I see many references to ‘spackling’ especially with eps/epoxy builds. Now I’m over in the UK and I’m afraid I have’nt the slightest idea of what you are referring to, apart that it is some sort of paint.

Can any of you US guys enlighten me as to what sort of paint, filler, glue, resin etc you are actually talking about.

As far as I know it might be ordinary household emulsion!


Spackle is a brand name. It comes in a powder or pre-mixed in a paste. It’s used to fill cracks and small holes in walls and woodwork prior to painting. It doesn’t seem to exist in New Zealand either but there are lots of similar products. Is that what household emulsiion is?

Hi Swordie, I live in Cornwall, I think emulsion will do the job, I still have to pluck up the courage to use eps but its so cheap. Build center in Camborne sell 8’x 4’ x 4" blocks for £19 enough to make 2 boards, a sheet of 8’ x 4’ ply suitable for stringers is £9, this equates to £15 a blank. I want to use polyester resin so I will need to seal the blank well but I’m sure emulsion will do the job I will test it soon.

I think you call it plaster filler. In the states it’s sold in a heavier and lighter versions of a pre-mixed, paste-like consistency… it’s probably easier to find the heavier stuff but the lightweight stuff is nice and easier to thin out… either way just make sure you use distilled water to thin it out to a mayonaise-like consistency, spread it on, let it dry - when it’s crusty, sand off the excess. cheers, Brennan

Oy, Gaz - careful on laminating EPS with poly - if I’m not mistaken, it will melt your board… You can use epoxy on regular Clark/Walker blanks and on EPS, but you can’t use Poly on EPS… Somebody please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s the case…

Gazro, Is that white EPS block? or pink or blue XPS? Nothing I know of will seal EPS well enough to be able to use polyester resin. If it’s XPS there’s no need to seal but there are a miriad of other problems that go along with that.

Hi Waxfoot you are correct, poly will melt eps but if sealed correctly you can do it. A lot of emulsion paint is latex based and 3 coats should seal the board. Still have to be careful though and glass ons and leash loops required unless boxes put in with epoxy. There are many threads on sealing eps.

Heres one article from

$35 board instructions

Posted on July 4, 2003 at 04:14:50 PM by Hank

Here it is!

This process took me 2 years to develop. I could’nt afford the $500 price tag of a new board, and I was bored with the old materials. This idea came to me while researching airbrush materials for surfboards.

If you don’t follow the steps exactly as they are given, the job will not turn out. Don’t waste your time veering off the path. I already have and it would not turn out a decent board.

Just stick with the menu and you will do great!

Keep in mind, if you have never tried making surfboards before, your first few boards will not turn out perfect.

Glassing is by far the hardest part if you have never glassed before.

But I’m sure they will still be more than rideable!

I suggest you research how to shape before shaping!

Good luck!!

Basically, you are using a cheaper and lighter blank, then coating the blank with 3 layers of water base paint. (such as house paint or anything that you can get your hands on that is waterbase, but water proof.)


1 gallon UV resin (fiberglass supply)

fiberglass cloth

foam blank (these can be picked up at any builder supply store. This is the key to the savings in cost!

A Clark blank is over $50!!!

A polystyrene blank is between $6 to $20! Either the white construction foam or the blue/pink foam can be used.

I prefer the blue or pink foam because it is easier to shape and is much more tougher.

I believe the new S-core is made from foam similar to the blue. Also a well known shaper in the area is making epoxy boards with these blanks straight from the factory that produces construction materials.

I pick mine up at any building supply store.

In order to shape the rocker and curvature of the board, you need to

pre-form the blank by adding layers of foam. I will make mine by using 2 or 3 layers of foam. (3 or 4 one inch thick sheets or 2 two inch thick sheets)

Many epoxy board companies do this with a water based glue- but It can take a while to set up.

Keep the glue “short” of the planshape, otherwise you will have to shape where the glue holds the foam together and it can be a pain!

Once you have your desired shape, You bust out the paint!

I just use white latex house paint.

You need 3 coats.

Less than 3, the resin soaks through and bubbles. More than 3 is just added weight.

After painting you need to let it fully cure. Don’t set it in the sun or the paint will bubble!

I let my shapes sit for at least a week in my shed.

If it does not get a chance to cure, after glassing you will develop bubbles and delaminate under hot weather.

When it is cured, it’s time to glass!

With your typical traditional way, the board can be glassed one side at a time.

But with this method, I suggest you piece it out. Especially if you have never glassed before!

Work in about 3 foot sections. Glassers might think this is a no-no, but with uv resin you can do it. ( and it is worth the money you will save!)

Lay the cloth, cut it to size, squeegee it out at about 3 feet, put down the squeegee, and step outside in the sunshine with it. That section will cure in about 30 seconds to a minute.

Do the next section, and so on.

After both sides are glassed, follow your typical board making techniques! The unorthidox part is over!

If you want to install a leash plug or fin system, you will need to use epoxy for those parts.

I have made over a dozen boards using this method. It works if you follow exactly as I have written it.

But be careful! At times I would get lazy or try taking a shortcut- then boom! You get a bubble or parts of the foam melts.

I suggest going in on it with friends to cut down the costs. I found I can get about 2 or 3 boards per gallon of resin.

Using polyester with EPS/XPS is just a waste. The epoxy is not that expensive, it’s stronger and you don’t have to waste time painting a blank with 3 layers of paint that need a ridiculous time to dry.



