Do-it-yourself paddleboard a winner


Morgan Boenisch, age 15, Kiel, wanted a paddleboard, so with the help of her dad, she made one. Morgan Boenisch, age 15, Kiel, wanted a paddleboard, so with the help of her dad, she made one. Morgan Boensich, Kiel, is the daughter of Robert and Angela Boenisch. She is a member of the Hingham Handy Helpers 4-H Club and for her project in the self-determined category she made a paddleboard, with the help of her dad, and won a merit award at the Sheboygan County Fair.

Boenisch had a project in mind and because her dad is the Tech Ed teacher at Oostburg High School she was fortunate enough to draw from his knowledge and learn something new and creative.

How to make a paddleboard is one of the projects for the students and she benefitted from that class.

“The paddleboard is made out of expanded polystyrene,” said Boensich. “It’s 10 feet by 3 feet.

“You start by buying a chunk of foam and cut the profile, the top and the bottom,” said Boenisch. “You cut it in half and insert a wooden rib between the two sides and add fiberglass for a stronger bond, and then cut off the excess fiberglass.

“You use a planer to cut it down and shape the rails - the parts where you hold onto - and sand it with sandpaper until it’s completely smooth,” said Boenisch.

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“You then put fiberglass mesh over the top of it, cut off the excess and cut relief cuts to be able to fold it smooth and not get wrinkled,” said Boensch.

“You use epoxy to adhere the fiberglass mesh on the polystyrene,” said Boenisch. “I tinted the epoxy to make a pattern.

“We used plastic water bottles to put epoxy in and applied it to the mesh,” said Boenisch. “We poured a lot of epoxy on, like a coat, and smoothed out the air bubbles.

“Next you tuck the excess down and around to get a smooth edge, tape off the rails, and I added blue tinted epoxy,” said Boenisch, “and then I sanded the entire board. Do both sides and rails.

“Drill out holes for plugs and put plugs in and a fin box,” said Boensich. “I inserted an extra handle for easier carrying, and then I clear coated everything two times and sanded up to 3,000 grit sandpaper starting with 220 grit, and then polish and wax it.

“The paddle is made out of wood, cut and glue together the pieces,” said Boenisch.

“Cut a miter on the shaft and I carved the handle, and then you fiberglass and epoxy the paddle to the shaft and sand everything,” said Boenisch. “You work up to a 2,000 grit sandpaper and polish.

“This project took about 120 hours,” said Boenisch.

“The judge liked it,” said Boenisch.

“I’ve paddleboarded before and I wanted to try and make one,” said Boensich. “I like it a lot and hope this one lasts for awhile.”


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