Repair Challenge - delam

Hello to all. Being new here I already searched through the older posts for answers to my repair needs. But I feel more advice is required. I have never attempted this kind of repair.

I have done my own repairs for the last 3 years. On occasion, i have been asked to repair other family members’ boards (minor ding work). But, last season my brother-in-law retired his 3 year old, 9’-10" MacTavish due to delams (really soft spot) in the landing area and spider cracks leaking underneath. Odd part is, its only delammed and cracked on the right side of the stringer (top delam and bottom cracked). The other side is clean. He was planning on turning it into a coffee table until he challenged me to fix it. Sad to say, this board was not abused or ridden daily. Only weekend use during the spring summer and fall.

I know there are two schools of thought. Cut it out and replace the bad glass or inject resin into the affected areas. I am leaning toward injecting due to not wanting to ruin the excellent paint job done by MacTavish.

Can you give me a list of tools and the steps needed to fool proof this job… or should I just let him turn it into a coffee table?



Hopefully you will get more advice from others, but if it was me I’d man the syringe, no needle please.

I’m no expert but I recently bought a beat up T. Maus to learn repairs on. Had rail cracks, dings, delams, the works! I cut a flap (like a 3 sided rectangle) slightly larger than the delam. Mixed up a batch of resin and added Q-cell, added a sheet of cloth, more resin/Q-cell then closed the flap. Next put wax paper over the flap and pile weights on it (sand bags work well!). Let it cure, remove the weight and lay glass and cloth over the flap cuts. It worked well and doesn’t look all that bad. Especially one it’s waxed up! Just be sure to get All the wax off (I used acetone) and sand the area to give the new glass something to stick to. Good luck, it’s fun!

Another self destructing “high performance” lightweight?

  1. Assess the damage. When you push the delam down to the foam is there a substantial dent? Is the bubble greater than a couple inches in diameter? If the foam is crushed down under the delam or the bubble very big, it will be difficult to get the glass to lay flat when you inject resin under the bubble - might be easier to cut and fill.

  2. If you decide to inject, drill two (one to inject in, one to let air escape) 1/8" diameter holes on either side of bubble.

  3. Mask off around the holes - use wax paper to cover deck as resin is going to ooze out when you compress the bubble.

  4. Fill a syringe with catalyzed resin and shoot it in the hole. You’ll have to estimate the volume of resin to use. Massage it to get the resin spread around.

  5. Cover with a piece of wax paper and lay a cinder block (or something heavy) on top to compress the bubble.

  6. After resin cures, peel the whole mess off and check for any bubbles you missed.

  7. Drill and inject remaining bubbles (if any) the same way as above.

  8. Glass any depressions and sand smooth.

  9. Cover with deck pad.

  10. Glass the deck of your next board stronger or buy a Surftech.

 Howzit John, In stead of a cinder block use a trash bag or pillow case filled with sand, it'll conform into any dents and push out any unneeded or excesive resin. By the way, we had the longboard contest and raffle this weekend , sorry you or keith didn't win the board but every body was impressed by your contribution and the fact that if you guys ticket won we should give the board to a deserving person, many mahalos . What was a real trip was that with in 10 minutes of finishing the last final heat the wind turned north ( on shore ) and blew every thing out. The person who won the board was coming over today to order a new board from us.

Hey Kokua, sounds like the surf gods were smiling down on your contest. Aloha to all & congrats to the winner(s).


Howzit Keith, What's your T-shirt size, I'm going to get a contest shirt for you and 1 for John for showing much Aloha. I think I kept the envelope from you so I should have your address. Aloha, Kokua

Howzit John, I need your T-shirt size,I want to send you a contest t-shirt in appreciation for your Aloha. Aloha, Kokua

tool #1 brigs and stratton powered shreddeer, preferably some one elses.

Tool #2 cement mixer.

      Add product from shredder to one part cement and two parts sand and one part pea gravel and make an enduring front porch flowerpot WOW effort = redeeming product...ambrose... get a blank shape a new one the gods will be pleased

Delams are a beeyotch, and I have been doing 'em for a while now, lots of different ways. I kinda lean towards a fill and sand method, but… there are some things to keep an eye out for. What happens is you get some areas that are delammed and up and some that are compressed and down, so you have some real topography to deal with. Often it distorts the glass so that you can’t get a smooth surface without kinda pulling all the glass in the area loose and filling underneath.

