Innovation in Shaping Surfboards Since 1985

Shaper's Notes: Gloss/Polish vs. Sanded Finish

gloss polish vs. sanded finish

Would you recommend a gloss polish vs a sanded finish? That's a question we get a lot.

Here’s a little story…When I started working for G&S in 1972, most boards were glossed. I worked alongside Skip Frye. All of his boards were a sanded finish. The decks were sanded with 60 grit. The bottoms were fine sanded with 180 grit. Why? Rough sanding on the deck, it holds the wax. 60 grit or so.

The finer sanded finish on the bottom, not glossed, somewhere in the 120 to 180 grit range is ideal. You can go so far as to have graduated sand jobs and directional sanding on the bottom. Nose to tail. You can actually feel the wave surface better. And the board is faster.

sanded finish
gloss polish finish

Have you ever noticed how alive and fast your board feels when there is very light, offshore texture on the wave surface?

Gloss and polish is cosmetic. It’s unnecessary weight. It stiffens the board up. Gloss and polish has its place. Longer, classic boards, yes.

If you want to spend some extra money, I would highly recommend Epoxy glassing. It is compatible with Polyurethane foam or Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam. Stronger, lighter, especially with an EPS core.

- Rusty