Surfers Textbook

Section 7- THE CONSTRUCTION PROCESS—COLOURING

( This section contains more pages. Purchase " The Surfers Textbook" now to gain access to the full 416 pages)

This section of work involves possibly the most artistic aspect of the surfcraft making process.
It is entirely up to the individual as to what direction and depth he or she may want to go to as thereare no right or wrong options – it is simply a matter of personal choice.
As already outlined in the planning section earlier, the following options are available in terms ofdecoration including use of decals, tissues and fabric.
The three methods used to colour the surfcraft are;
(i) Hand or spray painting the blank.
(ii) Spray painting the sanded filler coat.
(iii) Mixing pigment and/or tints in the laminating resin.

All of the above practices have their advantages and limitations with the method of spraying the blank prior to glassing and spraying the filler coat as the two most commonly used to date. Explanation of these methods will give the reader an opportunity to make an informed choice. Depending on the availability of equipment and degree of complexity of the spray design, all methods from hand painting with pressurised spray packs, spray guns in conjunction with air compressors to air brushes are looked at.

In the early sixties foam centre glass skinned surfboards were coloured using pigment paste mixed in the laminating resin. This was due mainly to the use of unbleached or green glass and the resins, which were cloudy unlike the clear resins of today. Have a close look at some old long boards or short boards of the very early seventies. Volan or green glass fibre was later replaced by Silane, which could be used to carry out 'free lapping' allowing for several layers of glass to overlap without any darkening in appearance as had occurred with Volan. Hence, the pigmenting method is now generally limited to the construction of coloured fin panels although there is a growing trend to use this process in the reproduction of early surfboard designs. For additional information refer to the Fin and Fin Systems section. By this stage, you should be well aware of all the techniques and processes used to decorate a surfcraft as the advantages and disadvantages have been discussed in Section 4 Designing and Planning. More than likely you will have already made a firm decision as to the method you will use. The following needs to be read in conjunction with the previous information.

Finally a collage of spray artist Jim Davidson’s surfboard art is included to inspire and acknowledge his near lifetime involvement and contribution to the surfing industry.