You surf through plenty of surf shops to find that perfect surfboard before you go surfing. The careful selection of its length, buoyancy, paddles and whatnot, takes you hours or maybe weeks.
It takes an equal amount of effort to take care of and maintain a surfboard for its longevity and shape-retaining. Being subjected to different environmental conditions may develop cracks, gashes or dings that may hamper the board’s fiberglass coating.
It’s advisable to thoroughly clean the board every season and give it a rinse after every surfing. As you take a shower after every beach visit to rub off the saltwater, similarly, it’s imperative to give a rinse to the surfboard, so the salt water doesn’t damage the glassing.
Once back from a high spirited and high tided surf, many mind-boggling questions may pop up in your head about the board: why now it doesn’t appear as shiny and recent as it did before the surf? Is freshwater enough to clean it? Or are there some special materials used to do that?
Let’s save you some time in cleansing and maintaining your adventure spree surfboard with some instant and economical means. By the way, scrubbing could be fun too.
Steps of cleaning your surfboard
1. Bask some sunlight
Lazing around and letting the dirt and sand accumulate over the board is a must no-no. Still, this happens all the time when the board is not in use throughout the year. Don’t lose your mind over this; just get a towel, some clean rags, and a special surfboard cleaner from a store near you or online.
Remove the layers of sand and let the board out in the sun for a couple of minutes to soften the wax. But do not leave it for long hours as it may disrupt the surface coating. If there is less sunlight or a rainy day, then a hairdryer would be a good alternative. Whichever drying agent it is, the board should not be exposed for very long periods.
2. Paraffin wax
In order to maintain the adhesion on the board, it’s necessary to keep it waxed. Surfers do that daily. But the layers of wax become dark and muddy, and it’s mandatory to remove and replenish the wax in due time to maintain the glassing. It’s advisable to use organic wax or any wax made up of natural elements to keep the seawater clean. Imagine leaving behind a bulk of artificial wax in the sea. You want to hit the beach again, right?
3. Frisk a wax comb
Though there are many homemade hacks to clean the big chunks of old rigid wax like a plastic scraper, tissues, papers, etc., these shortcuts may go easy on your pocket but won’t give a lasting and very efficient result. Wax combs are available easily online and at surf shops and provide entire value for their money. Make diagonal patterns in the wax with the comb trying to make the diamond shape from a higher surface area. Not flip the wax comb to its edges and remove the wax just drawn. The diamond-shaped pattern makes it convenient to scrap the wax.
Depending upon the amount of wax, it may take some rounds of diagonal combing to take the entire wax out completely.
4. Splash warm water
Some thin layered wax may still remain on the board after using wax combs. Pouring some warm water can easily take it out. The wax will soften within a few minutes.
Dip in some warm water, take a clean rug or towel and remove the wax and remaining spots on the board. Check the temperature to ensure the water is not too hot; otherwise, the coating may rip off, and cracks may develop.
5. Surfboard cleaning spray makes it new again
Now the sand is gone, wax is gone. It appears absolutely clean and tidy on the surface. But the shine is gone, too. And beneath, there is still a certain amount of dirt persisting which may not be visible but will affect the fiberglass coat in the long run. The surface is exposed and needs to be protected.
Surfboard cleaning spray should be applied to the entire board and spread evenly at every hook and edge of the board. There are well-explained instructions about how to use the spray on the spray cans. Apply the spray for the mentioned amount of time and then wipe it off.
It’s important to read the instructions properly and let the spray stay on the board.
6. A spoonful of coconut oil
It is an additional step where you want to take the pampering an extra mile and coat the surfboard with coconut oil for a new shine and a dewy fresh look.
You may avoid this, but a dab of extra gloss never hurts. The surfboard will regain its original shine and luster for you to beam with the same excitement as you had in your eyes when you first saw your board. Apply a fresh coat of coconut oil evenly on the entire board and let it sit for a while. Once the board is completely dry, it’s ready for a coat of new wax or spray.
7. Dry towel, rugs and sponges
Make it a habit to regularly give your precious board a dry pat of rugs and a clean towel. The layers accumulated over time take a stronghold on the surfboard and will prove to be more time-consuming, energy-draining and will require you to apply more material on it.
Regular cleaning may take a few minutes of your day but will save you a toil of hours in the long run. Consider your board as your boat, going through the same saltwater and requiring the same maintenance. The boat is regularly serviced and checked upon before and after every sea visit; similarly, the surfboat should be given its due care timely as well.
8. Keep a handy repair kit
Despite proper maintenance and care, sometimes the board may get damaged due to waterlogging. The damage may create openings at the foam blank which requires repairing. Sometimes, excessive salt in seawater and other harmful non-degradable products thrown in water bodies also affect the foam blank and develop cracks. The logged water in the board needs to be evacuated using tools in the repair kit.
It’s essential to take care of one’s surfboard, but it’s also of utmost importance to keep the environment’s well-being in view. Whenever cleaning the board on a beach, make sure to take away all the garbage and litter created in the process. Do not throw away the tins, boxes, gloves, and other amenities in the sea. The sea is yours as much as the surfboard.
Usage of natural and organic paints, sprays, oils, and cleaning agents should be encouraged more and more. Synthetic materials may cost a couple of lesser bucks than their natural counterparts, but they cost a fortune to the environment due to their non-degradable nature and ultimately affect humans surfing and swimming in their garbage-filled seas. Provide some affection to the surfboards, some to the seas, and together they’ll give you a surf of lifetime.