Surfboard Cosmetic Surgery

If you keep up with this crazy blog (thanks to those of you who do- right ON!!), you’ve seen my badly injured favorite surfboard with the deeply cracked right rail:

I thought I was going to need a new board

I took it to my local surf shop to have it repaired, and they did a great job filling in the deep gash from a 9” Longboard fin- yikes. However, since my Mahi Mahi fade color paint job was on the rail of the board, the repair was a big obvious white splotch:

Solid as a rock, but obvious

Right side of the deck

The bottom of the board

As for the bottom, I picked up a couple more Mahi Mahi stickers to cover the discoloration, no big deal. I broke out my medium tip Montana paint pens from Michael’s, in shades of green, blue, white, and black to work on the rail and pin line.

Make sure the board’s super clean before starting

I actually re-did the black pinline first, it made a world of difference:

It already looks better!

I don’t have airbrush equipment, so I dotted green and blue shades of paint on the rail, blended the paint with a sponge brush, and then wiped the color away, leaving a stain. This was better than trying to color in the green directly, since that would be MORE obvious on top of the glass job. 

I wasn’t going to try to match the color exactly, I was just aiming to reduce the glare of the white, so I repeated this process until I was happy with it.

Comparing shades

Kinda just staining the board back green

As I was blending some bright blue, I decided to paint some bright fun dots concentrating around the repair area, and spreading outwards. My usual crazy doodling.

After allowing the paint to dry, I sealed it with 2 coats of sealant, and allowed it to dry fully for 24 hours before using it. I like to use the matte finish instead of the gloss, unless I’m coating an entire deck.

Stuff’s ok, but works well for this purpose

Woo-Hoo! Back to life again, ready to surf!

The dots help to mask it, and they look cool

A few more stickers on da bottom….


As far as the ding, play along and say you saw me do this out at the Cocoa Beach Pier last week. Yeah, that’s the ticket……

Scariest thing I’ve ever seen. Happy Halloween.

Painting my Surfboard

Montana Paint Pens

So in my last project, I put some traction on the tail that stays on permanently, but doesn’t get in the way. Now, since I can’t leave well enough alone, I wanted to paint this surfboard since I haven’t painted one in a while.
This time, I used fine point Montana paint pens, since they were up at Michaels’, and they have the 40% off one item coupon. Not kidding you, I got a lot of my markers one at a time over a couple of weeks so I could use the coupon. Paint markers are pricey. I’ve “heard” Poscas are the best, but they do not take sealant very well if you need to preserve your item (which you do). I used to use Painters’ Paint Pens- they sell them at craft stores and WalMart- but ever since Elmer’s Glue bought them, they’re pretty awful.
Some people will recommend sandpapering the area of the surfboard you want to paint, for it to “stick better”, but I think that’s a quick way to ruin a good paint pen nib, and gives you no way to undo errors cleanly. I just make sure the board is clean, wax, water, and chemical free!

I had a few aquatic photos of seadragons I wanted to try and paint for inspiration. First, I sketched out the main body and the head in pencil so I could get an idea of the overall proportion I wanted.

Pencil Sketch on the board

Next, I started filling in with color. These are pump-style markers, so you have to press the nib down to get them to feed more paint, so I keep a scrap of paper nearby to start a new feed of paint.

Scrap paper to pump out more paint

These markers are pretty decent, I did need to go back over the main fields about 3 times to get the really bright colors. To shadow and highlight, I found it was fun to bring Pointillism back! Paint pens are perfect for this, and blending colors is neat-o. Just remember to let the paint completely dry before moving on to the next layer, and DON’T lay it on thick- it should go on kind of marker-“like”.

Adding dots for highlights and shadow

My collection of big markers

Technically, when these markers dry, they’re waterproof. And yes, if you kept a light coat of wax on this (if the painting’s on the deck), and kept it from getting scratched, it MAY not chip off for a while. But it will. And that can be a good thing, especially if you’re concerned about resale.
If you want to lock your creation down, and protect it from sun, sand, and wax comb scrapes, I recommend sealing it- no matter what side you painted.
This is where is gets tricky. A lot of people claim that paint pens bleed badly when you put sealant on them. I think this typically happens when the paint is put on too thickly, or the painter didn’t leave enough time between sealant coats to let it dry.
To set up for this, I took the surfboard out to the garage with the door open, fan on, with my FILTER MASK and SAFETY GOGGLES ready to don when getting ready to spray (HINT). I taped off the board with Frogtape (painters’ tape) and butchers’ paper to prevent any other areas from getting sprayed.

Frogtape and Paper to section off area

I used a “2 in 1” Rustoleum “Ultra Cover” spray, but I still used 2 light, even coats. I had no problem with running or bleed with the Montana markers.

Here it is completed:

Gee, I hope I like the board. It’s all mine now, like a tattoo on the butt.

Invisible Surfboard Traction DIY

As much as I’ve loved my Starr super wide tail shortboard, I’ve decided to return back to a true funshape style, still a Starr 6’10” (hey, at my age, that counts as a shortboard). So, I traded it in at my favorite surf shop-TOTAL PLUG ALERT-Core Surf!

Every time I get a shortboard, I put this spray traction on the tail, since I tend to use my toes to pop

Monster Paint

up-a bad habit on a shortboard. But, I don’t want to take the chance that my toes slip and I get hurt. By just putting it on the end tail, it won’t rub me raw sitting on it. I just don’t like traction pads in general anymore, since I like to pop up on the absolute end of the board, and the raised traction kind of throws me off. Many people also use this on their longboards on the nose area so they don’t have to wax that part every time, which is also very smart. The stuff I used is called “Monster Paint”. I was given a can of it about 3 years ago, and there’s still a lot left, and I’ve sprayed a lot of boards. I haven’t had to reapply it, since I typically wax over these areas anyway for extra insurance. Monster Paint is about the only brand of spray on surfboard traction I found out there, it’s pretty hard to find except on Amazon (or if you get one as a gift! Yay!).

For this project, PLEASE use safety glasses and a filter mask. Tarps and painters’ tape are also needed.
I set up where I wanted the traction to go, making sure I taped off the rails and even the leash plug, to avoid getting those areas roughed.

My safety equipment on my new board
The area is taped off, with tarps laid down underneath,
as well as over the deck of the board I did not want sprayed.

You don’t need much of this stuff at all- make sure you do some test sprays on your tarp (mask and goggles on in a well ventilated area!!!) to clear out any gumminess. Shake the can WELL! I do a VERY light ghost pass to cover the area, then wait 15 minutes. I repeat the feather light pass again, and that’s it. It will be plenty covered, trust me!

The Spirit of OutKast compels me to shake it
like a Polaroid picture
You can really see the sheen from the spray
Area with the tread/area without tread

This brand requires a full 24 hours to handle traffic, but states that it still continues to cure for a few days. You can see how if you had an expensive wood or fabric inlay board, this stuff could come in quite handy, as it doesn’t cover the artwork.
I have another project for this board on deck….at the other end!

I made a brand new leash string for my
rough and ready buddy!