Reshape/Repair/Restoration/Revival/Re-invention of Hobie Retro Classic (photo heavy!)

One of my friends brought me a rare gift a while back-a treasured board in need of some urgent care and a license to do whatever I wanted with it! It’s a 10’4" Hobie Retro Classic that he calls the “Soul Trucker” (10-4 good buddy) that came to NZ from Cornwall with him via several points (and pointbreaks) in between. It had been lost on the rocks a few times resulting in some major damage to the nose and tail, had some serious delaminations on the deck and around the finbox from the old heat/pressure ding combo, and had several other minor dings and scrapes from years of love and use. I decided the best thing to do would be to completely reshape the nose and tail, fill/fix the delams, and use fabric to camouflage the repairs as best I could. Unfortunately I didn’t check Sways on the best delam fixing method until fairly late in the game, so half of the delam repair was done using the hole drilling/resin injection method (time consuming, ugly, and somewhat inefficient) and the rest with the Harbour cutout/glass lifting method (fast, less intrusive, better overall.)

Old Nose-

Delams Filled with injection method-

Delam fixed via Harbour method-

After the delams were fixed, it was time to fix the nose and tail. I cut the old nose and tail off with a cutoff wheel on my grinder (I had a really hard time sawing into the board, it just felt wrong somehow to cut into a finished board that was my mate’s favourite but it had to be done) and made some foam blocks out of the scraps/cutoffs from my last few shaped blanks that I used for repairs, glued together with epoxy to make a kind of “glue stringer.” I then sealed the cuts on the board with epoxy and glued the new nose and tailblocks on.

Another angle (visible at top is a foam block fixing a ding where the board got blown off the stands by a storm while I was at work-lesson learned about leaving boards on the racks outside!)


Next step-shaping the new nose and tail. This was relatively easy and fun, and a good lesson in how to shape classic longboard rails by following the rail line up from the finished board onto the new foam.

Another view

The tail

Next step was to cover the repairs with fabric to hide the seams and make it look pretty. I found that for the nose and tail it was easiest to cut the fabric to shape beforehand and then laminate it to the foam rather than laminate down a large piece of fabric and trim to tape lines, mainly because the fabric was quite dark and tape wouldn’t show through and if the fabric was carefully measured and cut it was easy to manipulate it to where it needed to be before the resin kicked. The fabric on the top and bottom of the nose and tail meet right at the rail line, I thought this would be difficult to do but it really wasn’t that hard. The large deck patch was done traditionally, by sanding off the old glosscoat where the patch would go, laying down tape lines along the borders, laminating the fabric onto the hotcoat, and then trimming when the resin had gone off. No photos of the process on these ones, too busy ironing and cutting fabric!

Deck patch-

Nose fabric-

Whole deck-

After the fabric was on, I glassed over the nose and tail with 6oz glass each side, lapped like a normal lamination. Then it was hotcoat over the deck patch, nose and tail and sand as usual, trying to fair the new hotcoat into the old glosscoat without leaving too much of a seam. Then it was time for resin pins over the fabric edges and meeting up with the old pinlines-

Deck patch taped up

Tail taped

Pinlines on

I ended up sanding off the lines that went parallel to the stringer, I had some extra resin and didn’t want to waste it but in the end I thought they looked too busy.

Finally, after the pins had kicked I sprayed the new areas with 2 coats of gloss acrylic to finish them off and to match them to the glosscoat on the rest of the board. I was pretty happy with the results overall, it felt really good to get a much-loved board back into rideable shape and the way my friend’s face lit up when he saw his board made it all worth it! Hopefully he’ll get to add heaps of new stoked memories to all of the ones already caused by riding this board!

Tail finished

Deck patch finished

The bottom

Nose finished

Whole deck

Nice job. I agree with you on the delam repairs. I use both methods on the restorations I do. The drill and inject method seems to be quicker and easier, but you do need to be confident that the area is completely dry. Hiding the holes is a problem. I mainly use it on old mals where there is a lot of glass. After the area has been rebonded, I grind down to the glass and then re glass the area with VE resin or GP resin. Both resins when hard are a dirty brownish colour similar to the colour of a 40 year old board. With the cut out and rebond method I find that you seem to get a halo effect around the repair which also can be a bit frustrating. Particularly if the board is going to be left original.

You are right about the response from the owner of the board when they see it for the first time. It is always a big thrill for me. Often they have not seen the board for months, and the only memory of the board is how it was prior to restoration. So when they see their board sitting there all glossy and new looking. The look on their faces is so satisfying. Well done. platty.

acolyte that restoration looks sweeeet as.

very nice job and good use of fabric which is giving me ideas…


Thanks for the kind words guys, I just got word today that the extra weight makes it even smooooother…

nice job, the cloth you layed down seems to go real well with the board and you blended it in very well, i am about to take on a buddies board with real similar problems and after seeing this i think i might try to cloth to,

seeing your pictures makes me alittle more confident about fixing my buddies board.

i would like to see more people take the time to reshape, instead of throw away.