stringer problems

Every board I get, within 2-3 months, the stringer pops out (foam pushes in) and sends my board down the death spiral far before it’s time. I have multiple boards with not a single ding just sitting in my garage. This is an expensive problem. No ding repair has ever worked, within a week the newly enforced deck just cracks again. This is caused by my knee as I push off each time I stand up. My wetsuit somewhat helps cushion it, but during the summer here in socal… What I need is an application of some kind that I simply apply to the cracked stringer and it seals it up from water. A type of rubber glue. Any ideas?


Jason - me surfing a board with a cracked stringer and full of water!

if your looking for “rubber glue”:

E 6000 plus wax paper… or black magic (not sure if thats still around?) its what i use to seal wetsuits after the airport gets ahold of them…

i have a friend with the same problem, the last board i made him i put a 3-inch strip of 6oz along the stringer… no problems thus far (nearly 6 months later)…

I had my shaper put a 6oz pad around the area and it did not work. I literally have only surfed this board about 15 times so far and it’s got a 1 inch crack soon to be bigger. Thanks for the tip.


I did this repair for my son who got tired of surfing submarines and trashing 1 year old boards. You can do this or get a repair person to do it for you. Go to home Depot and get some 1/4" plywood - the nicest sheet you can find. (I Iike no foot prints or knots) Cut out a plug shape about 2-3" wide depending on dome of deck and long enough to cover the length of the crack and a little extra. Use a router to rout out a 1/4 inch deep plus a little more for the resin hole to the size of the traced plug. Sink the plug with catalyzed resin in routed hole. Feather the edge of the plywood and existing glass. Cover the plug and surrounding glass with 6oz fiberglass patch. Cover with a sanding coat - feather this new edge. At this point it is surfable or you can smooth it out to your liking. Good luck!

Next time find a shaper who knows what he’s doing. The stringer doesn’t “pop up” it just wasn’t taken down enough to start with, most likely… and/or your deck glass job is too weak. Get a deck patch put on or have them use heavier cloth. Or order it with heavier foam… any or all of these would help prevent the problem and cost nothing or very little, compared to having a bunch of useless boards in your garage.

did you say “when you use your knee to push off and stand up”?..i dont get it, dont do that…i dont see people do that , sounds weird …use your arms to get to your feet,right? i prefer the using my head to stand up approach.

the Power of the Chin!!

“kneeing up”… the surfer in question first pops up and plants only his front foot, while his other knee is still on the board. I keep trying to convince my friend that this is why he isnt capable of bottom turns but I suppose its a hard habbit to break.

i like daddio’s idea.

have you thought about thicker/multiple stringers?

Oh - Yeah there is another part to this - the repair was only to get your boards back in service… take your board and place it on your bed. now assume the paddling position and then stand up with out the part where you stop on one knee. Repeat until you have trained your body memory not to hesitate on one knee. Oh yeah again - don’t let your wife or girlfriend see you! She’ll start to think you love your surfboard more than her. My son says alot of push-ups helped also.

It’s an odd habit I know. But I have heard of others with this destructive habit. It’s not that I dont know what I am doing, I’ve been surfing for 20 years (check out the link to me surfing in my post). Thanks, though. If I could change it I would, but… at 30 I am an old dog.


Thanks for the tip. Won’t plywood add too much weight? Plus, I am no handy man. I will try this technique on an older board first. My boards are 6’9" to 6’10", not a long board where as weight won’t matter.

I’m gonna try this stuff first:

Marine Goop

3.7 oz. Clear Adhesive and Sealant

Model 170012

“Versatile adhesive and sealant can be used for just about any outdoor job. Weatherproof and UV-resistant, so it stands up to water, wind, salt and sun. Use it to seal around windows and portholes. Repair vinyl seats, canopies and canvas covers. Stronger than silicone on diving masks and hoses. Flexible when dry, so it won’t break or crack under pressure.”

What do you think?


… I’ve been surfing for 20 years (check out the link to me surfing in my post). Thanks, though. If I could change it I would, but…

That looks like a fun day… ahhh, fall is just around the corner.

What is the weight of a plywood plug compared to a waterlogged surfboard? I’d be more concerned with how you look when you stand up.

The plywood is just a temp fix to get you back in the water while you work on correcting your stand up problem. We could give you a million suggestions on how to fix your board but the real problem is caused by your nasty board destroying habit. When you stand up correctly you won’t mysteriously push the foam down by the stringer with your knee. Go ahead and spread the goop on your board - maybe your knee will stick to it and you’ll see the obvious.

Also - I hope you aren’t in the same old folks home as me when you start urinating on the furniture - eh, old dog?

