So... yeah. I jacked that up.

Whats up fellas,

This is part build thread… laced with several questions from an ignorant newbee (cause I jacked up all kinds of stuff on this one). I build boards in a tent in my backyard on a tropical island so I would catagoriez myself as a full on uncontrolled environment guy (think lots of bugs and wind blowing all my stuff over mid-work) who used to build boards in a garage. I appreciate any and all feedback… so here goes-

After building one TOMO style board quite awhile ago and looking around the internet I decided about 6 months ago to build an EVO. No I didnt get onto the Kelly bandwagon. My build has taken about 4 months to plan and now over a month to actually build… thanks Marine Corps! 

The board- 5’11" x 20.5 x 2.6 x Nose- 16.25 x Tail- 16.4 vol- 37.75 ltrs. For reference Im 6’2" 215lbs. My volume sweet spot is low end 38ltrs up to about 41ltrs. I stuck with what I was reading and went on the low end of volume for my size on this Evo build. My last board was more akin to a Vader and I simply made it into too much board even though it was only 5’10" it had far to much width and could easily be shrunk… so thats what I did with this board!

I used a 6’2"A US blank (note these cost more than double here in Japan)-

Shaped in my super cool tent/gazebo-

I tried as hard as I could to replicate the Evo bottom contours. I have made channels in the past but never full length-

Put the 5 fin setup into the board use a semi-McKee type setup to match the channels-

I have only done cutlaps one other time so I figured I should push myself to try them again… not my best idea, but I survived it-

I put a patch over the fins and the channels-

Up to this point I thought I was doing ok…

I decided once again to try something new and went for some foam stain action-

This is where the wheels started to come off. My yellow was WAY lighter than I thought it would be (to thin of a tint mix) and the red Bled onto my rail!! I worked as quickly as I could and got the rail cleaned up but i went into frantic mode for a second. So here is the first newbee questions- Best methodolgy for foam stains to get clean lines on multiple colors?? I now know that the cheap blue tape wont get it done! I read many a thread searching for more info but didnt get quite what I was looking for in pics.

After the stain I went ahead and freelapped the top and of course, put my logo on… crooked… so lame (luckily this one is for me and not one of my bros). Hot coated as normal.

I built a real mellow step deck into this one to carry a lot of the volume in this board. I am really excited about riding this one.

I have no idea how to fix my sideways/upside down pics :frowning:

So at this point having hot coated the board I realized I had made several cosmetic mistakes. I didnt really care because the board is for me and I am teaching myself multiple new techniques in this particular build. Stoked!

Until I got to sanding my channels. Gents this where I need some help from Sways cause I am sucking at combining Fusion plugs and channels. I simply couldn’t get my plugs low enough into the foam to properly sand out and NOT mess up the channels. So… I messed up the smooth flow of my nice channels! Some one please educate me. The board is still going to float and do what it is intended for. But, I am bummed as I am dealing with all of the draw backs to the inner edge of the plugs sitting to high inside of the channel i.e. sand through and those dreaded raised inner edges (a little less than a mm or so). I spent a lot of time trying to get the fin placement perfect and it put them right on the line to work in conjunction with the channels.

I am certain I could have installed the boxes after glassing to improve the flow but I had originally wanted them under the glass. I also figure I could have simply used regular individual FCS plugs post glassing… It is what it is now. lessons are being learned at the cyclic rate on this one! 


I like the shape and the resin work looks okay from here. If the resin bleed isn’t all gone with sanding, just put a pinline on your cutlap.

I’m more concerned about your fusion boxes sitting in that channel. Have you sanded it yet? Just curious how much of the box is left in the channel after sanding.


Ah, you posted a pic after I posted my reply!

Block sand the channel back to your shape and see how it looks. It may look funky cosmetically, but as long as there’s enough of the flange, you’ll probably be okay. You’ll likely need to glass over them again if all the glass gets sanded off them inside the channel.



I was certain that the channels would be the worst of it as I sanded out the board and got it ready for a sealer coat. As I sanded down the hot coat I discovered tons of small air bubbles around the fin boxes… I was pushing and pulling the bottom lam too much trying to form the channels and smooth over the cut laps. That’s what I get for trying to go to fast during the lamination process!

PS- All Green Room Epoxy on this build… think I forgot to add that.

I decided I would do pinlines on the deck to clean up the cutlaps and make it look nice with the foam stain. Again not something I normally do, so why not? I used acrylic having read a bit and figured it would be an easy match.

The lines went down great. They looked good and I was actually pleased with them… until I did my final sealer coat… Can you say fish-eyes? Complete seperation on my half my pinlines! I really cleaned the board well and took my time but I am a total novice and being out in the environment was kicking my butt! (Yes I finished coated it outside…bugs included, its all I got) Nothing sandpaper wont fix but dang… I simply want to finish a step in this build without a touch of disaster and shame from crappy workmanship!! Ha ha I suppose that is part of the fun of making boards.

So this is as far as my build goes. Tomorrow I will put a sealer coat on the bottom and let her sit for several days before finish sanding! Should be ready to ride by next week.

