Finally had some time today to start the repair of the surfboard. You have my permission to skip this post, its really only meant to document what a nerd I am.
Okay, so the first repairs I attempted were small ones on the underside of the board. See a surfboard is basically a shaped piece of foam, wrapped in fiberglass cloth and enameled with epoxy or resin. So any bonks on rocks or shells or door handles can put a divot into the resin, and allow the board to become waterlogged. Waterlogged boards not only weigh a lot more, handle poorly, and fail to float, they can also smell bad. This board has a ways to go before it is water-tight.
So this first picture shows a previously repaired ding (left) right next to two small holes that I have now covered with fiberglass resin. On my first attempt, I used the resin with an overlay of smooth plastic. Would have worked great, but had bubbles under it that resembled pox upon drying. Not the smooth surface I was going for. So I tried a second time with another batch (this stuff dries in 10 minutes, so I am making only an ounce at a time), and I think I have the holes filled. I did sand it first, and it is really important to do so. In fact, the roughest sandpaper (40 grit) had the best results. The resin just peels off where it wasn't sanded.
This second picture that looks like garbage is what happens when I added pieces of fiberglass cloth (cut up) to the remaining resin to use as a filler. I pushed this sticky hairball into a much bigger crack to fill a hole. This crack went all the way through the board's fiberglass cloth shell right into the foam core, so I needed something to take up space in the hole. The second part of this repair is to sand it down and then use just resin to make it smooth.
An alternate is to wrap a patch of fiberglass cloth (intact) around the side rail of the board and resin it down, but that is not as smooth, and probably not necessary for the three inches of gash that this is.
See, as this third picture shows, sanded down, this same gash is filled very nicely. A layer of resin over the top and it will be smooth as butta'. As a side note, I do! tape off each repair in a little circle around the ding with some painters tape. That way, I can smear the resin around, and don't have to worry too much about it getting where it is not supposed to be. This was especially important for this rail because the resin drips over the side and will form permanant 'drips' on the top, like big zits (also not a look we are going for).
stay tuned for part 2