The Pros and Cons of Two Types of Surfboard Surface Finish and How They Influence a Surfing Style

Sand Finish vs. Gloss Finish Surface for surfboards. Which is the winner?


Board production involves many stages. A conversation with your manufacturer should be carried out qualitatively at each level of the formation of your future surfboard.

After you have already chosen and discussed the shape of your future surfboard, it will be advisable to start wondering about its surface finish.

You have to solve the problem, what kind of surface finish you choose: sanded or polished.

Each of the methods described below has its pros and cons. The SurfScience sorted out the general facts and made a comparative description so that it would be more convenient for you to make a decision on the surface finish.

The process of creating

Essential Surfing by George Oberlian

The book by George Oberlian describes in detail the processes of creating two types of surface finishes that we need to study.

In his “Essential Surfing”, he writes that the whole essence of processing is to use sandpaper initially with a grain size of 60 D on the visible surface, and later increase the level of the grit of sandpaper to 100 D.

This process should be done very carefully, observing the transitions in grain size to achieve the correct result in sandblasting.

If you are not very careful, you can cut off a layer of fiberglass fabric that is under the laminating resin from the surface.

It will be a mistake that you ruin the surfboard, so take this process seriously.

The author of the book, explaining the creation of a glossy surface finish, says that the glossy filling itself is carried out after grinding its surface.

This is to ensure that all scratches left when sanding sandpaper with a grain size of 100 D are completely and evenly coated creating a smooth surface. But the finish resin itself will not give full gloss when dried but only partially give shine to the surface.

To achieve the effect and good gloss of the surfboard requires additional glossy grinding which is called wet. After this procedure, the surfboard will need additional polishing. It can be carried out manually or using special power machines.

Sandblasted Surfboard Surface

Surfboard Finishes

If you decide to leave your surfboard at this stage with the indicated surface type, then you can get a lighter board. This effect is achieved because you do not add an additional coating of resin which gives gloss to the surface.

This type of surfboard surface processing is cheaper to manufacture.

Some people think that a lighter sandblasted board will be faster than a glossy board. However, such a surface finish provokes faster damage to the surfboard due to water damage and due to the uneven rusty coating.

This fact is the main disadvantage of a surfboard surface with such a finish. As a result, in practice, such surfboards will last less than boards with a glossy finish.

Sand and other small elements also get into irregularities in the board surface, so it is also more difficult to maintain it.

Despite all the disadvantages, professionals in surfing choose this type of surface finish because it makes the surfboard easier and faster.

Thus, they avoid the extra weight of gloss which helps them win trips.

This is ideal for people who have long been in sports and are engaged in it at the professional level since such people often change their surfboards and they do not have time to get damaged badly due to water or debris.

Thus, the absorption of water does not have time to affect the performance and the surfboard serves excellently for quite a long time.

Glossy surfboard finish

Glossy surfboard finish

A distinctive factor of such a surfboard surface is the extra weight due to the added layer in the surface coating with the finishing resin. Also, this type of finish will cost about 70-80 dollars more in production.

It is not known how much the surfboard becomes heavier due to the resin surface finish. They say the weight can begin with one pound and end with one and a half pounds.

However, due to the additional coating, you will not encounter surface irregularities or penetrating openings. So, in exchange for more weight, the athlete gets better tightness and convenience.

The density of this finish resin maximally limits the contact of water with the base of the surfboard, so it does not deteriorate due to the effects of water and will last you much longer than a sand-coated surfboard.

So, the board surface becomes more tenacious and resistant to damage for a long time. A positive feature is the design of the glossy finish.

A gloss of gloss gives the beauty and a special charm to the surfboard surface. Such a board is very pleasing to the eye and is the best choice for non-professionals and beginners in surfing.

A glossy surfboard is much easier to clean because it does not collect dirt and debris, and the surface itself often remains clean. Thus, if you order your first surfboard or one of the first, then you should stop at the choice of a glossy surface finish.

So you can concentrate on your progress and achievements, and not on cleaning the surface or its destruction.

Glossy surfboard finish

If you are personally studying the surface finishes of the sandy and glossy types for surfing, you should talk to your manufacturer about this.

He can advise you on a suitable finish for the shape of your surfboard and your level of surfing. Your manufacturer will definitely tell you the solution for the new board.

Some people think that a sandblasted surface finish will be more suitable for surfboards with an offset body. A glossy finish is a great choice for planks in which the body is trimmed.

It’s best for you not to make your own decisions on the finish, especially if you are a beginner.

Talk about a suitable finish with your designer/shaper. This will help him make the product perfect for you. And this will help you surf better so that everyone will benefit.



Sandblasting is different in weight to glossy finish – the first will be more than a pound lighter. Also, such a surfboard costs $ 70-80 cheaper due to its production.

Surfers argue about the speed of this board: some say that it is much faster because of its lightness, others argue that the speed of such surfboards is only slightly different from the speed of a board with a glossy finish.

It is not durable due to uneven coverage where dirt and debris are collected. It is also not a choice in the matter of aesthetics because it may seem rather dull and awkward in appearance.

A glossy finish surfboard is about one and a half pounds heavier, but many do not feel this weight. In production, such boards are 70-80 dollars more expensive than the previous ones depending on the efforts made.

It is said that such a finish is excellent for surfboards with a planing body. Such a case is obvious for almost all boards. The main advantage of such a finish is that the additional finish removes all irregularities and cracks left during grinding.

So, the surfboard will last you longer. Aesthetically, it is more pleasant to the eye and touch.



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