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Resin Tints vs. Resin Opaques

Resin Tints vs. Resin Opaques

There are no shortage of confusing terms in surfboard design and construction.  Griffin and I were talking yesterday about how to effectively describe the difference between surfboard models without using hilarious surf lingo and body contortions.  We didn't come to any marvelous conclusions yet, but we're working on it. 

In the meantime, here is an example of a term that can be confusing: Tint vs. Opaque.

Both terms refer to colored pigment being added to resin to give the surfboard color.

A resin "tint" is when transparent pigment is added to the resin, to affect the hue of the fiberglass.

By tinting a board, you are essentially looking at the foam through a colored lens.  

Hence the phrase rose-tinted-glasses.  

The foam and stringer will be clearly apparent through a tint.  

Because the tint is transparent, and because the rails of a surfboard get twice as many layers of fiberglass, there will be twice as much color saturation around the rails of a surfboard.  This is often confused as two colors, but it is two intensities of the same color.

An opaque is done the exact same way as a tint; colored pigment is added to the resin. The only difference is, solid white non-transparent pigment is also added, which turns it from transparent to solid color.  

Typically when a board has an opaque, the stringers will not be visible at all, or with be only partially visible.

The Pogie Fish below demonstrates both tint and opaque.  The board is a two color lamination, with white opaque covering most of the board, and an orange tint stripe pieced into the middle.

If you want to see more of that process, re-watch our "How and Almond Lumberjack is Made" video and skip to the beginning of the glassing process.

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