The Guitarfish

Here’s my latest.  Kwik Kick epoxy. Segway dual density blank from AFOAF.  1.5 lb in the center, 2.5 lb on the rails.  Glassing- deck- 4oz/veneer/4oz (with extra veneer patches at knee and butt bones), bottom- 2oz/veneer/4oz.  Maybe a bit overbuilt.  Feels kind of heavy to me (around 8 lbs).


Meant to replace the 7-1 bonzer that performed admirably this past winter, but was one of my delam specials.  This one I made a little smaller.  I wanted to see if the 7-1 would work at PV Cove.  I started with an 8-0 designed specifically for the Cove.  Then I went to 7-5.  The 7-5 does everything the 8-0 does at the Cove, but better.  So I figured, try even smaller. The 7-1 was too small for the Cove. I was back to sitting 20 yards inside the longboards. Too small for the Cove and maybe a touch bigger than necessary for the beaches.  So I made this one is 6’-9"  x 19-1/2" x 2-1/4".  It was actually supposed to be 2-3/8" thick and when I put the calipers on it I was like, what happened?  Then I remembered it has 1/8" concave.

I was inspired by Kiteriders red dyed board on the WMD thread to try coloring the wood.  Then, while still meditating on what exactly to do, I took my daughter to buy a guitar and in the store I saw a black and grey “sunburst” finished guitar that just looked killer.  So that’s what I was going to do.  But the grey tint I bought didn’t look right with the orangish fiddleback maple, so I went with green and blue dye that I found in my classroom.  Inspired by that guitar I decided to call the board the guitarfish.

I’d give my work a C+.  A good idea, but too many rookie mistakes that made for cosmetic blemishes.  If anyone’s interested I’ll post up build photos. It would be a “what not to do when doing dark color work” thread.

looks awesome!

Beautiful!  Build photos and ride report, please!

Yeah , It does look great!

I was originally inspired to dye  my wood veneered boards by my beautiful  personal  set of  ;   Pearl BLX drums ,  that are built from pure birch ply laminates, then dyed or laquered in a transparent  turquoise blue tinted finish…

If you look at dyed musical instruments such as guitars and drums, you’ll see how this form of coloration would apply easily  to boards…

Figured Maples have a far more interesting grain pattern than bamboo, unfortunately, I have lots of 1/40" bamboo veneer to get rid of before I try different wood veneers… Paduk(sp) is a beautiful dark redish brown wood that is fairly light in weight, no dyeing required…

 As you found out,  ( when using the grey dye),it wasn’t the right combination of wood color and dye… Every shade of wood veneer has a group of complimentary dyes that look good, to great, with it…

If you try a test patch of a given dye with each wood sample, you can come up with some awesome combinations…

From what I’ve learned:  Dark colored tints / dyes work and look the best with light colored wood… If you want to dye bamboo , use blonde bamboo… If you want dark red and purple hues, carbonized bamboo can work ok…

Balsa is the easiest to dye, as it drinks up the coloration deep into the core of the skins…But again, it’s a boring looking wood grain…
Yours on the other hand, is the ideal use of figured wood and dye…

Thank you for the props you’ve thrown my way on this and other posts… It feels great to inspire others!!

Try taping off your bottom veneer skin before you lap a darker color such as blue… Is the blue a resin tint?

I apply a full sized veneer skin on the bottom of the board, then sand the rounded tucked rail into that… This results in a distinct rail to bottom line that you can color independently…

For more inspiration ;google headings such as dyeing guitars, dyeing drums, dyeing wood…etc

Have you considered kite surfing??.. You build the same boards you now build, but only a lot smaller / lighter… A 6’ kite-surfboard would be your biggest…

Yes , you have to worship wind…lol…  that’s the price you have to pay…")

I nearly forgot to mention, I really like the bonzer  set up on your board, tell us how it rides…


Wow I love that board!!

Ride report :stuck_out_tongue:


kiterider, you have PM


that realy looks cool

thays deyed wood ,, no tints in the resin?

Well, here’s some photos of the build process.


