resin swirl on deck of board

i just finished a resin swirl with greg tate last week and it came out really good there should be a picture posted soon. it was the first time for both of us doing it. and i would really like to thank austin for all the help and great videos.

i looked in the archives and couldnt find anything about how to do it on the top of the board with a single colored rail and bottom. any help or key words to type in the archives would be great.


just glass the bottom with a cutlap as usual, and then tape over the cutlap. glass your swirl on the deck and cut on that same lap line you had from your bottom lam. then glass another layer clear over the top and wrap that around to the bottom.

thanks for the advice soulstice. and the quote at the bottom of your page is awesome, its what i strive for on a daily basis.

thanks…i think it’s what we all strive for…which is why i put it up there. it’s from James Michener, although some people credit it to Zen Buddhism.

wheres the pics turbo?

Austin S.

gregtate has them still. we did it at his house over the weekend. so hopefully i will have one tomorrow.

it came out pretty good, at least i think it did.

Austin, thanks so much for all your help on these swirls. We had so much fun doing it. We were laughing like 12 year olds the whole time.

Question, though. It just has the bottom 4 oz swirl on it now, cut to the deck. I want to put another 4 oz of clear on the bottom. Should I free lap that around the swirl layer or do a free lap deck first and then free lap the bottom last? It needs a pin line. I should put that on the hot coat, right?

Perhaps I should have planned ahead. Thanks again. I’ll post a pic as soon as I get a pin line on it.

hey greg,

do your top freelap. Then grind the laps. Then do a clear 4 oz freelap that just barely wraps the rails. Grind the laps then hotcoat. sink your fins/leash plug. then sand the hotcoat. Then pinline. Then gloss.

Austin S.

You may also wanna try a foam tint (I believe that’s what it’s called)… PlusOneShaper suggested that to me and it worked great.

Glass the bottom and do a cutlap. Tape off along the lap line leaving only the deck (where you’ll tint) exposed. Do a resin swirl directly onto the foam - same rules apply (first color to hit sticks, etc). When you tape off the lap line be sure to leave an area near the tail where you can squeege the extra resin off the board - you don’t want it to drip onto the bottom. Just work the resin as you would normally to do the swirl and squeege off all the excess so that you don’t get too much of it into the foam (which would make it heavier).

Once it kicks just glass your deck clear with your double layers and you’re good to go.

I did a light blue even tint on a fish and a red (pink, argh!!) and white swirl on a single fin that way and they both look pretty sharp (IMHO).

Hope that helps,


thanks for that suggestion jimmy, when greg and i where done messin around with the resin swirl he said that some one told him you could do it on the straight foam, and sure enough you can. but we couldnt think of why you would ever want to do it like that.

well theres my answer.

i think that i will try it this way.

Yea when I was looking how to do the deck swirl, this way just seemed a little easier.

Couple of points:

  • you’ll be surprised at how little resin it takes (since it’s the first one i would still mix a decent sized batch just so you don’t run out, but it’s surprising how little it takes)
  • make sure you have the runoff section built into your tape job - you’ll definitely be pulling excess resin off so just make sure you’ve got extra tape or paper towards the tail so you can pull it all off into a bucket (or the floor). if it’s a longer board i suppose you can have several runoff sections taped along the length of the board, but keep in mind the overall swirl pattern since that’ll be affected if you’re pulling resin off to the side
  • don’t stress if you do get some onto the bottom… you’ve got plenty of time to clean it with acetone before it kicks
  • oh and make sure you’ve got your deck nice and smooth… any little scratches will show. if the colors you’re swirling are dark it won’t be a big deal, but for the light blue i used on my fish you can see some of the scratches on the foam (they show up darker cause more resin pools there)

I’m sure others here have more experience at this than I, but that’s what worked for me…

Have fun and post photos.


I’ve tried resin/swirls and acid spashes at all different stages of the glassing process (even the gloss coat) sometimes letting colours blend together - other times allowing the resin to just gel before applying the next colour. I am always amazed at the different effects you can achieve sometimes purely by accident.


Turbo, I’m thinking that swirling on the foam would have the advantage of sealing the EPS blank before you glass it, as well as being a bit easier. I have some spare foam if you want to experiment.

yeah thats what i was thinkin to. thanks for the offer on the foam but i have some of my own taking up some space in the garage.

what does the guy think of the board.