How To Fix A Broken Nose

With winter swells ramping up in Hawaii and California, broken foam and splintered fiberglass are all too common. Photo: Ellis

Before we begin, it should be noted that the first choice in repairing any serious ding is to have a professional work on your board. Anything more than a minor puncture wound shouldn’t be taken lightly and deserves to be in the hands of your local ding-repair specialist. But in the off-chance you still want to take a stab at it yourself, here's our simplified take on fixing a broken nose.

In all forms of ding repair, your first move should be to remove all dirt, wax, and grime from the surface. To be safe, clean an extra few inches farther than you think you'll need to be working with to accommodate for any unforeseen changes. To clean your board, first get a wax comb and scrape away all wax or sticker residue. Next, use some mineral spirits or a very light coat of paint thinner to break down the last bits of grime.

With a piece of 40-grit sandpaper, you'll want to evenly sand about two inches past the break on both sides of the board. You're trying to rough up the surface so that your patch work bonds properly with the board.

Once you've finished sanding, block off the area on both sides of the break that you’re working on with strips of painter's tape. This ensures that any drips from the resin won't make their way down your board.

You can now begin the process of re-adhering the two pieces. For simplicity's sake, we'll hope that the break was completely clean. In a disposable cup, begin by making a concoction of sanding resin and catalyst. (A general ratio is typically 10 drops of catalyst to 1 oz. of laminating resin) add Q-cell (basically, ground up foam) until you create a mixture that resembles soft peanut butter. Apply an even layer of the mixture to the two ends and bind the board back together. If we were fixing a broken board, you would need splints or a clip to hold the board together while it dries, but since we're fixing a broken nose, that won't be necessary.

Once the resin has dried, sand down the area to create an even, clean surface. You're now ready to begin applying your fiberglass. With a sharp pair of shears, cut out two strips of 4 oz. fiberglass cloth to cover the fracture. You'll want about an inch and a half of cloth on both sides of the break. Mix together a new concoction of laminating resin and catalyst and apply the mixture with a paint brush or squeegee over the fiberglass, ensuring that you saturate the cloth, but don't drown it. Make sure that the fiberglass is covering the rails. Now let harden and repeat the process on the other side of the board.

Once your layer of laminating resin has cured, a hot coat of sanding resin and catalyst is then applied to fill in any small holes.

The last step involves a final round of sanding. Using an electric sander and fine grit paper (you can work your way up from 220 all the way to 600) you can begin feathering out your fiberglass for a nice, even coat. Now let the board cure for about 24 to 36 hours and you'll be ready to get back in the lineup.