I've always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with cork. On many occasion it has been my nemesis, standing between me and the delectable contents of many a bottle of wine. Smugly standing guard over a dry and chalky Cab Sav or Spicey Shiraz, giving me the Clint Eastwood stink eye. Snarling that intimidating Dirty Harry snarl.
On the upside, cork has some really cool properties that make it an ideal material for surf craft building. It's light, buoyant and flexible. It also rhymes with pork which is a funny word. Almost as funny as gonad.
There are a few board builders out there already using cork on their surfboards like Tom Wegener and Felipe Siebert. So feeling inspired, I wanted to have a crack at using it on one of my boards. I often come across discarded and broken boogey boards and I like the idea of being able to re-purpose or recycle them to give them a new lease of life. So I rescued the foam core of an old damaged boogey board I had found and set about giving it a make over.
I glued up a crack across the centre of the foam using polyurethane glue, vacuum bagged and glued a 5 mm paulownia skin on the base, and vac-bagged and glued cork rails and a cork deck; finished with a coat of epoxy resin.
I was surprised at how easy it was to work with cork. It sands easily and the finish is great.
The original foam core with a glued crack.
The paulownia bottom skin.
Vacuum bagging and gluing the bottom skin. The ply on the top is there to keep the shape of the foam while the glue on the bottom skin is curing.
Out of the vacuum bag.
Gluing on the cork rails and top. I did this in two stages.
The finished board after a coat of epoxy.