Epoxy in UK is expensive 6kgs=£64.98

Polyester Seabase Iso 7X Resin 5kgs=£22.80 Bulk 20kgs=£55.00 including cat.

Almost a third of the cost and less if bulk purchased. If you were to use epoxy there would be no point in the cheapness of the proceedure, epoxy would make it easier and stronger. You would be better of sticking to conventional methods with poly resin and clark type foam. Cheap eps boards uk cost @ £55-70 to build depending on size. Conventional cost @ £90-140 depending on size.

I still use conventional system but will give this a go in the near future.

Epoxy/EPS boards will still be cheaper than conventional boards, lighter and helluwalot stronger. My boards end up costing about £100 at 8’ with 3x6oz deck, 2x6oz bottom and I pay way more for the epoxy, about £120 for 7.5kg.



Spackling is also called joint compound. I is used to fill the seems in gypsem wallboard. I think it may be called polyfiller in the UK. Make sure you use plenty of paint or the polyester will burn holes in

your blank. I put three layers and it still melted holes in places. I am going to

have to buy some epoxy and inject it under the glass to fill the voids. I will end up spending more money and time in the long run.

if doing eps/epoxy, am I right there is no need to seel the blank?

You just spackle if you get dimples right? other wise no need.

thanks for clarifying

Think about it for one millisecond!

If you lam a board, what are you trying to achieve?

Now if you have 60 pinbubbles, and knowing air moves around on styro, and air expands, do you think leaving pinbubbles in your lam is a good idea?

Hey, it’s your choice, your board, and your future…do whatever you think is right.

I REALLY don’t care, just passing some advice, which you don’t have to take.

I’m not talking about pinholes. That is not an EPS issue that is any different

than Clark blank construction. I no if you try using Poly resin on EPS the

blank must be fully sealed to make sure the 2 materials don’t come in

contact. Poly resin will eat the EPS foam.

If using epoxy this concern goes away, right?

LeeD, this pinbubble problem is gone. Epoxy resins with Additive F wet out like poly. Better saturation = almost no pins.

Spackling is good for keeping wieght down by allowing less epoxy into the blank and is also good for providing a smooth base for color work.

Keep talking about pinbubbles all you want but you run the risk of “crying wolf” when all the wolves are gone. Hey, didn’t you say you actually helped Cobra???

I did not “help”. I was involved in a design consortium with at least 10 other epoxy styro builders giving advice on how to make custom production boards for manufacter in foreign countries. Very similar to these BB, but this was before chatrooms.

I was also working for Kinetic Sailboards later, and most of what James Chen has to say about construction just about matched my ideas. We talked about every process, as both have an intererest in production board building.

I see and talk to Mike Zaicheck just about every week, and have been invited to his house in ElSobrante at least 10 times in the last 3 years to check out his production facility.

But I also like to play tennis, go surfing, and sometimes have to work, besides windsurfing 4 days a week, so I haven’t gone yet. He just showed me the '05 Formula board he is producing, having already recieved 70 orders in the last 2 months. His first words upon seeing me were…“what do you think about the new cutaways”.

Of course, I had NO idea, as I am not involved in Formula windsurf racing and cutways are a new idea beyond the scope of my knowledge.

4est - I think you have pretty good handle on it.

Correct me if wrong:

Polyester Resin Users - Sealing:

~Sealing is mandatory since polyester resin will melt the eps foam.

~Side benefit of arguable reduction in weight (the foam sucking up too much resin when laminating).

Epoxy Users - Sealing:

~Optional/Arguable - In efforts to reduce weight (the foam sucking up too much resin when laminating).

~Sealing is NOT mandatory as epoxy resin can be used on any foam.

I’ve followed the sealing products and I’d have to question the usage of both joint compound (AKA Spackle) or latex paint as an intermediate between the foam and lamination. To me, either would seem to create very weak link in the bonding relation between the foam and resin. Much better (only acceptable in my mind) would be the usage of epoxy resin and a thickening agent (mirco-balloons preferred) to seal a blank.

My 1.5 cents,


I’m with you Herb. I did a test piece of EPS before I did any sealing. I spackled half and not the other. Then I laminated 1 4 oz layer with epoxy resin over the whole thing.

A couple days later, I tried to peel off the glass. It came off the spackle about like 5-year-old black electrical tape comes off that extensoin cord you put a “temporary” repair on. It didn’t come off the unspackled foam at all - it tore the foam away about 1/8 to 1/4" in from the glass.

Plus, I remember Jim P. writing that he’d never yet seen an EPS board glassed straight-on without any sealing get broken.

Extra weight? Perhaps the most nominal amount more then the spackle itself.

Keeping a water-based substrate out of interfering with the awesome EPS/epoxy bond? Priceless.


4est - I think you have pretty good handle on it.

Correct me if wrong:

Polyester Resin Users - Sealing:

~Sealing is mandatory since polyester resin will melt the eps foam.

~Side benefit of arguable reduction in weight (the foam sucking up too much resin when laminating).

A friend of mine did one layer of paint over the entire blank, then glassed with epoxy. He keeps complaining about the paint adding way too much weight. regards, Håvard

I’m with you Herb. Seems that for presealing the EPS blank it just makes good sense to use epoxy with your chosen thickening agent. This info is from my limited experience in doing 25 or 30 EPS/Epoxy boards, your mileage may vary. My goal is to reduce the wicking action of the EPS and to keep the end product weight down. This still allows a good surface to spray acrylic colors on for art or foam tints.

Tom S.