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Neil ‘Neilski’ Bollmann: the JetSki Painter of the Stars

Neil Bollmann on Ride by Day, Wrench by Night Presented by Vintage JetSki

Today’s episode is with Neil Bollmann, Jet Ski painter of the stars!

Neil was around for the glory years of Jet Ski racing and has made a big name for himself as a legendary painter, people thought his paint jobs were stickers, they were so good! Have a listen as we go back through the golden years and hear what it was like from his perspective and get many valuable tips for doing your own paint jobs. We hope you enjoy this episode and we can’t wait to see your own paint jobs after hearing these tips!

Show notes

00:17 Welcome!

01:29 When did you first see a Jet Ski?

02:08 How much did your first ski cost?

02:53 How did you start painting? Was this your trade?

03:27 First job painting

04:29 “If your Jet Ski runs shitty, bring it to Jet Ski City”

05:04 Jet Ski City’s ski was the only one that was painted

06:03 Right time, right place

06:59 89/90 was when my painting really developed with the Candy Apple colors

07:47 How he used to do a paint job

08:07 Candy Apple colors

08:32 House Of Kolor

09:33 How did you meet some of the big names in Jet Ski racing like Scott Watkins?

10:55 The first real taste of fame and Splash Magazine

12:16 Selling good numbers in England and the Hot Water Series

12:56 Live Jet Ski racing on TV

14:49 Heading to the world finals in Havasu

15:20 Driving the van and getting pulled over

17:25 What’s the atmosphere like in the glory years?

18:50 New idea for painting Harry’s ski

21:17 What’s your favorite ski that you’ve painted?

22:01 What did a paint job cost?

23:26 People were spending a ton of money

23:55 Using lacquer primer, Imron paint, urethane, clear coat and epoxy primer

25:51 You were becoming world renowned at this point

27:07 What about race helmets?

28:12 Troy Lee (Troy Lee Designs) sees Harry’s helmet

30:20 People thought his paint jobs were stickers

31:27 Paint jobs started losing their impact in the mid 90’s

32:47 Meeting Vanilla Ice

34:53 Vanilla Ice: The Jet Ski Racer

37:59 Pulling up to my house in a white Porsche

38:46 I want to get into painting my own jet ski, what are the stages of painting a ski?

39:49 Take the stickers off (Xylene to remove glue)

41:21 Take the handle pole, pad, exhaust and pole bracket off

41:42 Reinforce with resin and fiberglass

42:16 Tell us about the resin

42:57 Painting is 90% prep

43:58 How much fiberglass do you need? 2 layers on the inside and 2 on the outside - paint inside with Imron-type paint

45:17 Electrical box needs reinforcement too

46:41 Sand it with 80 grit and put epoxy primer on

46:50 You must paint within 72 hours - the paint etches into the epoxy

47:33 Tell us about epoxy

48:40 I was basically a chemist, once the base coat is down and protected, you’re good to go

49:21 BEST ADVICE: Read the can!

49:57 What do I need to do this myself? Paint guns

51:22 Urethane primers

51:42 A guide coat is a handy trick

52:07 Sand down with 80 grit, epoxy primer on, choose color, apply base coat - what’s next?

52:25 Use Intercoat Clear when you have a lot of white in your design

52:56 Stripe work: Tape is important

53:46 The clear coat allows you to fix mistakes

54:31 Can I do this in my backyard?

55:39 You want to do this over a few days

56:21 Get a Porta-shade and a 20 gallon air compressor with a 25 or 50 foot hose

57:08 Adding your own stickers - clear coat is the last stage

58:14 Taking your paint to the next level

59:51 Things to save time and fix mistakes - 400 grit wet sand paper

01:00:36 Using Pre-Kleano to clean the surfaces BEFORE painting

01:02:36 Tell us about the sandpaper

01:03:24 When do you use 2000 grit sand paper? At the end to make it shine

01:03:52 What is your best memory from back in the day?

01:07:01 Your son’s Youtube channel RC Supremacy

01:08:11 How can people contact you? Instagram @neilskicustom

01:08:39 Where did your nickname Neilski come from?

01:09:29 Where to see some of your designs

01:10:03 Thank you for joining us Neil Bollmann!


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