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  • Delam'ed and buckled dominator (repair photos)

    This summer i had a lot of fun (too much, perhaps) kitesurfing with my FST dominator. After a few sessions i noticed the deck becoming soft and i decided to remove the wax to see the extent of the damage. To my surprise the board had a buckled deck, the outer fiberglass layer was broken and water had gotten inside the board (panic!)

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04731.jpg

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04732.jpg

    I decided to repair it myself and take some photos along the way to share here with anyone else having the same problem. For more information about repairing epoxy sandwich boards like firewires go to Eva Hollmann's fantastic webpage http://www.boardlady.com/

    First step in repairing a soft deck should be to make some holes around the damaged area and inject poliurethane foam under the sandwich layer to fill the voids between the pvc and the polystyrene core. In this case, driven by panic and seeing water coming out of the cracks in the fiberglass, i decided to sand the whole thing down to expose the polystyrene core and let it dry for a couple of weeks:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04733.jpg

    Only after the board was completely dry did i inject polyurethane foam inside the polystyrene. The best thing would be to use a two component PU liquid system, but that's not easy to find so i used common PU foam spray:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04735.jpg

    Then i started digging the polystyrene to remove any part made soft by the salt water and glue in new bits of polystyrene (again using the PU foam):

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04737.jpg

    After that comes the more complicated part. To recover the board's integrity we need to redo the pvc sandwich layer, so the whole are needs to be carefully sanded and a new layer of 3mm PVC foam (divinycell or corecell) needs to be glued with epoxy resin and a layer of 4oz fiberglass to the beveled hole. The gluing has to be done under a lot of pressure to remove any air and excess resin between the layers. In the case of small holes this can be done using weights to press down on the pvc, but ideally one should do it using a vacuum pump and a vacuum bag:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04738.jpg

    In this case I used an old vacuum pump, some pvc tubing and some polypropylene film i had left after covering my kids schoolbooks. Before gluing the bag with vacuum tape it's also good to cover the area with waxed paper (or peel ply) and a breather cloth (or in my case mosquito net) to allow the air to flow inside the bag. I got everything ready, mixed the epoxy resin, sealed the bag and left the pump pulling vacuum for around 5 hours (until the resin was set):

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04739.jpg

  • #2
    This was the result:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...psf1282229.jpg

    and another picture after vacuuming a second layer of pvc in a depressed area:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04741.jpg

    After this i sanded the pvc down, painted it and laminated it with 3 layers of 4oz fiberglass:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04743.jpg

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04744.jpg

    Then more sanding, fairing with epoxy mixed with microspheres and sanded again:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04748.jpg

    and here's the board waxed and ready to hit the water again:

    http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t...9/DSC04750.jpg

    I also learned 2 important lessons from this:

    -regularly remove your wax and check for soft spots in your deck (especially in sandwich boards)

    -don't kitesurf with Firewire surfboards (that's why they have Firewire kiteboards)

    Comment


    • #3
      Man thats a great repair job..super impressed. You must do this for a living right?

      Comment


      • #4
        Buena reparacion alberto, estas hecho un pro. Te dedicas a eso???, En que parte del globo te encuentras?

        Comment


        • #5
          Nice job!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks a lot for your comments guys. I'm actually just an amateur doing repairs. It's just that i've been surfing and repairing my own boards for close to 30 years. I've also been kitesurfing since 2003 and since then i've "destroyed" a few sandwich boards, so i decided to learn how to repair them.

            I think there's a bit of misconception about the difficulty of repairing epoxy/sandwich boards and they are really no harder to repair than a regular PU/polyester board once you learn how to do it. That's why i decided to share this information here.

            I like Firewire shapes a lot, but most of all i love the technology (especially FST) precisely because the boards are much more durable than pu/polyester boards and they look and fucntion better even after being repaired.

            Comment


            • #7
              Amen

              Comment


              • #8
                Thats is awesome - A talented man, my brother is also very good at these, having smashed us quite a few firewire boards (drove over the last one) take the time and care and a good job can be done, Ive seem many so called pro repairs which would make you laugh or cry...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alberto View Post
                  Thanks a lot for your comments guys. I'm actually just an amateur doing repairs. It's just that i've been surfing and repairing my own boards for close to 30 years. I've also been kitesurfing since 2003 and since then i've "destroyed" a few sandwich boards, so i decided to learn how to repair them.

                  I think there's a bit of misconception about the difficulty of repairing epoxy/sandwich boards and they are really no harder to repair than a regular PU/polyester board once you learn how to do it. That's why i decided to share this information here.

                  I like Firewire shapes a lot, but most of all i love the technology (especially FST) precisely because the boards are much more durable than pu/polyester boards and they look and fucntion better even after being repaired.
                  I will be taking a swag of FW boards to Portugal next year...I will hunt you down for a repair if I break one ( looks very possible at supertubos !!) LOL.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My Brother was their earlier this summer with his Dom - was fun and not over crowded

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      incredible repair!!

                      Comment

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