Whether you’re new to skateboarding or you’ve been doing it for years, you will get razor tail at some point.
Razor tail is when the nose or tail of your skateboard wears down to the point of being thin, sharp, and razor-like. When this happens, your skateboard loses its pop and shape making it more difficult to skate.
This article will show you how to easily fix your razor tail and a method you can repeat to prevent it.
Great, so how do we do it?
The quick summary is that you can solve razor tail by using wood glue to fill in the section where the wood has been worn down and aluminum foil as a mold to hold the glue in its correct shape.
Here is a quick step-by-step guide and a list of the two supplies you will need.
- Aluminum Foil to make a mold of your tail. Any kind will work. I used this one.
- Wood Glue to fill in the worn-down layers of wood. I recommend using a more rigid glue like Gorilla Wood Glue.
Step by Step Guide to Fixing Your Skateboard’s Razor Tail With Wood Glue
Step 1: Make an Aluminum Foil Mold That Lines Your Tail.
Tear a sheet of aluminum foil that’s around a 12″ square. You will need enough so that you can fold it in half and still be able to mold it around the curve of your tail.
The goal of this step is to make a barrier that acts like a fence to catch the excess glue. Here is an image of what it will eventually look like.
Lay your skateboard with its graphic facing up on the folded aluminum foil sheet. Pull up the edges of the tin foil so that it curls around your tail. Ensure the foil is tight to your tail, with the flat section being extremely tight against your grip tape. If it isn’t tight, you will have some glue leak on your grip tape.
Pro Tip: Use your finger to smooth the wrinkles in the foil before you pour in the glue. The smoother you can get the mold you’re making, the better the result will be.
Step 2: Add the First Layer of Wood Glue
This step aims to add your first layer of glue as an initial coating.
Fill in your razor tail with about 1/8″ bead of glue. The goal of this step is to add in your first layer. You don’t want to add too much because you will wind up with a glue bubble that doesn’t dry. You are only looking to make a thin cover of glue that acts as your first layer.
Step 3: Wait 2-3 Hours and Add Your Second Layer of Glue
Now that the first layer is beginning to dry, you can add your second layer. This step is to fill in a little more glue to eventually even out your tail’s missing wood.
Step 4: Level Your Board’s Tail and Add Extra Wood Glue To Fill It In
To complete your tail’s shape, you will need to add extra wood glue in specific places or repeat step three altogether with another layer. Now is the time to do that.
For this step, it is also a good idea to get your tail as flat as possible for the glue to sit and harden. Try propping your skateboard deck up on a small table or putting some books underneath it. When you can get the worn section flat rather than sloped downward, it is easier to get the glue to set how you need it to.
For this step, I used an old cereal box. Whatever you use, make sure that it is something you won’t mind getting glue on.
Step 5: Wait Another 1-2 Hours and Remove the Aluminum Foil
After another 1-2 hours, check to see that the glue is beginning to harden slightly or become gelatinous. If it is, remove your aluminum foil barrier.
The primary purpose of this step is to help cut down on the pieces of aluminum foil you will have stuck to the edge of your tail. If you can remove it at the right time in the process, you won’t have any to clean off. If you leave the foil on too long, you can always scrape it off with a razor blade after everything has dried.
Once you remove the foil, some wet glue might extend beyond your tail, take an old pen and fold it back in place. Use the pen like a paint brush to shape the glue back on to your tail.
Step 6: Let it Dry Until It Is Hard Enough to Skate
Wood glue can take a while to dry, so it is best to give this at least 24 hours before trying to skate it. I like to leave it in front of a fan for a few hours. You’ll know it is ready to skate when it no longer feels squishy.
Optional Step 6: Sanding the Glue to Clean the Shape
It is worth noting that your tail will sand itself down naturally as you skate. However, if you want to, you can also sand down any excess hardened glue and reshape the perimeter of your tail.
How to Prevent Razor Tail With Wood Glue
The process above is excellent for filling in the missing glue layers to get the level of pop back in your skate deck. However, you can also use a thin layer of wood glue to slow the razor tail process down on a newer deck too.
A thin layer of wood glue will dry clear, is barely noticeable, and slows down the wear and tear of your tail.
This is an image of the Primitive Skate deck that I am reviewing currently. The deck is great, it is just wearing down faster than I would like it to. By following the below steps, I have been able to get a few extra weeks out of the life of this skate deck.
Follow these three steps to prevent razor tail.
- As you skate a new deck, add a thin glue layer to line your tail’s outline where your razor tail is just beginning wear down.
- Let the layer sit for 24 hours..
- Repeat these steps as often as you need to help your deck keep its shape and pop longer.
The hardened glue will help slow down the razor tail process.
I hope these tips help you with fixing your razor tail.
It is worth noting that wood glue can razor tail, too, so you will have to repeat these steps as your glue layer wears down.
Steve Weber is an avid snowboarder and skateboarder. He has been snowboarding for 26 years, skateboarding for 20, and is always looking for a new board sport to try out. When he is not riding or skating, he runs a marketing agency. Board of the World is Steve’s blog for skateboard and snowboard gear reviews. The blog’s goal is to help people find the right board for them and encourage people to have fun outside.