Good job all things considered.

With plugs, just don’t line them up with the grooves.

But if you have to, then set the plug to flush with the channel bottom. And build up the high side with epoxy/ microballoons. Then sand the contour right, and add a patch of fiberglass over it.

Your board from the start looked very good, especially for a tent build ! Here is what to avoid, color and boxes, the boxes NEVER come out clean with color, this is where the pro’s route after lamination and cap over them. Secondly, you have to take the approach to what will go wrong, because it will.

During the era of channels and glassons, I found real quick that the fin base has to be away from the channel edge enough to accomodate the fins ropes, you have to think it out beforepulling the trigger. The lap edge wasn’t sanded before you went for the color, this left a pathway for bleeding. A partial solution would have been to hand sand out any shine near the boxes and rehoat coat, tape off the outside edges of the channels to prevent getting into the lamination’s weave. Hey, everythingI have learned came from being bit on the ass, it happened to all of us at one time or another, it is just not repeating it again and again. Plus you picked one of the hardest colors to do on channels

Nicely done CW. Maybe give it a flashier title and enter it in the SBC.

I also admire your ‘en plein air’ tent shaping setup, especially your racks and lights.



Thanks for the input. 

Surfthis- Thats what I thought about doing- blocking it down but I was concerned with it looking retarded with half a white plug… figure I can put more green over it if I relay fiberglass patches on the two trailers.

Everysurfer- I was going to offset them but the tail dims and setup had them right on the channel! I like the idea of going depper and filling after… hindsight.

jrandy- Thanks man- I actually have another ground up build idea for the SBC… I am 100% I can screw that one up too!! I want to do a Neal Purchase style quad with a japanese fabric inlay since I have access to some VERY nice Japanese (okinawa specific) fabric. I have never done fabric inlay so I have a lot of reading to do.

Thanks again for input on fixing plugs and channels/better pinline gloss techniques with epoxy. I suck at some of these basic things and really would like to know how to do them well. Does anyone have any “mid-build” photos of plugs in channels?


I just want to say that that is a nice looking board.  You done good, and learned a bunch of new lessons.  By sharing them, others of us have learned along with you.

Thank you.

I’ll be a little critical and say that in the future;  Plan ahead.  With all the info on this website you should have anticipated this problem.  It’s a simple case of anticipating the inevitable.  This could have been “No Problema”. If channel placement and fin placement had been thought out in advance.


I dont mind critcal when it’s constructive. Your right about anticipating. I got caught up in shaping the channels and didnt forecast the later issue. Poor planning on my part. How would/do you attack the channel issue ahead of time to elviate this kind of mess? Thanks for your thoughts.


Thanks. I hope someone learned from it and I am learning a TON in the process.



I totally missed your post. Thank you for the gems. You are right, I did not sand the laps. I sat there scratching my head trying to figure out why the red bled so badley. You and McDing were right I didnt plan the build well enough. I should have put the plugs in post lamination. I will do that on the next one with channels!

I really thought getting the nice even color would be fairly easy…so wrong. There was something in each stage of this build that bit me in the butt. But thats cool by me and I am really happy with the board coming together. I made mistakes and learned a ton! Stoked. Hopefully I will have a few more pics coming soon as soon as I sand all of the bugs out. And a ride report when we get some waves. Thanks for the input.


Nice work man! 

Came out looking good. 

Quick question, I am getting ready to do something similar with a 6’2a. Did you do anything with the rocker, or keep what was in the board? (Besides the channel)

Also I read on here a while back that when you don’t want epoxy to bleed under the tape, you can premix like a 1/4-1/2oz of epoxy and apply it to where you taped off. Wait for it to gel, and then do the colored epoxy. I am hack, so there is probably an easier way to deal with epoxy going under the tape, but that has worked for me. 

Definitely give a ride report when you hit the water.

Nice build! Don’t worry about the mistakes, you’ll learn from it. The board will still work great.

Do you have more pictures from you shaping tent?


“Quick question, I am getting ready to do something similar with a 6’2a. Did you do anything with the rocker, or keep what was in the board? (Besides the channel)”

Yes- I kept the same basic rocker and added a little flip in the nose and tail since I took a couple of inches off the blank.

Nice tip too!


As promised I have found a way to get through this build and make some type of rookie mistake at every level. Overall the board has come together pretty fair. My finish sanding seemed to go well but, becuase the fisheyes didn’t come out the way I thought they would, I still have the spots. Grrrrr.

So final question for this build- I went all the way through the finish sanding process and the rest of the board looks good but, is there a way to fill/squegee in some of these spots without making a total mess at this stage? Yes I know rookie stuff… thanks for entertaining my question and a big thanks to everyone who weighed in on the previous issues. The more I read here the more I am blown away by Sways community of knowledge!

Almost final top and bottom shots (gotta clean some stuff up). Looks like surf this week so hopefully a ride report soon. I am considering starting it off as a thruster and then switching to quads to see how it goes. More to follow!