Does anyone else see amazing surfboards on the beach and wish they had the dollar to get their own?

We know it doesn't make any difference to how we surf, but there's just something awesome about a good-looking board.

19 Rad Design Ideas That Will Make You Want To Customise Your Surfboard

We've decided that instead of forking out for a new board, we're going to customise our own.

So here is our step by step guide to giving your surfboard a makeover...


Before you jump in and start doodling all over your board, figure out the design you want.

Whether it's doing a first doodle on a sheet of paper, or printing out the design you want for reference, make sure you don't get overexcited and end up regretting your hastiness.

Have no talents for illustration? Either choose a stylish but simple design like the one above, or find an illustration you like and get a blown up version printed on tracing paper.


Before you put anything on your board, you need to give it a good clean and remove 100 per cent of the wax.

Even if you haven't used the board and it's never been waxed, you still need to give it a good old clean. Any grease or dirt will make your rad new design start to peel away on its first few outings.

Once you have taken all wax off, give your board a wipe down with some acetone.

Then when it is super clean, it's time to give it a good sand with some 300 grit sandpaper. The sanding will create a good texture for the paint to stick to.


If you know you want one base colour underneath your design, then this has to be applied beforehand and left to dry properly.

Make sure you apply masking tape to the areas of the board that you don't want paint, most likely to be the rails, but tape can also be used for covering half the board and creating a two colour background.

Using a light coat of paint, spray over the board and tape, remember to stay light as a heavy coat will run and look messy.

You can use car paint, acrylic-based paint or enamel-based paint. Aerosol paints tend to dry fast and stay on well.

Let the colours or layers dry before you move on to the next colour.


When drawing on your design, firstly choose between paint or permanent pen.

For the lesser experienced illustrator, using a pen may prove easier than paints - and more likely to create a professional looking effect.

Choose water-based Posca Pens as you can put them on foam or glass. Don't use a regular Sharpie as it will bleed.

If you are nervous about drawing straight onto the board, draw up the main part of the design in white chalk, then go over with paint or pens afterwards.

Once your design is down, add in its base colours and let them dry before then adding in the brighter colours.

To make the design look complete, finish off by adding a black outline to the main design.


Once you're happy with the design and you've left it to dry for a few hours, you'll want to secure your new paint job so it doesn't peel off in the waves with a final clear coating.

If you want to be super sure, you can take your board to a surf shaper and ask for them to spray it for you. However, you can just do it yourself at home.

Many sprays and paints don't work well together if they're different brands, so make sure you match the brand of your paint to the brand of your clear coating spray.

Leave the board to dry for a few hours again and leave it for at least two hours before getting it wet.

And you're done! Get that new board and go for a celebration surf - you've earned it.