I am designing a custom surfboard using a broken 9′ 2″ longboard in dire need of repairs and a new glass job. The plan is to repair the board and turn it into an amazing piece of art and functional design at the same time. The finished board will be something you could take to your surf break on a good day, but that you probably wouldn’t want to in order to preserve the art! I will summarize the process I am following in this post.


1. The surfboard

The board was broken in half about 20 inches from the tip of the nose after being hit by the lip of a wave.

The wave wasn’t that powerful, but the glass job on the board was extremely light to increase performance, and the impact was enough to not only break the board but also to delaminate it on its entire length. With the stringer broken, all of the fiberglass gone from the bottom of the board and one third of the top, it’s going to be a bit of a job putting it back together.

2. Repairs

Step one is to glue the nose back on the board. This is the least trivial step as both the alignment and the angle of the nose have to be perfect. After quite a bit of trial and error, both pieces are connected in the right way, preserving the original shape of the board.

Glassing, sanding and more glassing. The bottom of the board is completely rebuilt using two layers of 4 oz. S-2 Glass and polyester resin. S-2 glass is much stronger than the original E-glass used on the board, so we will end up with a slightly heavier but much stronger board.

More of the same on the top of the board. 2 layers of 4 oz. S2-Glass reinforce the nose and the junction with the rest of the board. The whole deck is sanded to prepare for the design job. We are done with repairs, and the fun part starts with the design of the board and the graphics being laminated on the top and bottom of the board.

3. Design

The entire board was painted on both sides using acrylics.

Painted Surfboard


Once the painting is completed, the entire board is glassed with Epoxy resin.

Surfboard art by Jean Tripier

Here is the other side of the board, with a view from the top of my studio. In the background, you will see a few painted skate decks as well.

Surfboard art by Jean Tripier