How To Install A Surf Foil Track Box
So you want to install a foil track box into your existing board?
Firstly you will need to purchase a Ride Engine Surf Foil Track box from your local dealer
Here is a short explanation to help you out. Let us know if you have any additional questions.
- This box will fit most 90mm bolt patterns. That is now the standard box width in the industry. Current year Slingshot, Ride Engine, Naish, Lift, Cloud IX, Liquid Force will fit correctly.
Here are some basic instructions for install. If you do not have experience working with fiberglass I would pay an experienced glasser or repair facility to install it for you.
- Figure out where you want your box. Most foils ride with the mast directly beneath the rear foot. This chart will give common placements to the CENTER of the box.
- Measure Twice... or Maybe three times.
Board Length Distance from tail of board to center of box 5'0" to 5'9" 8" – 12" 5'10" to 6'6" 10"- 15" 6'7" to 7'4" 16"-20" 7'5"; to 8'6" 18" -22"; 8'7" to 9'6" 23" to 28"
- Sand back any paint or existing hotcoat over the area to be glassed on the base and deck. Roughly a patch 18"x36" (larger for SUP boards)
- Mark your centerline on the board.
- Mark the centerline on your box insert
- Match the center-lines and outline the box with a pencil
IMPORTANT: if your board has a stringer you will want to leave it intact. You will have to cut your box down the center and remove foam to account for the stringer thickness if this is the case. Common stringer widths are 1/4"-3/16" on hand shaped surfboards and as large as 3/4" for pop outs.
- Use a router with a " 3" long straight rod with flush trim bearing" to cut the hole. Pro tip; cut a 1/4" depth first to create a more accurate and smooth cut for the deep cut. You can then use the bearing guide along that ridge to complete your full depth cut. When setting the depth, you want to cut through the top glass. If you have an abnormally thick tail section (thicker than 2 3/8") this may require additional high-density foam. Macgyverr tip; If you do not own a router you can always use a circular saw or Dremel and hand saw with extreme caution. If you go this route, be sure your cuts are square to the deck and that you do not cut through the stringer.
- Place your box into the cavity you have cut.
- Mark the protruding foam along the deck curvature with the base side flush with base glass.
- Remove the box and cut and or sand along the deck curve line. Place back in the cavity to check accuracy.
- Double Masking tape the deck side of the cavity. Ensure the tape is fully covering the hole or the epoxy will leak out. Also, mask the box openings so that they do not fill with overflow epoxy.
- Mix surfboard grade epoxy with microballoons to a toothpaste consistency. Safety tip; do not use west system or epoxies not meant for surfboard production, they have a high exotherm and will burn foam or start your project on fire. We really like Resin Research and Entropy resins.
- With the base side up and level, Coat the sides of the cavity with thickened epoxy using an epoxy squeegee. Do the same with the box sides. Be careful not to coat the bottom of the box or taped deck area with too much epoxy as it will want to float above it.
- Carefully drop the box into the hole. Clean any excess resin off with a squeegee or chip brush
- Pay attention to make sure the box is flush with the base glass of the board.
- Let it cure for 24-48 hours (depending on resin, room temp, and humidity). If you live in a cold climate like us, be sure the room temp is warmer than 60 degrees or it may never cure.
- Remove the tape and inspect the install. The base should be flush with the box, the deck may protrude a little but can be sanded down easily before glassing.
- Sand the areas that are to be glassed. Mask off the box holes as well as the perimeter of the glassing area (at least board width x36")
- prep your glass. You need at least 3 layers of 6 oz standard weave on both deck and base. Yes, deck and base or you will drive your box through the deck and break your board. We reccomend 3 layers of S glass along with a layer of 1" diamond weave carbon. Make the following cuts in an oval shape...
- 16x10" glass
- 23x12" carbon
- 24x13" glass
- 36"+ x board width glass
- Lay layers 1-3 out on the base, set the forth nearby.
- Mix the epoxy and stir calmly for at least 90 seconds. Pro tip; warm the epoxy container in a hot water bath for 10 minutes in cooler areas to help it flow better prior to mixing.
- Spread the epoxy across the glass with slight pressure to help penetrate all three layers. Too much pressure will make micro bubbles.
- After all three are saturated, put the fourth layer on and saturate that. Do not use too much resin or it will "float" the glass and make it thicker than need be.
- Wait for the epoxy to "kick". When it is no longer "sticky" to the touch, you can take a razor to trim along the tape lines and pull the tape back.
- Repeat steps 19-25 for the deck.
- Wait 24-48 hours
- Sand each with 80 grit until rough. Any shiny spots will result in chipping. Orbital or polish sanders work best.
- Mask off the area 2" wider than the glass edge on base.
- Pour on and paint the resin on the area using a 3" chip brush. Pro tip; smash the brush into the sticky side of masking tape to remove any loose hairs that could stick in the epoxy.
- finish with a light stroke in a tip to tail motion to smooth any ridges.
- Wait for the epoxy to "kick". When it is no longer "sticky" to the touch, pull the tape back.
- Sand starting with 120 grit and up through grits to whatever finish is necessary to match. Sanded finish boards go to 600 grit. 400 grit is fine if you want to paint over it.
- Bam, go ride it.