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San Diego Surfing Home > Surfing School > Glassing - Pinlining

Surfing School - Glassing - Pinlining

Two methods are available for in pinlining. The early day method used resin and pigments, while a more modern, less messy method is to use acrylic paints. Acrylics are recommended for inexperienced people since it is easy to remove with a razor blade ad there isn't a long wait for the resin to cure.

To position the pinline correctly, tape must be smoothly and evenly placed on the board surface. Taping is always performed with the tape roll in your left hand, if right handed (or right if left handed), and your right thumb and index finger used to position the tape and rail. If the pinliner is inexperienced, several tapings and high temperature tape rolls may be necessary to get the feel of what you are doing. Inexperienced pinliners should use 1 inch tape. This author prefers 3/4 inch masking tape for pinlining, while more experienced pinliners often use 1/2 inch tape.

Starting at the nose of your board, stick one edge of the tape slightly under the trim line of the blank, and pull out about two feet of tape continuously. Holding the tape roll in your left hand while keeping a slight amount of pulling pressure, slowly move the tape line along the trim line from nose to tail. Your right hand is cupped slightly around the rail while your thumb is applying pressure on the tape for adhesion.

Try to hold the roll of tape as close to the rail as possible since this helps keep the tape line uniform. Quite a bit of pressure and pull (the tape is kept taught) will be necessary to make the tape uniformly follow the trim line. When the tail is reached, break the tape and repeat the operation on the opposite rail using the same procedure, except starting at the tail first. If the tape breaks during this process, pull it off and start over.

After eyeing the tape, first from the nose and then from the tail, to see if all lines are even, the top side of the pinline tape is applied. Hold the tape roll in your right hand and use your left hand index and middle fingers to stick the tape to the board. The upper tape should be brought as close to the bottom tape as desired to achieve the intended final pinline width.

Good pinliners will keep their lines about 1/8" thick. The line thickness must be eyeballed to stay approximately the same width all the way around the board. Thick spots or uneven bends in the tape require re-taping.

Tails and noses can be taped in various ways. Look at a few boards to see how widths and corners are handled Usually, tail edges have two short strips of tape places in a vee shape across the bottom first and then the rail tape is applied across and over forming the corner. The area where the tape overlaps is cut away by hand the correct pinline width using a razor blade.

After taping is completed, tape the tape roll and rub it fairly hard all along the tape line. This will press the tape securely to the board and prevent the acrylic or pigmented resin from running underneath. If resin is used, a second layer of tape under the bottom tape will be necessary to prevent any drip past the tape from touching the board.


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