I’m more and more leaning to something like gaucho’s describing, cut it loose, fill and shape to a reasonably smooth contour ( use something large and straight edged as if you were doing plaster work) that’s a little under the oriiginal surface- even with the bottom of the original glass, then lay the original glass back on top and glass over the whole shebang. Do go oversize: delams are like rot or cancer, you gotta get all of it. Recently there was a thread considering inlaying sheet foam after routing out the area to constant depth relative to the original deck, which strikes me as the best solution but not for those who are not pretty skilled with power tools and jigs.

hope that’s of use


I had a delam on my board, only on the right side. I just fixed a delam on another board only on the right side. I got to thinking about this, trying to figure out why. Ok guys think about this, and tell me if I’m full of it. I have thought about how I get to my feet, how I jump on my board after I fall, how I jump on my board when I first start to paddle and how I come up from paddeling to set on my board. Here is what I have come up with. I paddle back out side after catching a wave, since my wet suit sticks to my waxed board I lift myself in to the air fall back on my right butt cheek. Over and over again = delam. My thoughts, what do you all think?

Y’know, I thought about that some myself, 'cos the majority of ( or bigger ) delams I see are on the right side of the board. Usually they are retro-styled longboards of modern lightweight construction too. And ridden by regular foots ( regular feet? There’s a grammatical conundrum crying out for a solution, but I digress ) …and here’s what I think happens.

See, when you’re turning, which do you hit harder, frontside turns or backside turns? With mebbe a little more g-force ( centripetal accelleration for the purists) off the bottom? And where is that rear foot when doing those ? Pretty much where the delam is.

At least, that’s my guess.

hope that’s of use


doc, I’m back side and the other guy is front side. So that one is out the delams that I just fixed are like just behined center of the board. My was on a 11 foot board and the delam was like 4 foot from the tail. I turn my board from farther back then that, and I’m soft with my back foot. I still think it is my butt. I have caught myself doing it.

I think two high percentage spots for delams are where your hands are when you pop up and duck-dive (think of how hard you grip your board when you’re trying to dive under the wall-o-whitewater!) and where your knee(s) presses into the board when you duck dive and in some cases pop up.

Jeez, man, I have to say you must have an awfully tough tail on you. Especially on your right side. The …ahmmm…posterior… is a pretty big pad of muscle ( in terms of area ) before you get to bone while the foot is relatively small, bony and gets set down pretty hard. If, for instance, you were to sit down on a dry wood plank while wearing a damp wetsuit, you’d find the butt-prints are a lot more area than your footprints. And it’s kinda hard to put one side down appreciably before the other…

Question: are you mostly surfing rights, lefts or a pretty even mix. 'Cos on rights it would still be your bottom turn ( heel rather than toe) that’d be doing the deed. I’m kinda thinking that if you were sitting down that hard on your board it’d be rattling your teeth and probably giving you a heck of a sore spine among other things.

hope that’s of use


doc, first off I ride mostly rights, and am back side on them. I spend more time on my butt then I do on the wave. Though I do so wish it was not that way. I ride only long boards, and am what is called a cherry picker. I set outside and wait for the bigger waves. That is why I spend so much time on my butt. But think about it. Your ride a wave, you paddel back out, and you set up on your board, I always land on my right side first, after 3 or 4 years of this. wala. delam.

Wow, man, I think I’d buy a deck pad, not only for the board but for you.

Nothing wrong with cherry picking. That’s my favorite way to surf, matter of fact. And when you count the seconds spent on a wave versus the minutes and sometimes hours spent sitting there waiting for 'em, we might as well have concave decks like tractor seats, y’know?



Good idea Doc. I have a fat butt, but a pad would sure be nice. The real thing that I need though is some thing to keep my calfs from cramping when I do catch a wave after sating so long. Surf long and enjoy life.

Ya know, that’s a good question about cramping up after sitting there. Try this-

Get prone on the board, put your feet up so your toes are in contact with the surface of the board rather than the tops of your feet. Push up your chest a little and slide back so your ankles are bent and your calves are extended and hold for a ten-count ( hope you can visualise it as it’s a little early for sketching stuff) . Repeat a few times to stretch the old calf muscles. Bet that’ll help. I do something similar with a kneeboard and fins and it sure feels like it’s doing something.


Gaucho’s got it right, tho you’d hate to admit it.

EVERY surfer I’ve communicated with say they don’t use their knees to get up.

Then why does the bottom of your thigh, top of knee, of your wetsuit get a worn out hole after 2 years?

EVERY surfer uses the top of their knees to get up!! Period!!!

And that top of the patella area is HARD, so you delam your board there!

OK, you don’t want to believe it, you say you magically levitate with only your hands, your mis read my post and say you don’t go to your knees, whatever, I don’t care, I just told you why your boards delam there.