The Art of Resin Coating

A timber surfboard sits in a workshop. The light is reflected off the resin coated finish. The surfboard features paulownia, cedar center and cambia pinstripes.

One of the most satisfying stages of wooden surfboard making is the resin coating process at the end. This is where the surfboard really comes to life, the resin transforms and enhances the beautiful natural grain of the paulownia. It can be a very meditative process!

The resin coating is a crucial final stage in making a functional and durable surfboard. The key to a good surfboard is its water resistance and its strength.The strength of our wooden surfboards comes from the internal fibreglass (laminated to the inside of the skins). Additional fibreglass can be added externally, but this will add to the overall weight. For example, our Thorpe Guns may want extra fibreglass on the nose. 

Surfboards endure a huge amount of stress when riding the waves and a strong, sturdy board is paramount. While paulownia timber absorbs less salt water than many other types of wood, the resin coating will make the board completely water-resistant. When applied in the correct fashion, it will create a waterproof seal all over the board. A waterlogged board will become heavy and lose buoyancy, plus start to deteriorate the timber. 

To have success in resin coating, it all starts with prepping the board and ensuring the board is sanded well. A smooth finish to your surfboard will enhance its overall performance and reduce drag. The board needs further prepping by sealing the vents, fin boxes and leash plug with tape to avoid any resin getting in these areas. Several coats are required as well as ample drying time. Our instruction booklet in our kits details this process ensuring you are confident to complete this stage yourself. Following our steps you will have a smooth run and have a blast during the final touches of board making. 

We use and recommend Surfset FLEX, which is a xylene-free epoxy resin, specifically designed for surfboards. It offers a high level of UV resistance which eliminates fading and yellowing as well as fantastic flex characteristics. When working with resin, ensure the use of PPE is considered and work in a well-ventilated area. 

The world is your oyster when crafting your own surfboard, which means creative liberty is all yours. Experiment with tinted resin, stains or decals. Make your surfboard truly unique. 

The contrast between an uncoated and coated timber surfboard is polarising, a resin coat finish will take your do-it-yourself wooden surfboard to a professional elegance.