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Surfing and Beach Lifestyle

Glassing or Glossing Your Board

I could write a paean to surfing in every blog I offer; it is that important. If you agree, you are a fellow traveler. You know who you are! When you have an activity or interest that occupies your life, you are a richer person indeed. Surfing is more than riding the waves with aplomb. It is living the culture throughout your days, even to the point of monopolization. You can assume that I do it often and well.

Who doesn’t love that miraculous combination of sand and sea. There is something wonderful on any beach in the world. If you can live nearby, you are in heaven. A real surfer will find a way to so reside. On a good day, you have sun-kissed waves. You feel buoyant and alive. You chase the experience every time. Surfing is gliding through life with every moment a challenge. The results are truly exhilarating.

Surfing needn’t be an expensive sport, especially if you don’t need to travel. I know people who roam from Chile to Hawaii with ease. The plane fares can add up as can the basic equipment. I am thinking wetsuits and the like. You take it in stride as moving about the globe is part of the sport. There are times when the old board just gives out or you are “bored with the board”. It is time to have some fabricating fun.

I pride myself on my ability to make a new board when necessity calls. I have a space set up in the garage with plenty of much-needed ventilation. You use materials and products that can be dangerous to breathe in. More than one board maker has fainted on the spot. I love that I can build the board from scratch from foam and epoxy resin. Just make sure you have a good dehumidifier in the room as you work to take excess moisture from the air. Protect your health at all times. Air quality is important if you want to inhale and exhale comfortably. You can get console models that don’t take up much space, but that really do the job. These air-sucking machines are divine.

There are many steps and stages, but let me be brief. You plan your design, make a stringer and glue it between block foam, remove bulk foam from the block, do a rough shape of the board and cut it from the blank, create some artwork, proceed to fiberglassing and laminating, hot coat application and sanding, gloss coat application and sanding, and final polishing before you head out to the waves. Not easy, but it produces results.

You can see that there are chemicals and smells involved, hence the need for adequate ventilation. In a garage, you can open the door. Working close to the opening is your best bet. Whether you are building a board in the summer or winter, the dehumidifier will work on moisture and impurities alike. You want to stabilize your environment the best you can.