G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dang Ding Delerium

As with any good father, I probably overreacted to my baby's first injury. As Andy said, the first wound is the worst.

Having never had an eps/epoxy/pvc sandwich construction board before, I really wasn't sure how to repair the damage and was, and am still a bit confused over how such a low impact collision could cause the kind of damage sustained. The cracks didn't seem big enough to suck water, yet water came out of them for a couple hours. But I am on the case with a lot of help from Waveslayer Andy (master fixer of all things broken and of compassionate consolement), the board lady (about whom everyone raves), and the great forums to be found on Stand Up Zone.

My default mode for repairs in the past with polyurethane (p/u) has always been "whatever is easiest and works fast." I've always ordered plain vanilla custom boards. You still get the design elements you want and repairs are colors, no pinlines, no problems. Anything but the most disastrous dings can be quickly and easily repaired with a little preparation, followed by packing the ding with sun cure fiberfill "ding all", and sanding and fine sanding to shape and smoothness. You can make it look pretty again when you go to sell it.

But one of the biggest differences between eps and pu is that eps in some boards (depending upon construction) readily absorbs water, therefore cracks that allow water in must be sealed/repaired immediately. So I bought some little epoxy repair kits that include ding dough (by Surftech and the SUP Zone forum recommended Brudda Brand); a pre-mixed liquid epoxy resin sun cure; a mixable resin/catalyst kit with a small piece of glass cloth, and a couple containers of white paint (one small with a little brush for small touch-up and the other an aerosol spray for larger repairs). I figure I'm now set to quickly fix any but the most horrendous dings that could occur.

In the meantime I'm continuing my research and voraciously reading everything I can find about eps epoxy pvc sandwich construction, and epoxy custom construction. I haven't been able to find anything definitive about the Angulo construction and have assumed that it is similar to Surftechs. But I've got some questions in on that. Again...stay tuned.

And btw, I filled the cracks with Surftech ding dough so just in case the swell came up I could get back into the water asap. The dough stayed sticky and took awhile to cure. But I applied it late yesterday afternoon. This morning it is hard and seems to be fully least enough to sand smooth.


  1. Having windsurfed for 20 years, I've done dozens of repairs on this type construction. It's all the same, Surftech, and others. Only differences are the type of PVC foam in the sandwich. PVC is the generic term for Divinicel and others. All water proof foams. The water should be coming from the void left by the dent. It should not get into the EPS.

    Best advice when doing repairs with pre blended putties, make it smooth and flush, because it is hard to sand compared to polyester. I prefer Marine-Tex over the putty sticks. Most putty sticks, are rebranded plumbers putty sold at Home Depot for half the price.

    Marine-Tex is two part epoxy paste with chopped fiber pre blended to make it super strong. The rap on Marine-Tex is too much strength. No flex. Never had a problem with it, but never had damage too big for it. It's white and doesn't need paint most of the time to match.

  2. Thanks NC,
    I've been reading your posts on the Stand Up Zone re this type of construction and have learned a lot from you. Thanks for answering my question re where the water is coming from...that was a dilemma. Your advice is great and I will take it.

    The Surftech ding dough I got is gray when mixed and I had to paint it after I sanded it smooth. Better it was white in the first place as my board is white. But the cracks sealed up nicely.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

    Mahalo and aloha,
    gary - srfnff