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Surfboard Ding Repair Guide
| || Unless you have a titanium surfboard with diamond rails (that would be a bling board!) you're inevitably going to get dings which will need repairing. There are varying levels of ding repair; cosmetic, minor and those requiring major surgery. |
To detail ding repair instructions, techniques and the required surfboard repair materials requires a full manual not to mention the tools and space to do the job so in this page we're going to help out with advice for minor ding repairs and point you in the right direction of the ding experts who can breathe new life into any surfboard with substantial damage, like snapped fins, crushed fin plugs, bent noses and tails etc. However you go about it when your board is holed it will need to be fixed as water soaking into the core will eventually resign it to becoming landfill
Surfboard Ding Prevention
Of course the best advice is ding avoidance, which is clearly stating the obvious but for those new to the sport here's some Do's and Don'ts to try and minimise the risk of damage to your board:
Do - Pack your board well for travel
Get a good surfboard bag, the best you can afford, if you can remove the fins and pack them separately do, and if you have fixed fins then pad them out as much as possible. Get some packing foam or foam pipe lagging and use parcel tape to fix it round the rails and on the nose and tail. Wrap the whole board in as much bubble wrap as you can fit in the bag. Still got room left? Then stuff in your wet suit (zip side up) towels and clothes to pad out the boards as much as is possible.
When travelling by road, if you're strapping boards to the roof of a car, check the straps for wear and tear before you set off. &nbs; A new set of straps is a lot cheaper than a new board. Make sure they are done up securely, if in any doubt stop and check them.
DO - Take the time to suss out the break and the line up
Look at the set up. Look for rip currents. Look at how the waves are breaking and pick out the impact zones. Look for your entry and exit points and plan how you're going to get out back. Check tide times, the location of strong currents or submerged rocks.
DO Connect the leash to the board correctly.
Surfboard leashes have a wide Velcro strap at the end that attaches to your board; this is called a rail saver. The clue is in the title, it's designed to stop the leash digging into the rails and gouging huge slices out of your board. The key is to have the thin nylon cord done up tight enough, simple. When the leash is connected properly the rail saver should hang over the rail.
DO - Carry your board properly.
This seems like stating the obvious (don't drop your board you could get a ding duh!). You may not think you need help on how to carry a board properly. Just find the centre of gravity and tuck it under your arm. Don't let the leash trail behind you while walk down the beach. Wrap up the leash properly. You can easily trip over a trailing leash or it could get snagged on stuff sticking out the ground or get stepped on, this will either trip you up or pull the board from your grasp. Watch out in strong winds which can whip the board around into walls, rocks etc You may want to make life easier by investing in a surfboard carry sling
DON'T drag the board along the sand
As well as looking stupid, it's also a great way to damage your board.
DONT Surf all the way to the beach
You could damage your fins by coming to a grinding halt on the sand, reef or rocks.
DONT Leave you board in a hot car
Sometimes it's safer to leave your board locked in the car, but like dogs, boards die in hot cars. Long-term exposure to UV will turn your board a crispy brown colour and make the resin brittle and easier to damage. Also Resin can only stand temperatures up to a certain point before they start to melt! Just try to park in the shade.
DIY Surfboard Repair at Home and on the Beach
We'll all need to do basic ding repairs at some time in our surfing lives, because even if you follow the advice above, they're going to happen!
If you're away travelling or just at the beach and not quite ready to call it a day, then it's unlikely you have access to the right tools and material or will be willing to invest the time required to do a proper repair job. However there are some quick temporary fixes you can do that will minimise any further damage, get you back in the water as fast as possible and give you piece of mind. There's no substitute for a proper repair but you can sort that out once you're back home.
| || Use a ding repair putty like Session Saver.|
It's a filler and catalyst in one, so pull off a piece, roll together, clean and dry the ding, roll Session Saver into a ball and smooth into the ding. It sets white and solid in minutes and you can even paddle straight back out so no waiting. It's great stuff but a proper repair is recommended in the long run.
- Try premixed UV resin in a tube to fill small holes. Clean out the hole, squeeze in the resin and leave the board in the sun for an hour, the resin sets and you're ready to paddle out again. Once it's ready for a proper repair the UV resin can be chipped out with a screwdriver or small chisel and usually the whole lot will come out in one go! For this reason you shouldn't ever use this type of resin for a permanent repair.
- Use a 5-minute epoxy (like the Ding All Epoxy Surfboard Repair Kit), if you can't get hold of pre-mixed. Mix it up and slap it on, work it in to any cracks to keep the water out. Works the same as premix, but provides a harder finish.
- Use vinyl surfboard ding repair stickers to cover small cracks. Let the board dry off a bit first before putting them on. They will keep the water out for a few surfs. Once you get home just peel it off, remove residue with solvent and fix properly.
- Don't fill the ding with surf wax. It will keep the water out, but resin doesn't like to stick to anything waxy so in the long run you'll only be making life harder for yourself when it comes to repairing the board properly.
- Don't use Duct tape. Duct tape isn't actually waterproof. Over time water will soak through and get into the ding, causing further damage.
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