How to care for your surfboard

Typhoon International

March 20, 2024

For many surfers, looking after their board is as much a ritual as it is routine. More than an object, your board is your point of connection to the waves. It’s also delicate in its construction and so regular care is necessary to keep your surfboard in top condition…  

The single most important job is to wash your surfboard down after every use with plenty of fresh water. This removes all the salt and sand, which can otherwise cause damage to your surfboard. 

Pay particular attention to areas such as the fins and leash attachment. Check your leash as you go for any wear or tear.
Top tip – avoid dangling your leash along the ground when carrying your board so it doesn’t snag or chafe and start to fray.  

Giving your surfboard a good wash down is also a perfect opportunity to check for damage, such as dinks or cracks. Even the smallest crack can allow water ingress which can affect the board’s fragile foam core, so it’s essential to repair any cracks or scratches straight away.  

Don’t be tempted to tape over it while you head out for one more surf! Keep a repair kit to hand so you can speedily remedy small damage and get back out to the waves quickly.  

The other major culprit for damaging your surfboard is the sun’s UV rays. A telltale sign of UV degradation is yellowing of the resin, or tiny bubbles on the surface which indicate delamination. Seek expert advice if you spot these signs.  

There is an easy way to prevent such problems – simply keep your board out of direct sunlight whenever possible. Taking a break from the waves? Rest your board in the shade – always fin side up, of course.  

Invest in a good surfboard bag and cover over your board whenever you can. A good bag can also help protect your surfboard from knocks and dinks when you’re transporting it. Likewise, using a firm grip when carrying your surfboard can help stop it being blown into something when that unexpected sideways gust of wind hits.     

On shore, store your board away from direct sunlight, ideally on a purpose made rack so it’s not resting on the ground where it’s prone to being stepped on, or stood balancing on its nose or tail – the most fragile points. Avoid leaving your surfboard in your vehicle, especially on a hot day, as the heat build-up can also cause structural damage.    

The final task in caring for your surfboard is to remove old wax – it’s a labour of love but essential to keep your surfboard in good condition. Set time aside every couple of months to scrape off the old and re-apply the new. Gently heating the old layers before removing can make things easier. If left, wax build up not only traps dirt but causes your board to become too heavy, which affects its performance. A fresh new layer will ensure you have optimal grip and control when riding the waves.  

Now you’re ready to grab your freshly waxed board and your surf wetsuit and head for the beach!  

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