Street Art Stories

Surfs Up – Customized Painted Surf Boards


painted surf boards, graffiti surf boards, urban gypset sketch86, cornwall

I can’t remember how many boards I must have done over the past few years..

I have painted peoples dogs, tequila bottles, typical graffiti and some a lot more weird.

As a graffiti artist painting on anything other than a wall is always something to look forwards to , I think for many street artists, most will paint on anything but do not always succeed far out of their comfort zone. This generally comes from taking the time to learn each craft that comes with each new venture.

For me coming into this world from the opposite end having experience on many other surfaces than walls seemed to naturally deviate into a quest for unusual items to paint on. The artisan in me it usually at the forefront of my mark making.

Moving to Cornwall and establishing a gallery in St Ives, it was only natural that the surf scene and I were to come into close contact. Within the first 3-4 months I had experimented on half a dozen board. The fact the previous shop I had taken over left me a few boards in the back room saw temptation staring me in the face from the word go.

The unusual thing about spray painting surf boards is that even though the surf board community is no stranger to psychedelic designs, airbrushing and paint markers being a usual choice for boards finding spray painted boards for me was a struggle. When something like this moment happens, before going ahead with it you have to ask yourself, why has no one done this?

surf boards 2

Well as far as I can see its probably a case of time and money.

As the demand is not established as an industry and with computer graphics being printed onto vinyl. There is not so much a want for this way of doing things.

With the average board price of a decent beginner board at £160 to the pro’s kicking in at over £500 to add 100’s on top of this for a custom surf board painting market does not bode well in this financial climate. This then limits the painted boards to the DIY guys and the elite sponsored or collectors.

However, we believe that there is just not enough out there showing people the variety and scope of the artistic possibilities. Also finding ways of reigning the price in.

Reconditioned blank surf boards are a great way of keeping the starting costs down.

Any seasoned surfer or someone that’s used to board repairs can bring a board up to scratch quite easily.

So, to bring conclusion to this, spray painted or graffiti boards are a sure shot for visibility and getting noticed but you need to make sure the board is prepped and plenty of time is spent of the lacquering stage so to fill any undulations caused by the thickness in paint. Also to get the show room finish a good rub down a nd polish.

The problems usually encountered in this are that the lacquering or resin stage can take as long as the artwork, and one should prepare for this when budgeting.

If you want more information on custom painted surf boards/ graffiti surf boards / custom surf boards in Cornwall or would like to commission us to paint a board for you please get in touch via the contact page on this site.


sketch86 , painted surf board, surf boards cornwall. graffiti surf board,
Sketch86 Painting a commissioned Surf Board freehand with Spray Paint.