How to Care for your Surfboard
Posted by:GJW Direct | Apr 14, 2022
It comes as no surprise that the secret to a surfboard’s long and prosperous life includes a great deal of care and maintenance. Regardless of what type of board you own, it’s important that you know how to care for your surfboard and keep up regular maintenance to keep it in good shape.
Surfboarding has been making waves for thousands of years, with cave paintings suggesting that our ancient ancestors liked to hang ten as early as the 12th century. However, a lot has changed since those heavy 18 feet-long wooden boards made from balsa or redwood. Today, most mainstream surfboards consist of lightweight and durable synthetic materials such as soft-top foam, polyurethane, and epoxy. Regular maintenance, correct storage, preventative measures, and surfboard insurance should be taken to protect your surfboard, to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here are some great tips to keep your board in tip-top shape for riding those gnarly waves!
Rinse and repeat
To hang loose with your board, you're going to need to commit to some maintenance. Once you've finished surfing, it's a good idea to set aside some time to clean your board, including rinsing off salt or sand with fresh water and wiping it down until it’s dry. The salt in the seawater can be corrosive to your board, fins, and fins boxes, so any remaining residue can degrade its condition over time–so ensure you wash your board after every use!
Most popular surfing beaches have showers nearby where you can wash your board. It may seem a little bit tedious, but this measure will help prolong the life of your board.
Double down on those dings
A crucial part of surfboard maintenance is checking for damage regularly to minimise any risks to the health of your board. Check for dings (dents in the epoxy or fibreglass) and cracks before and after each surf, as damage to the board can weaken your board's fibreglass and resin outer layer.
The open-cell foam used in some epoxy surfboards is not sealed, making them susceptible to water absorption when the glass is cracked or broken down to the foam. As a result, you'll get a literal sinking feeling as your board takes on water, hindering your experience while out on the waves and potentially damaging your board beyond repair.
You can repair any cracks and dings with epoxy resin for epoxy boards, whereas if you own a foam board, you can patch up any dinging or cracks with some wax, as foam construction consists of closed-cell foam, which means it won't soak up water as quickly.
Wax on, wax off
An excellent trick to help you easily spot cracks and dings is to strip and reapply your wax often from the deck of your board. A small break in the deck can cause plenty of damage, so ensure you change your wax regularly.
Additionally, don't leave your board in the sun, as the wax could potentially melt off and leave you with no protection. Instead, try investing in some eco-friendly traction pads-you'll never have to wax your surfboard again, and your board will be protected from any future dings!
Tan your bod, not your board
While we're talking about the sun, it's a good idea to avoid extreme heat and direct sunlight on your board because exposure too rays and heat can cause your board to overheat and delaminate, causing the outer layer to yellow, weaken, and even crack.
You should leave your board in a cool, shaded area when the weather is hot, like under a tree or inside a beach shack, but never in your car as the interior can get hot. Place a damp towel over your board if it seems to be overheating.
Cowabunga it in a bag
When you're not using your surfboard, you should store it in a board bag to protect it from the elements. As well as protecting it from UV rays, it will also prevent scratches, dings, and cracks in the fibreglass when it is being transported or stored. A perfect solution for when there isn't shade or storage space for your board is to choose a board bag with a reflective outer layer if you want to attach it to your car's roof, as this will reflect any sunlight and heat away from the board.
Surf’s Up, Boards Up
While at home, keep your surfboard stored well and vertically upright on a rack to save yourself some space. Avoid damage to the ends by keeping the rails, tail, and nose off the hard ground. Alternatively, you can also hang the surfboard horizontally on a wall on a board rack with the fins facing up.
Regardless of how you plan to store your board, make sure it is kept dry, in a surfboard bag, in a cool, ventilated room. You can even use it as a fun, nautical piece for a beach-themed home!
Let’s go to the beach
If you want to make sure your surfboard gets to the beach in one piece, you should mount a surfboard rack on top of your car so that it doesn't hang over the sides. Also, remember to keep it in a surfboard bag to protect it from scratches and sun damage further!
Feel reassured with surfboard insurance
Of course, it's always a great idea to have a backup plan for your surfboard if or when disaster strikes. We recommend surfboard insurance to make sure you're covered when hitting the waves. Give yourself peace of mind when surfboarding and contact us to find out how we can help