This article will show you how to repair a surfboard yourself, quickly and professionally. Due to the nature of surfing and how fragile modern surfboards are, it is pretty inevitable that they are going to get damaged (dinged). This happens probably even more out of the water than in, and happens a lot easier that you'd expect. If it's just a few minor dings it is fairly easy to repair a surfboard yourself, and a lot faster. There is nothing more frustrating than the surf pumping and your board's stuck in the repair shop for a week, or you're on some remote island without the luxuries of a surfboard repair shop.
First Steps Of Surfboard Repair
The first steps in learning how to repair a surfboard is to assess the damage. General pressure dents happen pretty much every surf and people with brand new boards tend to over-worry about these. As long as the fibreglass hasn't been pierced or cracked they won't take in water or cause any problems and shouldn't require repair (unless the dent is huge and on the bottom).
If the fiberglass has been pierced or cracked and if water can get through to the foam then the surfboard needs a repair before taking it in the water. Otherwise it will become waterlogged, delaminated and useless over time.
This is why it is very important to give your surfboard a little check over every now and then. The main area to check is the nose, tail (especially if you have a swallow tail), the fins and the rails. You also often find hidden dings under your wax, usually around the stringer caused by heavy pressure from your front foot. A good way how to check if a crack is through to the foam and needs repair is to put your lips around it and suck. If you feel water / air moving it is not airtight and needs attention.
What To Use To Repair A Surfboard
For the easiest and fastest way to repair your surfboard the best thing to use is the UV cure resin Solarez. If the damage is severe i'd recommend using polyester resin, catalyst hardener and fibreglass cloth but UV cure resin is perfect for general ding repair, speed and convenience. It usually comes in a resealable tube so is perfect for traveling and keeping handy. It comes out clear but a white Microlite White version is also available which is perfect if the ding is a little deeper as it acts as a foam substitute and also gives a better looking repair on a newer white surfboard.
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You will also need some sandpaper (preferably a rougher and a lighter grade) and some wet and dry paper.
- Check the ding and foam inside is dry, the foam inside acts like a sponge and soaks up water, it must be completely dry inside before you begin your repair.
- Sand away / remove loose bits of fiberglass, also sand the area just around the damage slightly, this gives the resin a better surface to bond to.
- Make sure you are inside or at least in the shade. Solarez UV Cure Resin is designed to go off in sunlight and does so very fast.
- Apply resin to the ding. Mold and shape it into and around the edges of the hole, a good tip is to put cling-film over the top, this helps to shape the resin to the contours of the surfboard and will help keep the repair all neat. Make sure any air bubbles are worked out. (These can turn into little holes).
- Expose surfboard to sunlight. If you used cling-film it's fine to leave it on. In bright sunshine the resin will harden in about 5 or 10 minutes, cloudy or rainy days will probably take 15 to 25 minutes. Wait until it is fully hard and not tacky to touch.
- Sand to shape. Start with the roughest grade sandpaper and preferably a sanding block (a block of wax can work) until your happy with the shape. Go easy, its easy enough to sand new holes into your surfboard if your not careful. Finish up shaping the repair with the lighter grade, being careful not to over-sand.
- Wet and Dry. Once you're happy with the outcome of your repair and its all blended nicely into shape, apply water and buff with the wet and dry paper to remove all the scratches and get back that nice finish.
You are all done! Hope you found learning how to repair a surfboard useful.
If you did, the best way to cover a repair is with some great surfboard sprays
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