How To Repair Surfboards
Dings are inevitable for anyone using a standard fiberglass surfboard as their daily surf vehicle, so knowing hot to repair surfboards is an important skill. Substantial repairs like a snapped board, delaminated decks, gaping holes, a buckled deck and ripped-out fin plugs will typically need to be repaired by a professional shaper or ding repair specialist. This article will outline how to repair surfboards with superficial dings using the traditional resin and fiberglass-cloth method.
- Sandpaper (hi and low grit)
- Resin and catalyst
- Fiberglass cloth
- Rubber gloves
- Popsicle stick
- Small cup
- Assess the ding. An open ding is any ding that is actively taking on water. If any foam is exposed, or if the foam looks discolored, it is likely sucking in water. It is necessary to repair surfboards in this state immediately.
- Remove the Water. Before trying to repair surfboards with open dings, it is imperative to ensure the damaged area is completely dry. Cut away pieces of damaged glass to allow the water to drip or evaporate out of the board. If you repair surfboards that are still wet, the water will become trapped in the foam and will weaken the board.
- Sanding. Sand the glass around the damaged area. Sanding the glass will help the new resin form a bond.
- Tape. Using thin painter’s tape, square off a small area around the ding.
- Fiberglass. Estimate the area of the taped off ding and cut a piece of fiberglass cloth slightly larger than that area.
- Mix the resin. It is impossible to repair surfboards without properly mixing the resin, so put your gloves on and follow directions. IMPORTANT: Do not use polyurethane resin on an EPS epoxy board. THE FOAM WILL MELT. Mix the resin and the catalyst in a small cup with a popsicle stick. Instructions should be on the resin jar’s label.
- Glass. Paint a bit of resin on the ding and stick the fiberglass on top of the wet resin. Using the paintbrush, cover the cloth in resin. Do not use too much resin, as this will cause drips.
- Cure. Most types of resin will cure faster in the sun.
- Cut. Don’t wait too long to cut the excess glass off. If the resin is wet it is too soon, but if it is completely dry it will be hard to remove. Cut along the inside edge of the tape, then peel up the tape, the excess glass should come right off.
- Sand. Let the board cure overnight before sanding smooth. If the board is properly sealed, it is good to go. Some people opt for a second coat of resin, but extra resin is not mandatory to repair surfboards.