Retro Twin-fin Repair

posted in: Artist's Corner, Blog | 4

… what was supposed to be just another normal weekday, turned into the beginning of quite an amazing story. I was a few minutes late for work that day, speeding across the last intersection, when a bright pink object catches my eye. Hey what’s that…? Noooo! It’s a surfboard!

The board, travelling in a shopping trolley, was being pushed by two old bergies with long grey beards, in the opposite direction. The surfboard looked all retro-like and super old (and super pink)… I pulled up next to them and asked if their surfboard was for sale.

The board was a genuine vintage twin-fin standing at about 5’10″…but in a horrible condition. It looked like it was handed down through generations, and ended in someone’s backyard, where it stood in the sun for ten years. The board was full of funny old-school stickers from the 80’s which by now had totally faded… for example there was  a sticker of a crocodile in a safari outfit  singing “Surf all day, Rave all night”, sipping on a cocktail, while surfing! The leash… snapped, haphazard, makeshift. The sun-damaged pink spray-paint (not original) was cracking off everywhere; the board nose, tail and rails were so dinged and cracked, it looked beyond saving. The most surprising thing about the surfboard was its weight. It was as light as a feather; not something you expect from a vintage board.

I told the bergies I want to buy the board from them, and they were more than happy to get rid of this bulky thing. Thirty bucks and a few coins was all I had. What a score!

The board was unrideable, so I decided to fix it. To see what’s underneath the thick layer of pink, I chip away at the top of the board. This is excruciating work. But as the chips are flying off one by one, it reveals a logo: “RR”… my initials!?! What are the chances?

I soon gave up on fixing it, because it was way above my level of experience, and I know I would’ve done a crap job, doing the situation no justice… so I waited. Then one evening I meet Buzzy and Petra, who are about to open a sort of ‘surf factory’ that repairs surfboards. Guess what, I end up telling them my story and the rest is history. When I bring the board to the opening day of ‘The Board Box’, Buzzy takes one look at it and says: “This is definitely fixable, bru!”

It was so much fun coming up with the design. The spray and repair work looks awesome. Needless to say, I am super stoked with the end result, and can’t wait to take her out for a surf!

– Robert Roxin (Happy customer)



Buzzy’s story:

Obsession with a twin fin

I’ve always enjoyed a good challenge, it keeps things interesting and keeps me out of trouble for a couple days.
Although I didnt quite know what I was getting myself into when I agreed to refurbish an old twin fin for one of my girlfriends mates from Namibia.

“I’ll bring the board around to your launch?” “Ya, easy as bru, check you then!”
Robert arrived with the Surfboard under his arm and as soon as I saw it I new we were in for a good mission. It was bright pink,the nose was stuffed,the rails were just cloth and the bottom deck … well lets just not even go there!
“Where the F*&k did you get this dude? At a dump?” “No, I bought it off of 2 homeless guys that had it in a trolley!” was the reply I got from a grinning Rob. “Can you fix it?” “Bru! Everything is fixable, it just takes some time and TLC!” And so began my obsesion with a twin fin ….

First things first, lets sort out a design and then we can start with the repairs and the refurbishment, scouring the internet we went through phrases like “Retro twinnie designs”, “80’s retro”, “Old school 70’s spray jobs” and “old school is cool!” There are some crazy designs out there and we eventually narrowed it down to a couple that we thought would compliment the shape of the Surfboard and had a feel that would make it look like the Surfboard had come straight outta the late 70’s, but it had somehow managed to escape the effects of time.

We began by stripping off the old paint job to see what lay hidden underneath. Surprisingly it actually wasnt as bad as i thought it would be.
The next step was to start on the rails,grind off all the cracked,ripped,shattered and broken cloth.
The old foam that had gone green due to mould was the next to go,yup thats how long this board had been left neglected, it was actually mouldy!
Satisfied that we had removed all the blemishes and any damaged/old cloth we set about starting to cut cloth to fit all the wholes we had ground in the surfboard.

Rob popped in one evening to check on the progress of his board (he brought beer …. Legend!). I’m not sure whether he was shocked or excited by what his board looked like now, halfway through the restoration process. I suppose you have an idea of what it might look like and then you actually see the Surfboard ….. i dunno ????

Anyway ….. onward we ploughed and into grinding down all the cloth that we had lamenated onto the rails, tail, nose, and both the bottom and top deck of the Surfboard, another layer of resin is added after this step. It is then sanded, first by machine and then by hand until there are no small indentations or rough edges to be felt. If you manage to get this all right the first time (and dont find any pin holes!), then you could take the surfboard and spray it, i found a couple and so had to sort those out before i could start spraying.

Like i said earlier Rob had been round a couple times and we had decided on a rad retro spray for the surfboard. Fisrt I did the bottom as it was all one colour and it wrapped round up onto the top deck. Easy as …. The top required a little more work as it had 3 colours on it and pin lines.
I started in the middle and worked my way towards the rails,after the colour was all layed down I had to re-tape up all the colour and spray the pin lines.Pin lines may look easy but its one of the harder techniques to master in spray work. You need a steady hand and plenty of practise to get clean lines!

Spray job done … I peel off all of the remaining tape, including the tape on the Decals, which I had taped up earlier in the process. The surfboard is then sanded down again to get rid of any fluff and rough edges.
The last stage in the whole process is clear coating both the top and bottom decks in a 2K clear coat, each side requires 2 layers and it takes each layer around 12 hours to dry properly.So u looking at about 4 days before you have a finsished product that is good to go!

And NOW … I am finally ready to hand over the Surfboard to its rightfull owner for some salt water sessions!

Share thisFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmail

4 Responses

  1. Heidi Smit
    | Reply

    The first of many stoked customers i am sure!!!! Well done Buzz & Pets!!! So proud of you both!!!


  2. Dutchie
    | Reply

    looks good, keep it up!

  3. Lance
    | Reply

    Right place at the right time…. Well done.

  4. Ondine
    | Reply

    Wow Buzz, what an improvement!

    Clearly found your calling.

    Hopefully all the surfers with dinged boards find you to get the TLC they need.


Leave a Reply