Surfboards often get damaged, or dinged. Surfboard Ding Repair is essential for making sure you can keep that
board in the water for a long time to come. If you do get a surfboard ding, it is important to know right
away if you have a board made of polyurethane foam and polyester resin (PU/PE), one with PU foam and Epoxy resin or
EPS/Epoxy, otherwise simply called an Epoxy Surfboard.
Each situation calls for a different approach to your surfboard repair as they need slightly different materials that are compatible with each other. A good example is that is you have a board with an EPS foam core, you have to use epoxy resin. Polyester resin (most commonly found on the standard PU/PE boards), will melt the EPS foam. Epoxy resin, however, is compatible with all the different types of foam, but if you are using it to repair a board made with PU/PE, it will not fully bond to the existing polyester resin that the board was made of. This will work as a temporary solution, but eventually will need to be repaired properly to avoid any future problems.
There are many resources available for you to fix surfboard dings, but if you are unable to get a surfboard ding repair kit or simply do not have the time or the space to do so, there are many professional ding repair shops near every populated surf area. Most surf shops offer either a ding repair service or they can send your board off to a local ding repair shop for you.
There is no such thing as an indestructible surfboard. Even with the best materials, surfboards eventually get damaged simply because of the physical abuse it is constantly exposed to.
Yellowing – although this can be described as something skin-deep and really does not have anything to do with the surfboard’s structural integrity, it can be annoying for some surfers. It is because foam and resin, the main materials used in surfboard construction do not mix well with the sun. Surfboards are initially coated with UV protection but time and exposure to the elements eventually break this down.
Surfboard dings – these are indentations on the board caused by constant application of pressure on the area. These are usually located where the feet, knees, chest meet the board. One way to minimize pressure dings is to add more resin to the top coating but this makes the board heavier and less flexible.
Nose, tail, and rail cracks – exposure to the elements, your board’s age can weaken the resin coating of your surfboard. Without its protective covering, the board becomes susceptible to cracks and dings. Cracks usually occur when transporting your surfboard. And cracks commonly appear on the nose, tail, and rails because these are the leading edges of the board.
Delamination – this is the result of water coming in from cracks in the surfboard’s coating or stringer. This can also be caused by the exposure of the surfboard to heat which is impossible to avoid. The easiest way to minimize this is to store the board properly in a shaded area when not in use.
It may sound intimidating at first but repairing your surfboard ding is far from being rocket science. All it takes is having the right tools, repair materials, and a set of instructions.
Step1. Preparing your surfboard
Ensure that area is dry and free from any debris (sand, dirt, saltwater crystals). The bigger the ding, the more likely water has seeped into the foam. To check if the board is dry, position the board with the ding portion facing down over dry cloth or paper. It makes it easier for water to exit and for you to check if the board is thoroughly dry.
Step2. Sand the area
This serves two purposes. It removes any wax to allow the repair material to completely bond with the surfboard and to roughen the area and make it easier for the new resin to stick with the board. After sanding, remove any debris by using paper towel or dry cloth.
Step3. Applying the resin
After prepping the board, it is now time to apply the resin. Find a shaded area when applying resin. It is because resin hardens with UV light. Completely fill the ding using resin until you have a level surface., You could cover the area with a piece of plastic wrap for a better finish.
Reminder: The type of repair material you should use depends on which type of board you have. There are repair kits for EPS foam, polyurethane foam, and polyester resin cores. This is because using the wrong resin will only damage the board. Using polyester resin for example on an EPS board will only melt the core.
Step4. Place your surfboard under direct sunlight
Resin hardens under the sun. It usually takes only a few minutes (about 5 minutes) to harden but you can leave it for a couple of more minutes depending on how hard the sun is beating down.
Step5. Sanding and finishing
Sanding helps you create a smoother finish. This helps you get rid of any excess resin and create a level surface. Use a fine grit sandpaper and keep the area wet as you sand the area down.
If you ever find yourself with a surfboard ding and need an emergency fix, then good old duct tape can do the trick. This simple fix creates a seal to prevent water from entering the board. Just remember that this is not a permanent solution and you should repair the surfboard ding when you reach home.