fiberglass skateboard

The Fiberglass Skateboard

WPA SURF POSTER SERIES

surf spots in the iconic style of the National Parks posters.

Here’s an example of salvaging mistakes and eliminate something that would have otherwise been totally wasted.

I was laying up a panel of fiberglass to make fin bases. This was an iteration of one of the earlier fin making methods I experimented with. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t a good one.

I was using a large, thin piece of plexiglass-like material to wet out and sandwich my fiberglass panels. This method was actually working well for a few test runs, and I was able to produce nice, uniform fiberglass panels.

In this instance, I was making a larger, thicker layup so I could make a bunch of single fin bases all at once. I failed to account for the excess heat that this would create.

So, I wet out all the layers of glass, and sandwiched my layup between two sheets of plexiglass with some weight on top. I closed down the workshop and waited for it to cure.

When I returned a few hours later and removed the weights, I noticed something was wrong. Despite being weighed down, the plexiglass sheets were completely warped. They must have melted and twisted due to the heat that was created by the epoxy.

I pulled it all apart and wound up with a large, concaved fiberglass panel that was going to be completely useless for making fin bases.

Just a my frustration of my carelessness was setting in, I remembered this really cool mini Flexdex fiberglass skateboard a friend of mine had growing up. I measured the warped panels and figured I could fit two mini skateboard in there.

I traced the outlines of the decks to work with the weird, unintentional concave the heat-warp created. From there I cut out the shapes on the bandsaw, sanded the edges, added some logos, drilled some holes, and bolted on some old trucks. The result was a pretty rad looking mini fiberglass skateboard.

Here’s how to make your own fiberglass skateboard (intentionally):

  • Use a mold or a flat surface depending on whether or not you want your board to have concave, a kick tail, etc.
  • Wet out your fiberglass sheets.
    • Go for about 3-6 sheets at a time making sure to get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Weight down the layup and allow to cure.
  • Sand/trim any sharp edges.
  • Align and drill your truck mounting holes.
  • Add some grip-tape.
  • Go shred.