How to Take Care of Your Surfboard

Young woman taking surfboard out of the cover on the beach
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If you're like me, you want to keep your beloved surfboard around for as long as possible. In reality, only sponsored pros can afford to update their quiver of surfboards every six months, and since a battered surfboard will ride significantly worse (slower, less responsive) than a board that has been cared for, and the unsightliness of a skanky stick can considerably lower your on-the-beach coolness factor, it is beneficial to your performance in and out of the water that you follow some basic steps to keep your board looking tip-top and working efficiently.

#1. Get Religious: Bag Your Stick

Out of the water, keep your board in a board bag at all times. This one cannot be stressed enough because 50% of the dings and chips that will cause your surfboard's demise will occur in transport to and from the beach. Even if your boards don't sit around gathering dust; you can keep them white and pristine for as long as two years just by religiously keeping them covered.

#2. Keep your Surfboard Safe: Let Gravity Guide You.

A gust of wind or an inquisitive toddler can easily knock down a board that has been placed haphazardly in a standing position against a wall or in a corner and cause major damage, thus keeping you out of the water for days. A way to avoid this misfortune is by building a rack so you can secure your boards or ​installing some L-brackets on your wall in order to hang your boards safely out of reach. Your surfboard will thank you.

#3. Treat you Surfboard like a Baby: Be a Protective Parent.

The sun and heat are your board's enemies, so store it safely in a cool, shady spot.

Placing your board in a shed or car on a hot day will cause major delamination issues. Your surfboard will hate you. In addition, the sun's rays will cause major yellowing and weakening of the integrity of your board's fiberglass coating, so don't store your boards in the back yard or leave them on a roof rack uncovered too long.

#4. Surfboard First Aid: Don't Procrastinate

Even minor dings can cause serious problems if left untreated for a long period of time, so be sure to repair any crack or puncture in your board as soon as possible (at least after the swell is gone). Otherwise, water leaking into the inner foam core of your board will cause yellowing, delamination, and worst of all, extra weight which is the worst contributor to lower board performance. Additionally, you should periodically strip old wax off the deck in order to check for any unseen dings or cracks that may be lurking below.

These steps will greatly extend the life of your precious surfboard, stick, blade, weapon, tool, or any other Freudian term you want to assign it. In addition, remember to secure your board when transporting it in the bed of a truck, place it out of the way of foot traffic and car traffic (I have seen many boards fall prey to vehicles backing out of a parking space), and choose who may borrow your board wisely. Even with perfect care, a board will eventually lose its "energy" and require you to update to something fresh. Have fun and keep surfing.