How to Repair a Surfboard in 8 Easy Steps

Surfboards break, and it can happen at any time. Even the most careful surfers out there would be one day looking at his favorite board with a heavy heart because of the damage, and that is why you need to learn how to repair a surfboard.

The good thing that nowadays is that you can repair your surfboard with ease. There is no need to go to the nearest ding shop to get your board up and working again. Fixing your surfboard has its benefits. Aside from the fact that you can save money, some remote places do not have a ding repair shop you can turn to.

In this article, we will help you to repair your surfboard in eight easy steps. Here are the tips to keep in mind when it comes to repairing your favorite board.

How to Properly Repair a Surfboard

Materials Needed:

  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Sanding resin
  • Acetone
  • Razorblade
  • Safety glasses
  • Paintbrush
  • Wax comb
  • Q-cell filler

#1. Cut and clean the damaged part.

The first step in repairing your surfboard is to cut and clean the damaged part using a razor blade. Carefully cut the damaged part of the board. This way, you will have a beautiful, clean board surface. It will help you to rebuild the outer coating and the fiberglass effectively.

Cleaning the damaged part is also essential. You might want to get rid of any remaining wax from the area that you’ve cut earlier. Using a wax comb, carefully clean the damaged part of the board. You can also use some acetone to break down other substances that are still on the surfboard after you have cleaned it up.

#2. Start sanding down your board.

The next step is to sand down your surfboard. You might want a smoother surface to work with when repairing your board. Make sure that your sandpaper is only around 30 to 60 grit. If the grit level of the sandpaper is too high, you will not be able to bond your board after cleaning and sanding it.

#3. Start filling the gaps.

When you’re confident that you have adequately cleaned the board, proceed to fill the gaps. You might want to protect the surrounding areas using masking tape. It also helps to minimize the area that you need to sand later on.

If the hole is too big, filling the gaps is the best thing to do. In a mixing cup, combine sanding resin and Q-cell. Start mixing it. Add at least ten catalyst drops to your paste. And then mix again. Apply this combination on the dinged areas.  It serves as an adequate foam replacement.

Keep in mind that when you’re filling the gaps, you have to pour the mixture very slowly to prevent the air bubbles from forming. You might want to use a stick to fill in every crevice, and not miss even the tiniest holes.

Stop pouring the mixture when it sits above the damaged area. Then, wait for the mixture to harden.

#4. Sand it down.

Once the mixture that you used in filling the gaps hardened, sand it down. This way, it falls flat with the board. You can also sand down to cater to the resin coat. When sanding your board, it is best to use a sanding block. It helps to distribute the pressure evenly. The sanding block also helps to prevent coves on the board.

#5. Start glassing the repaired area.

You will need two circular fiberglass pieces; just make sure that the other one is a bit bigger compared to the other, and both parts are more significant compared to the repaired area. Combine the ten catalyst drops and the sanding resin. Stir it well until it’s ready to use.

After that, using a paintbrush, start applying the mixture on the board. Make sure that the smaller circular piece of fiberglass is placed on the repaired area before you add more resin mixture. Wait patiently for the fiberglass to absorb the resin, and then you can repeat the process using the bigger fiberglass.

Be careful and make sure that the resin is spread evenly. It is crucial that you can press the fiberglass pieces without difficulty.

#6. Sand the area again.

After placing two pieces of fiberglass, you may now sand the area again. Just make sure that the resin is already hardened before you sand for the third time. Look for bulges and lumps to know what area should be smoothened down with your sandpaper.

Also, when you’re sanding your board, it’s a must that you don’t sand aggressively; otherwise, you will burn through the fiberglass you’ve just installed.

#7. Add finishing coat.

After sanding and smoothing it down, make sure to add a thin layer of resin and final drops of catalyst to the mixture. Wet sanding should be the last step in repairing your surfboard. Here you can use high grit sandpaper, say, about 600 grit level. This way, you can match the finishing of your board.

If you want your board to be glossy, use a polisher and a diamond cut compound. Your board will look good as new with the help of the abovementioned materials.

#8. Wait for 48 hours before using the board.

When you’ve done all the steps correctly, wait for at least 48 hours before you can use the board again. Be mindful of the repaired area’s surface and make sure that it is just as smooth and as flat as the rest of the board.

Let it rest for two days so that the board can adequately absorb the mixture. After that, your surfboard is ready to be used again. By repairing your surfboard, you can save both time and money.

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: How do I know if my board is still worth saving or not?

There are instances when the rot is so bad, or the crack is too huge to repair. What we’ve presented above is only applicable to small to medium-sized cracks and holes. You must know how to determine if your board is still worth saving or not. You can always ask for a second opinion from expert surfers. If it’s just a hairline crack we are talking about, then it’d be easier to repair the board at home. But if the crack is too huge, or the rot has spread to the nose and other large surfaces of the board, perhaps you should consider repurchasing another surfboard instead of trying to fix it.

Q: Is it necessary to use epoxy resin in fixing my surfboard?

A: Not all the time. Epoxy resin is only recommended if you can see the foam inside your surfboard. This just means the crack is too deep, and it requires an epoxy resin. But if you are dealing with a hairline crack or just a small ding, it is not necessary to use one.

Q: How long does it take to repair a surfboard?

A: If this is your first time to repair a surfboard, it will only take a couple of hours to do all the steps correctly. If you include the amount of time that you need to dry your board under the sun, it will take 2-3 days before you can fully fix the ding in your surfboard. After that, it’s good as new and ready to use.

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