At the Beach — March 9, 2015 at 5:00 am

The Basics of Surfboard Maintenance

by

©istockphoto/MichaelSvoboda

©istockphoto/MichaelSvoboda

One of the secrets to being a successful surfer lies in having the right gear. Your surfboard is your best friend out on the waves, and you’ve got to nourish that relationship by keeping it in great shape. If you’re looking to dip your hands in the water, so to speak, and try out the sport of surfing you’ll need to know how to take proper care of your board.

Bag You Board
If your board isn’t wet it should be in a bag. You might see a lot of people strapping their board to the top of their cars without covering it up, but don’t follow their lead. Many of the dents and dings your board gets will come from sources outside the water. Buy a board bag when you buy your board and keep it safely ensconced within whenever you’re not on the ocean.

Keep It Cool
Believe it or not the sun is bad for your board. Harsh temps and too much sunlight can dry it out, causing it to crack and allow water to seep in. Water causes delamination, where the foam separates from the outer coating. It makes your board less sturdy and causes it turn the color of pee.

Rinse Off the Salt
Salt can do serious damage to your board over time and shorten its lifespan. They’re expensive, so let’s not let that happen, okay? Rinse the ocean water off your board with fresh water as soon as possible once you leave the ocean.

Stand It Upright
Just looking at a surfboard probably tells you they’re not meant to stand on the ends. Invest in a board rack if you can. Whatever you do, make sure the board is hung horizontally with the fins facing up. If the board is left in a position from which it can fall it can crack when it hits the floor. Also, don’t forget to dry it and put it in a body bag before hanging it!

Repair the Dings
If you ding your board—and you will—don’t wait to get it repaired. Dings and cracks weaken the integrity of the board and leave it open to delamination. Dry the ding completely, maybe with the use of a hair dryer, and pull out some sand paper and UV solar resin. Sand the area until you have a good, clean pocket then apply the solar resin to fill it back in. Let the resin dry in the sun then use the sand paper to smooth it down and make it flush with the rest of the board.

Most surfboard repair kits will come with everything you need. Better yet, just take it to a professional and let them handle it.

Transport it Properly
Add a surfboard rack to the top of your car or jeep and set it up so your surfboard isn’t hanging over the sides of your vehicle. You don’t want another driver to swipe it and turn it into a boogie board. Consider throwing on some extra padding on the rack to make it softer. Also, remember not to tie it on too tightly or you might dent the board.

If taken care of properly your board should last you at least a few good seasons.

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