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July 03, 2019 4 min read

We strongly recommend keeping major hard paddle board repairs to the professionals. However, if your paddle board has a small scratch, ding, dent, or scratch, and you want to attempt a repair yourself, follow these steps.

If your hard SUP has even a small crack in it, it needs to be repaired! If the crack isn’t fixed, the crack can grow and possibly crack your entire board. If you are able to see the foam core through the fiberglass, do NOT get the board wet as this cause further damage to your board Disclaimer: we strongly recommend you bring your hard paddle board to a professional repair shop. Let the experts fix your board.. However, if you insist on fixing a crack in the board yourself, this article will help guide you. We are not responsible for your board or any damage caused. By reading this article you assume all responsibility of the repair yourself.

Materials & Tools Needed

  • Drill & Drill Bits
  • Sharpie
  • Sandpaper
  • Epoxy Resin Kit (Epoxy Resin & Hardener)
  • Fiberglass Fabric
  • Lighter
  • Angle Grinder
  • Black Sander
  • Paint
  • Gloves

1. Take a sharpie, and mark exactly where the crack is so it’s more visible. Make sure you mark the hairline parts of the crack too.

2. To stop the board from cracking any further, you will need to drill a hole on either side of the crack.

3. After drilling your two holes, you’ll need to get rid of this crack entirely. Using a Dremel tool to make a “v” around the crack. Grind away all of the broken and loose fiberglass. Grind as much as you need to get rid of the cracked fiberglass.

4. Now, you’ll need to sand about 1/2” around the whole entire groove. You want to bevel the material into the v-groove. Blow out all of the dust, ideally with an air compressor, out of the v-hole you’ve cut into the board.

5. Grab your epoxy resin and hardener. Mix your resin and hardener according to the directions. You’ll see some clouds in the mixture - you want this ALL mixed together so there’s no clouds or wisps in the mixture.

6. Pour the resin into the v-groove, filling the base of the v-grove. You need to leave enough room for the fiberglass fabric we’ll use to fill the rest of the groove.

7. Let the resin set and tack up. If there are any bubbles in the resin, you can take a lighter and just get close to the bubble. The bubble should pop and smooth out right away when exposed to the heat from the lighter.

8. Next, you’ll apply the woven fiberglass to the board. We prefer using the wet method (versus the dry method) to repair our boards. Cut the woven fiberglass into several strips. The biggest piece extend about one half inch from each side of the v-grove. This will be our base fiberglass layer.

9. Grab a dish large enough to lay the fiberglass strips in, a cheap paintbrush, and gloves. Apply a base layer of resin to the v-groove on your board. Take your fabric and lay it right on top. Push the fiberglass into the center of the groove. You don’t want any air bubbles in here. You’ll see that as you push the fiberglass down into the center, it will remove some of the air bubbles. You can use an applicator, shaped like a popsicle stick, to help you apply the fiberglass onto the board.

10. Keep applying your fiberglass, layer by layer, to the board. Again, push the fiberglass down from the center out, removing the air bubbles as best as you can.

11. Take the rest of your resin, and give the fiberglass a nice, smooth coating.

12. Once you’ve finished applying the fiberglass, let the board and fiberglass dry for at least 24 hours.

13. Using an Angle Grinder with a 120-grit flat wheel, and remove the high, uneven fiberglass so it’s smooth

14. Finishing sanding with a block sander. We suggest using a finer grit sandpaper as you start smoothing and sanding the repair area of the board. Finally, Get everything nice and smooth with 400 grit sandpaper.

15. Remove the sanding dust completely from the board with an air hose, and wipe the board down with a clean rag.

16. Now, you need to paint the board. Choose a paint that’s durable and matches with your board. Tape the foam top (or traction pad) of your board.

17. Paint your board with several coats. We suggest painting a larger area of your board than the actual repair (do NOT paint the deck pad or soft top of the board).

18. Finally, you’ll need one last coat of resin, called the “hot coat.” Why it’s called a hot coat we don’t know, but do not microwave or heat the resin - just mix it normally. Give everything you painted and scuffed up a light code. Wait until this coat cures, and you’re ready to get back on the water again!

 

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

Chief Paddler - Jay has been surfing and paddling for over 5 years. When he's not dreaming up new stuff at GILI, he's writing articles about paddling, out paddling, or often traveling.


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