First, this is about 1/3 of the peel tests I did.  I wanted no adhesion issues!  I did different colors.  I tried color, resin, then sanding off the resin to expose bare wood and then color and resin again.  I tried putting resin over the color when it was still damp.  I tried mixing the color directly into the resin.  I tried resin over wood treated with veneer softener.  I tried glass over foam and spackle.  That was the one test where I decided I did not like the results.  Spackle on foam peeled easier than just plain foam.  Also, you can see the grey color.  I didn’t like the color much, so I went with green and blue.

I don’t know if you can see AFOAF’s dual density blank work in the photo.  The glue line was right where the  edge of the flutes were and it was pretty hard to get the rail fair at the glue line.

What I did was glass the blank first with 2 oz on the bottom and then 4 oz on the deck.  Then I bagged the veneer patches on.  Good thing this was to be veneered because my color work was/is horrendous! Also the color came out much lighter than the blue dyed veneer test pieces, so I brushed on another coat of blue tinted resin on the rails.  The color came out splotchy.  I have new respect for all the work on the “Show you resin tints and swirls” thread!

The veneers did not lay perfectly flat.  Both top and bottom had one seam that lifted, as well as some of the edges, thanks to a faulty vacuum bag? Both the top and the bottom veneers (bagged separately) had the loose seam in the same place.  To fix them, I worked 5 minute epoxy under the edge with a painting palette knife and then pushed the seam down with my hand, 6 inches at a time. A less than perfect, time consuming fix.

I sanded the edges and seams as flat as possible. YOu can see the patches ghosting through.  I sanded the edges of the patches to zero.  They still ghost through even afgter 4oz, veneer/4oz and sand and gloss coats.  I did that color test mentioned earlier to make sure that the color would go on the second time uniform. I knew that with figured veneer I’d have to do some sanding.

I did cheater/basting coats around the raised seams.

From there it was just standard glassing procedure, right?  This is where I did most my mistakes.  I had a couple of dry spots on the under side of my first lam.  I figured I’d just saturate them when I did the top lam.  That didn’t work. For some reason the resin wouldn’t saturate those spots. I have no idea why, but this was the result, in like three spots (white weave showing)-

Then, the epoxy foamed a bit and did this where it pooled at the veneer seams.  The foam is also in the cloth.  Trying to get it out with the squeegee only made it worse ( the whitish areas)-

Finally, and this is a totally rookie mistake, I didn’t blow/vacuum the sanded lap well enough and there was dust in the weave which resulted in this in a lot of areas-

So there, I’ve confessed all my sins.  Oh no, wait, I put the leash loop on about  a 1/4" off center.  I must have been dazed and confused by that point. Dumb mistake.


After the lams the board felt heavy to me.  I did the fill coats with 3 oz of epoxy, sanded, and then did a second fill/gloss coat with another 3 oz of epoxy.  6 oz total per side.  I decided to glass on the (homemade bamboo) fins to save weight.  I have to say that I’m not sure about Kwik Kick for the sand/gloss coats.  I feel the epoxy kicked before the brush strokes could level.  But all in all I love the Kwik Kick.  And I hope Leohr’s claim of it being stronger is true.


I was kind of disappointed with the board.  I had “ten” in mind and it came out a 7.  But hey, llilibel likes the board and had me promise I wouldn’t sell it.


Fascinating.  Thanks for sharing your hard work.  Any ride reports yet? 

The little things… right?

Still… a beautiful board. My hat is off, brother.


Beautiful board, I empathize with your heartache.  I made so many goofy rookie mistakes on my last board - some I posted, some the disappointment is still a little too "raw" yet, once some time has passed I'll try to post them.  Dumb stuff.  Chalk it up to the learning curve!  And I'm getting some good education in what not to do!!

THAT GOOD?!?!?!?!


The Guy is an Artist it comes easy for him!

afoaf: Is his work area really that clean?


Love the Wood Tint, Nice Touch!

She’s a beauty! It’s almost a shame the deck will be covered in wax!

And I’m curious why the veneers didn’t lay flat, did you find out the vacuum is broken or leaking?

he does it all inside his home…he has to keep it clean or deal with wife agro!

I need to get better at my laminating…I need 16oz of resin to put it on thick enough that I can sand it all back down flat and fair.