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Refinishing A Paddleboard

Paddle boarding is a fun activity that you can try out with your family but make sure you don’t use foam paddleboards. They don’t last long, and manufacturers use harmful chemicals during the manufacturing stage. If you don’t want to use foam paddleboards anymore, here’s a step by step guide on how to make a wooden standup paddleboard that lasts for years.

Step 1 – Constructing the bottom panel.

One of the best reasons to build your own wooden standup paddleboard is you can make the top and bottom panels as large flat panels. You need to start by building the two flat book-matched panels. Once you finish, you have to bend the panels on a series of risers that match the contours and rockers of a finished paddleboard.

Those who have experience in building a canoe or wooden kayak by using 3/4-inch strips one at a time will find it easier to construct the bottom panel. For a wooden paddleboard, you have to use a single 30-inch wide piece to ensure that the bottom is wide enough for you to keep your balance.

Step 2 – Making the fishbone frame

The internal fishbone frame is crucial to hold the paddleboard together. This is the part that replaces the traditional foam material that you usually find in other paddleboards. The easiest way to make your fishbone frame is using paper plans. But if you want to make the paddleboard really durable, you should use a CNC paddleboard kit.

A CNC paddleboard kit saves you a lot of time and energy from fiddling around with paper plans. Moreover, you get an idea of how exactly the fishbone frame should look once you finish. It’s like putting Lego pieces together to build the fishbone frame.

Step 3 – Designing the rocker table.

A rocker table holds the bottom contours and boards rocker together. Traditional paddleboards come with a lot of subtle engineering under the board so that the rocker table can press firmly into the finished board. But this requires you to design the wooden board shapes on your computer. You can then cut the jigs and use them to get the correct shape.

The ideal way to design your rocker table is to use a combination of thin panels. These panels should get sandwiched between their matching forms so that you can build complex shapes without requiring any steam.

Step 4 – Developing the bead and cove rails

Get 3/8″ x ¼” bead and cove strips. You have to stack thee strips one by one on your standup paddleboard’s rails. Remember, these are narrow strips, and they have tons of benefits on boards that come with solid rails. Therefore, don’t make a mistake while attaching these strips. Start by attaching the narrow strips as they are easy to bend. You will probably only need to use steam on the first strip. If you don’t have a professional steam machine, you can use a cloths iron for approximately one minute.

The fishbone frame is crucial here as the board’s shape depends on it. Make sure the outer skin thickness doesn’t exceed ¼”. Otherwise, the board would weigh way too much than a high-quality foam board. It may lead to the board going below the water level and defeating the purpose of paddleboarding.

Step 5 – Internal blocking

Once you finish installing the bead and cove rails, it’s time to gently cut the tail and nose sections. This would provide a solid blocking so that you can maintain your balance on the water. In fact, the solid blocking also saves you from using a steam bend that fits tightly on the radius curvature. Moreover, it also adds to the beauty of the paddleboard. It won’t look like one of the low-quality foam boards that don’t last too long.

Blocking also supports the leash cup, vent, SUP handle, and fin box before installing the top panel. Although this is a wooden paddleboard, you can use recycled foam to make the internal blocking. Alternatively, you can also use solid wood blocks, but always check their size before using them on your paddleboard.

Step 6 – Fixing the top panel.

Your next job is to build a hollow wooden SUP by attaching the top panel. Professional builders use plenty of clamps, but amateur builders may not require so many clamps for this step. But always buy high-quality clamps that can hold your strong-back position. Remember, the top panel is where you will spend most of your time. If you don’t get enough clamps, you can use strings or webbing straps.

Wooden door wedges provide the most appropriate clamping. They allow the panel to curve at the deck as you press it against its strong back. Once you attach the top panel, you need to remove the excess material with a spokeshave and drawknife so that the rails get a final shape.

Step 7 – Sanding the board.

This is the penultimate step where you should use 220-grit sandpaper. You can also use a coarser grit of 80 to get a smoother finish. Keep rubbing the sandpaper on the board until it looks silky smooth. It will also flatten your board so that you don’t fall while getting your balance right.

Once you get a flat surface, you can move to finer grits, such as 220, 150, or 100 to get better results within a short time.