No more…

i have this same scene on my 9’6 and i dont/cant use knees to stand up on it where the denting on both sides have happened. is this a case of added acetone to thin the resin??? will never buy from that shaper again

I am reminded of something that Ike Eisenhower said when he was president of Columbia University. ( yep, there is a point to all this, bear with me ) . You see, they had put down walkways all over the campus, but there were these paths worn where the students actually went. A university provost said they ought to put up fences… Ike said something like ’ put the walkways where they go’.

Another Eisenhower quote. See, he was shown a study of WW II aircraft, where they got flak damage. What got holes in it when they were flying over Europe. They suggested that additional armor should be added where the planes, statistically, got the most holes. Eisenhower said ‘No. Put it everywhere but those places. These are the planes that made it back, not the ones that got shot down’.

Sharp guy, Ike. If ya can’t raise the bridge, lower the river. Deal with the problem, not a hypothetical solution.

Now, if you’re too old to learn new tricks ( and at two decades your senior I’d say don’t go there yet, you got lots of time to get that way still) , okay, if you bang your knee into the deck, what you need is a helluva rugged deck patch where you bang into it. Sand the area, after cleaning off all the wax and smeg, glass it with a minimum of 12 oz equivalent ( 6 oz x 2 or 4 oz x 3 ) where you beat them up. And specify it on all your boards from here on in.

Rubber cement or the similar boat glops…look, that ain’t gonna stick to glass. I’m a boat guy and it don’t stick to boats, no way is it gonna stick to a surfboard. Beef up your board where you beat on it, and go from there.

hope that’s of use


An historian that puts it all in perspective, I like that. You can learn a lot from history and those whom have walked the paths before us. I have received a few replies mentioning the only solution is for me to alter my 20-year method of surfing. Makes sense, but difficult. Your right, I’m wallowing in my own apathetic habits and proposing the ultimate and lamest of all excuses, old age. I am trying to hold on to how I used to surf; fast, snappy, and loose. I just want to maintain in my older (and far more demanding) years. And if I change my method I feel I might slip back a level and slowly loose my grip on what ‘used’ to be, an 18 year kid who would ride anything and perform almost any move with the smoothest of styles (at least I thought). Poor me, just fix the damn board and move on, I guess. Enjoy the greatest of all life’s rides, a wave. Doesn’t matter if your doing snappy tail slides or hanging five all the way down the line. Surfing, in whatever form, is the ultimate pleasure.

I have an older 6’9” in my garage with Marine Goop drying on the crack of my stringer. If this works, 3 more boards to go. If not, I will take and apply all the techniques I’ve received and try them out and post any good news.

Thanks all!


Y’know, Jason, I just had one of those doc, you’re an idiot moments. You know, the ones where you realise you have overlooked something Real Obvious? Especially where it’s an easy, off the shelf kind of solution, available at most surf shops.

Howzabout a nice neoprene deck pad, right where you tend to whang into the deck with your knee? Soaks up the impact, kinder to your knees when you’re doing without a suit, and overall a better solution. Go for a fairly thick one. Some stuff in the Archives about how to make your own, too, might be in with some paddleboard stuff.

hope that’s of use


I’d combine Daddio’s and Docs ideas, and implement one of mine.

When you are about ready to tie everything together, before you apply the EVA deckpad, just glue on another 1/16" ply where your knees hit.

It looks like Jason is a fairly big fellow, and he likes to jump and pump his surfboard. All he needs is a 4oz deck patch on the tail of his next board and he wont have that problem any more. or next time you get a board glassed, make sure the deck is 6 x 4 oz.


I would suggest using a shaper that doesn’t overshape the deck and that doesn’t use computer pre-shapes as a lightly skinned deck is way stronger plus an additional 6oz deck patch plus use deck grip.

Also, did you formerly ride a boogie board as a youngster? I have had to repair many boards with the same problem, and the owners are usually former gut sliders that learnt how to drop knee and have trouble breaking the habit.

But I would really suggest trying to break the knee habit. From your video, you’re obviously a talented surfer and can surely overcome it.

I would like everyone to know that at a certain point (length), the stringer will no loner continue to crack further (usually about 2" long). This will allow me to apply cloth and resin to just that area. I will not have to cut out a large section of the deck and foam and then replace it (becasue that NEVER worked). So, after and if my experiment with Marting Goop does not work, this is what I will do. And for future boards I will learn to stand up without the knee and reinfornce the deck plus maybe where a thick neoprene knee patch, and even put aluminum under that area for extra protection. I hear there is a metal that was found on the icy planet Europa by the spacecraft Cassini that is harder than a diamond and lighter that helium!