How to Fix and Repair a Damaged Surfboard

If you surf and own your own surfboard, you will inevitably have to repair a damaged part or “ding,” where the fiberglass and resin originally laid by the shaper is punctured. Now, with surfboards becoming a rarity due a shortage in surfboard foam, ding repair is becoming more essential to any surfer. What follows are the easiest ways to fix small to medium size dings.
Most dings come from use in the water, so the first step anyone must do is to make sure that all the water absorbed by the foam inside evaporates, if you decide to fix your board before the water is gone, you risk having a waterlogged board and the yellowing that comes with exposure to the sun. A few hours in the hot sun should be sufficient enough to dry it out. Next, you should clean the area, much like you would to prepare a cut. Instead of using peroxide, use a little soap and water to clean out any bacteria. Not too much, you don’t want to have to let it dry it again. Once these steps have been completed, you’ll need some sort of ding repair mix. I recommend you go to your local surf shop and pick up some resin and hardener from a surfboard shaper. These can been found most anywhere and should run between 5 and 20 dollars each, a little pricey, but most shops charge double that for custom repair.

Once you have the materials, you should find a little mixing jug. Half of a liter bottle should work. Plastic works the best, as some other materials will be melted by the resin. Pour enough resin to cover your ding three or four times. This is because you will probably be doing more than one coat. For every few milliliters of resin, no more than two drops of hardener should be added. To much hardener will make it hard to sand later. A Popsicle stick is your best bet to mix the two together. If you have an old paintbrush, use that for spreading. Make sure the area is clean, and spread evenly over the ding. You should repeat this process a few times, each time letting the area harden and then adding another. When you feel that the area has been sealed adequately, leave it in the sun to harden for good. It doesn’t matter if is a little bumpy. Sanding will come later. 4-6 hours in the sun should be sufficient enough. Once it is as hard as the rest of the board, simple sandpaper that can be found at a hardware store should be used for smoothing the area. If you have a power sander, that works the best. Smooth the area until it is to your liking. Remember, it will be very hard to mimic the original resin job, so do your best. Knowing that you fixed your board by yourself will be a great accomplishment especially in this day and age when boards are becoming rarer and rarer. Having this skill will prolong the life of your board and prove to your friends how cool you are!

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