 3’-6’ here in beautiful Newcastle, Australia so my experience and needs may somewhat differ to yours. Am keen to hear others opinions on this one too.

The bottom line is that glassing is somewhat akin to gluing a skin on to foam.If you paint the foam it seems as if you will loose some of the bond.Same goes for screening blanks to 320…looks good but again you lose some of the bond.I did some tests in my top secret labaratory and found that if I left the foam at 40 grit the glass was harder to peel off.Looked pretty bad but it seemed to bond better.I once thought about taking a worn hacksaw blade and using it to scribe perfectly straight lines down the blank to make the scratches look like they belonged there.You get a good bond and the lines give it a machine like look.Never done it though,I bet it would look just fine.

on the North Shore during peak swell, I noticed way more broken airbrushed boards in trash cans, yet out in the water most of the boards are clear. How’s that for a non-scientific survey… …I like Cleanlines concepts; it might not be pretty but if it works better, a rough blank could be the go.

How about resin tints? Does adding pigment to resin change its ability to bond cloth with foam? mahalo, Kit

Tints added to resin don’t change the strength of the mechanical bond to the foam, though be careful about going too dark, as it’ll tend to delam if left in the sun. Same goes for any dark ( black) graphics or decals; they soak up heat. Hope that’s of use doc…

As a board manufacturer who has sprayed thousands of polyurethane boards I feel qualified to say two things…Never has a board become more liable to breakage because of painted foam, white or coloured. And, the only occasions when paint has led to delamination have been when large areas of black have been applied to the deck or when a hapless amateur has applied so much paint to a shape that the foam cells have been filled. Those who are really observant of the behavior of the foam/glass bond evident in a peeled snapped board will see that the paint peels with the glass, revealing torn white foam… So as long as you dont use something like an artists oil paint daubed on like Van gogh, your coloured board should be alright strength wise…

I agree with Josh, as long as the poors of the foam arent filled up with too much paint there wont be a delam problem. Paint wont cause a board to break eaiser either.

I visited Newcastle for a while. I met a guy who said he loved to surf Leggy’s because it could be quite good with a heavy take off and uncrowded because you had to walk 1 half hour to get there from the surroung area. Do you know Evan Marlsely? I miss the wedge, and dixon park freight trains; i miss oz…