5 Ways to Make your Surfboard Last Another 10 Years!
There is nothing worse than finding that perfect surfboard shape you love, then after a few years, reaching the debate on whether to throw it away or display it on the garage wall because you can’t seem to part with it. Day after day we get people that come into our surf shop telling us about how their surfboard is done or gone because it is too heavy from the water damage, delaminated, or has so many dings they lost count. Surfboards shouldn’t have to be disposable toys, and by following these 5 easy steps, you may be able to keep your board out of the dusty wall archives, and back in the water where it belongs.
1. Take Your Wax Off!
This may sound ridiculous—how can removing my wax help save my board? Many people are unaware (until its too late) that one of the main causes of board delamination comes from unknown cracks along the stringer of your surfboard that hide under your wax. Once your board soaks in water from these cracks and causes a delam, there is usually little to no solution to the weight that it gains, however, by getting a stringer patch over these cracks before they spread, it will solve the problem and likely prevent them from happening in the future! We recommend changing your wax a minimum of 2 times a year, or at least scraping the stringer to make sure there are no surprises. Click here for more information on repairing.
2. Shorten Your Leash String!
Leash strings are every surfers’ best friend and worst enemy—yes, they save you when a big wave washes through and your board gets away from you, but when they ding your baby you haven’t even scratched yet, your relationship might be a bit hostile. Despite this, when attached properly, you two can remain friends.
Leash strings are meant to attach the leash to the leash plug on the surfboard, although when buying a new board or leash, there is no disclosure to the fact that too long of a string can leave you with a ripped open tail. At least once a week we get customers who come into our shop with their tail gashed open from their string ripping through the fiberglass and foam—this can be easily prevented by just adjusting your string length!
When putting on your leash string, the length should be short enough so that when attaching the leash, the rail saver (aka the velcro thing attached to the cord that you put it on with) should run along the edge of your tail. This is there to prevent the rope from ripping through and leaving you with an essential repair and a ruined day. Click here for more information on repairing.
3. A Small Ding is Bigger than it looks: DINGTAPE is there to Help!
There is no such thing as a small ding—if it is cracked enough to leak water, it needs to be addressed before it is too late. One of the main causes of surfboards gaining weight is unaddressed small dings, because although it may look little, every surf takes, more and more water is absorbed. This doesn’t mean it has to be professionally repaired though—there are other ways to prevent dings from leaking water, and we recommend our Joe Roper’s Dingtape.
Dingtape is a marine adhesive boat tape that will seal your dings from any water getting in, it may seem like just a sticker, although this waterproof and flexible tape that (when applied properly) will effectively seal your cracks from any further water damage. Also another tip—stay away from duct tape, although it is the perfect solution to most problems, it does more harm than good for your surfboard. The strings in the tape actually absorb water, which makes the ding worse off than before. Click here to purchase DINGTAPE.
4. Don’t leave your Surfboard in the hot Car!
Heat + Surfboard = Bad News…whether it be giant bubbles or melted foam spots, we’ve seen the weirdest of the weird aftermath of the hot car gone wrong. Even for the shortest amount of time, surfboards baking in cars can cause some of the most serious damage. Be aware of this—as time crunched as you may be to make accommodations for relocating your board because you chose to catch one more wave before work, try to do what you can…park in the shade, crack a window, bring it into the office, whatever it may be, your surfboard will thank you. Just know the harm that heat can cause to your surfboard, especially when our annual heat waves roll on through.
5. Invest in a Board Bag!
Most surfboard damage is not something that happens in the water. Sure, a busy Saturday in summer will leave you with a few dings from dodging the crowds, but most dings happen in transit. Whether it be the bike that fell on your board in the garage, the mom that knocked it over when trying to clean around where you shouldn’t have left it, or that awkward moment when you forgot there was a wall right there when you wacked it when coming around the corner—it happens to us all. Although a bag won’t prevent all dings, it can sure help by giving a little padding to the fall, and hopefully keep you from getting a few accidental dings around the edges! Also, they are great for keeping your board out of the direct sunlight, because just like the sun is harmful to our skin, the same thing applies for your surfboard!
We hope these tips are helpful! We know how painful it can be to say goodbye to your favorite board. Surfboards should not be disposable, they can last a lifetime!