Board Building for Dummies – Part III

Giving your board some personality

[frame_right][/frame_right]According to that ancient saying we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but if we’re honest, the first thing that will draw your attention to a skimboard is the way it looks. Well, if whoever is riding it is doing huge airs and turns that will draw your attention first, but let’s focus on the board for now. I once read an article in a surfing magazine about how the colour of a board can tell you something about the person riding that board, his surfing style and that it could even influence the rider’s attitude and mood while in the water.  I’m sure that this might be true for some while others will regard it as utter nonsense but whichever side you choose there are a few things that I learnt during this process that you might find useful when making your own board.

…let your inner artist escape and create something you’re going to enjoy looking at every day.

Knowing what kind of foam you are using, whether it’s a piece found in a dusty corner of your garage or a specially ordered blank, is a crucial bit of information. The type of foam your blank is made of will influence [frame_left][/frame_left]the type of paint and even the method of application that you’ll need to use. If, like me, you had trouble determining this, the only way to know is to test whatever you have in mind on a piece of foam left over from the shaping process. Most spray-paint cans as well as some paints found in normal tins contain thinners which dissolve some types of foam, so test it before you destroy all the hard work you’ve done so far. If your foam can handle thinners and spray-paint you’re lucky, if not, life just got a little harder. Speak to professionals and ask advice at your local paint/hardware store because some of them do stock products that you can use and shopping around for colours and different brands can save you heaps of money, it’ll also give you time to make sure of the colour and design you want to use.

In the case of my boards, I ended up in an arts and crafts store to find gold and silver paint that wouldn’t eat away at the foam. I decided on designs for small decals that I wanted, to give the boards solid colours with and no elaborate designs. It is important to note as well that getting decals/stickers to stick on foam can be tricky. And something I learnt the hard way is that the resin used during the glassing process will cause these stickers to come unstuck and wrinkle up which means that, unless you get your decals [frame_right][/frame_right]printed on rice paper and add it during glassing, you’ll have to print the decals in reverse and use more paint/spray-paint to get whatever it is that you want on your board like a stencil.

One last thing would be to take your time when painting because rushing this step can leave your board looking quite bad. Apply paint one layer at a time and let it dry completely before you start with the next layer, doing this will keep paint from running and making blotches or dark spots. Other than that, use this as an opportunity to let your inner artist escape and create something you’re going to enjoy looking at every day.
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