Step 8 – Glassing the board

Glassing may seem slightly complicated if you don’t have experience in working with epoxy and fiberglass. The idea here is to laminate the board. Start by doing a hot coat. This fills the cloth’s weave and then moves on to the shiny glass coat to make your board look new. You should polish the board with a cotton cloth once you finish to give it a shiny touch.

It’s not difficult to make a wooden standup paddleboard, provided you have all the necessary tools. If you do, start following the instructions above and make a brand-new wooden paddleboard.

Refinishing A Paddleboard

Paddleboarding is an exciting activity. However, the principal devices, paddleboards, aren’t cheap. The prices could increase depending on the quality, design, and type of manufacturers. Once you get an ideal choice, another concern kicks in, damages. They could arise due to neglect, accidents, or wear and tear. When your paddleboard can no longer serve you, what do you do? Throw it away? It might seem like the best option, but do you have money in-store to get a new one? Well, there is another way out of this hurdle, refinishing. Through careful considerations, you can retouch your old paddleboard and bring it back to life. You can undertake the task alone or seek professional help. The first step is getting the basics.

Requirements.

Refinishing a paddleboard isn’t a walk in the park. Although you might find a tutorial on the internet, you still need to assemble all the necessary materials. The list below comprises the essential items.

  • Brushes.
  • Urethane.
  • Sand Paper.
  • Rags.
  • Acrylic Spray paint.
  • Acetone.
  • Hot water.
  • Paddleboard wax.
  • Old Newspapers.
  • Spray paint.

With the above items, you can start. The first step is to dry your paddleboard. Before refinishing, ensure it hasn’t been in the water for at least a week. Please put it in the sun and let it dry thoroughly. A more extended period is also better. If you start the job while the paddleboard is still wet, the results will not be appealing. Bubbles will begin forming on the finish, and in the long run, it will take you back to the original or even worse problem. Once it has sufficiently dried, get down to cleaning. Most people prefer to paddleboard in the ocean. The waters contain sand and other materials like debris and leaves that cling to your devices. Clean it as much as possible and get rid of all unwanted materials. Check on the edges and remove all the sand and dirt. The rag will do a perfect job in this case. Use hot water and a little soap to get rid of any stains. Once it is clean up to standard, lay it out in the sun to dry. Place down the old newspapers to keep the work clean. A 30 minutes period is sufficient for the paddleboard to be ready. Also, exposure to the sun allows the wax to weaken. The removal process will become shorter and smoother. When the time lapses, begin wax removal. You can use a plastic piece or an old credit card to eliminate the old wax safely. Upon completion, throw it in the bin to avoid littering. Lastly, use a dry rug to remove all the loose bits.

The next phase of refinishing is using the wax remover. Although the plastic will do the work, it won’t be a clean job. Use another rag to carefully apply the wax remover on the parts where it is stuck. It will take a minute or two before it all becomes loose. Wipe it all away using acetone to give it a perfect finishing. Acetone works magic. Wipe the board all the way and on the sides carefully. One caution to consider is that you should work in an open or well-ventilated area. Also, stay away from fires. Wax remover is strong and can choke you. Acetone has the characteristic of being inflammable. At this stage, the paddleboard should appear dull.

The next step involves sanding. It would help if you worked with suitable sandpaper. Otherwise, your efforts will be futile. Anything between 220 to 300 grit will work just fine. Sand the entire device while paying more attention to the rough patches. Do a thorough job but ensure you do not use so much force. It might cause more damages. Do the job progressively until the surface is even, then dust off using a smooth brush. Use the acrylic spray paint with the color of your choice to make the painting job efficient. Let the paddleboard stay overnight for the finish to dry thoroughly. Although there is an option of using a brush, spray paint is more convenient and less messy. Spray the device and let it dry between each coat. You should apply at least three coats. Focus on making the coats thin instead of thick. Four thin rounds are better than one thick application. Please leave it to dry.

The paint should seal the material. Whether the composition is epoxy or wood, there shouldn’t be any visible material after painting. If the wood had begun rotting, ensure you make replacements before you start the job. The last step is waxing. Apply a thin layer of base coat followed by the primary product. Cover the entire surface to give it a perfect finish.

If you follow the instructions mentioned above, you will end up with a brand new paddleboard. The choice of materials depends on the base materials of the device. Either way, the steps are the same, and you have a guarantee of saving money.