How To Repair A Surfboard
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There's no worse feeling than that which shoots through your spine following the sickening sound of cracking fiberglass, besides that of perhaps a leash breaking while just beyond the impact zone of an offshore rocky point break; regardless we would like to assure you that with the proper mix of the tools outlined here within you'll be able to shake that shit, right out of your system, and be back in the barrel before the resin cures (Jk. don't do that, you've gotta let that resin dry please).
Things You May Find Useful Before Proceeding
This simple surfboard repair kit comes with everything you'll need to be using when it comes to basic surfboard repairs; fiberglass cloth, UV resin, and a pad to help you sand.
The standard surfboard ding repair kit from above, but specifically engineered for your epoxy board.
*It is imperative that you know why an epoxy resin is required for any board with an EPS- short for extruded polystyrene, blank. For more information, I implore you to please view the most liked comment here.
*If you skipped it, long story short, Polyester resin will melt your foam.
This filler material, otherwise known professionally as Q-cell, is perfect for thickening up resin to allow for maximum control when patching areas with large gaps; a fin gash in the rail comes to mind.
*Microballs or foam dust work well too(foam dust you can score for free from your most local shaping bay; just ask).
You're more than welcome to give this tape a shot too, but continue reading to the bottom to see why I choose to use something else in situations where just some tape will suffice.
Squeegees help spread resin evenly and smooth, which will help immensely once it comes time to sand.
Do yourself a favor and cut your squeegee into strips so that you can hold a piece of cloth with one strip and spread with the other; always working away from each other towards the perimeter of the repair.
Any surfboard ding repair that's done right will have used fiberglass cloth(because resin by itself is brittle). That means take the initiative to invest in a sharp pair of quality shears to cut cloth with; as it will dull out those cheap scissors you bought in the arts and crafts section at Walmart faster than wax on a black board melts under a tropical sun.
*Sand Paper; and better yet, get yourself an electric sander and save yourself heaps of headache when it's pumping and you're still trying to sand the shards of glass off the deck area of your surfboard before paddling out. An electric sander makes things smooth; and fast.
How To Repair A Surfboard In 4-ish Steps
Step 1: Please; remove water from surfboard... Yes, you've read that right. Once you remove your surfboard from the water, you will need to remove the water from your surfboard. Do that by identifying your new dings(and even old ones for the matter since you're here), and opening them up even further in order to allow the water molecules soaked into the foam to escape courtesy of some solar-induced, sauna-style evaporation. Pat the foam with a paper towel until it comes up dry(If you attempt to seal the board before letting all the water escape you will run into issues with bubbling and delaminations in the future). When your board is completely dry, you're ready for f ding repair step two.
Step 2: Prepare the fiberglass cloth. Here is when we will need to prepare the area before actually starting the repair; sand the area in need of repair to assure firm adhesion for the new resin; make it rough, not smooth, before sizing up the ding and then take the time to cut three oblong circular strips of fiberglass cloth varying in size so that you are always overlapping the layer of cloth below.
Step 3: Mix up your resin concoction in accordance with the labels recommended instructions and spread it on; layering the fiberglass cloth you prepared in step 2 and using the squeegee strips from above, to work the resin through the cloth. Make sure to take your time and completely saturate all the fibers and surrounding areas before layering on the next strip of fiberglass; working in ascending order(ie. small to big). If using UV cure resin, please be sure you do this step in the shade(ie. where less Ultraviolet Light is) 'cause ain't nothing worse than having resin go off and gum up prematurely(ie. harden before you can make sure that it's filled all orifices of the surfboard ding). If you don't have a shady area you're already using to make the appropriate preparations, please refrain from using UV cure resin and instead get the kind that will need a catalyst in order to harden properly; or, we did even write a great review on some umbrellas you could use.
Step 3+: Take a break, let everything dry, go on you earned it, no need rush things now.
Step 4: Don your N95 mask(if you can find one) or wrap a folded up damp t-shirt around your face and start to sand. if you didn't invest in a quality electric sander, find yourself a woodblock and wrap some sandpaper around it. The older generation of uncles swear by this method. Start with something like 80 grit, then get it with something in the 220 range. Once the area of your repair is looking real smooth and cherry, give it a wet sand with something in the 1500grit range. Your surfboard repair is now complete.
How much does it cost to repair a surfboard?
-The answer I’m about to give here I’m not really sure will be of any help, but it all variables aside(such as geographical location of your ding repair shop and size of ding itself), it comes down to two things; time and money. You see the amount of resin and fiberglass needed to fix a surfboard snapped in half comes out to probably 20 USD; however, you’re looking at a project that’s bound to consume at least 4-5 hrs(drying time withstanding). That’s why any ding repair professional worth their salt is gonna charge you $100 minimum to undertake such a job. In layman’s terms; what’s it worth to you? Do you wanna spend your time or your money? And just remember, new boards cost upwards of $700 these days, but a good surfer can ride a previously busted board they bought off their local ding repair pro for $100 and have $600 leftover for round trip tickets to a number of wave-rich tropic-ales.
Can you fix pressure dings on a surfboard?
-You can, but personally I’d advise against it; they don’t affect performance, and layering up some cloth and resin isn’t gonna do anything but add weight. If you didn’t crack the glass, don’t bother.
How do you fix a crack in a surfboard?
-If it's small and the foam is not exposed, I would like to direct you to the paragraph about stickers below.
Lastly; it's been asked before, "What are the things you'll find in our go-to feral surf safari pack:"
Cannot go wrong with a roll of duct tape. It provides a temporary solution to keeping any dings watertight while traveling and it works wayyyy better on reef cuts than any waterproof bandaid I've ever encountered.
Now personally, I don't use Solarez unless its all I've got because it's nothing more than a temporary fix disguised in a permanently hard to remove form; but I do have it in my surf kit,.. both kinds.
In fact, before any trip, I prefer investing in a quality sticker pack because they always produce great returns with high margins for expansion(they actually function like real currency with certain factions found thriving throughout the world; meaning that they go a loooonnng way with young kids and when making friends with locals). Additionally, stickers like the ones below do an excellent job at keeping water out of a fresh ding on the surfboard you're using until your trip is over; and they ensure that when you get ready for surgery back home in your board bay that you won't have to sand away any Solarez or Ding Dough and will get to start with a clean surface before gettin' your patch on with the resin, foam, and fiberglass. And looking like you're sponsored is way cooler than tape.
Don't forget to pack your pickle.
It makes cleaning your board a breeze and means you'll get your repair started sooner, the resin will adhere to a clean surface longer, which in turn means you'll be spending more time in the barrel guaranteed.
That wraps up this article. If you are more of the audio type, take a look at our friends surfing podcast, which covers traveling, tips, tricks and all things surfing.