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When Should I Change My Surfboard?

With so many memories associated with your surfboard, it can be quite hard to let go of it. However, there will come a time when your board would get worn out from the constant beatings out in the sea, forcing you to look for a new one. However, before you head down to the shops to find a new surfboard, there still might be a chance to salvage your old one! 

You should change your surfboard every 7-15 years depending on how much damage it has taken. If your surfboard gets slightly delaminated or sluggish, there’s no immediate need to replace it. However, if you feel your board has been bombarded with cracks and dents, it might be time to look for a new one. 

While buying new surfboards will always remain a hassle, increasing the life span of your current board is something to look into. However, before we jump into maintaining our board, we need to understand the factors involved in damaging our surfboard. 

repairing a surfboard

How Long Do Surfboards Last

If you have to replace your surfboard every so often, you should consider investing in a more durable and sturdier option. To help out your buying decision, we’ve listed some popular types of surfboards and their average life spans: 

Type of SurfboardLifespan
Soft Top 5-8
Fibreglass surfboards7-10
Hybrid Surfboard10-15
Epoxy15-20

Soft Top Surfboard

These surfboards are perhaps one of the most gratifying ones out there because of the soft foam they’re built of. These boards use EPS foam on the inside coupled with a soft EVA sheet on the outside, allowing you immense comfort and grip.

However, the foam on the deck and the hard plastic bottom can sometimes reduce the lifespan of these surfboards if used quite roughly. Their plastic bottom can also easily detach itself from the exterior foam, allowing it to get waterlogged rapidly and become a hassle to repair. 

Fiberglass Surfboards

This traditional surfboard is made up of white foam with a fiberglass core and a polyurethane outer covering. These boards are quite economical and a good first buy for newbie surfers. Moreover, they are able to bend exactly in the wave’s shape, allowing you to easily ride high waves without fearing that the board will snap.  

However, PU-constructed surfboards don’t survive for too long due to their outdated material combination. Moreover, the lifespan for these types of boards is mostly determined by the ratio of fiberglass used in them, a higher ratio equalling more durability. However, this comes at a cost as more fiberglass means more surfboard weight and difficult surfing. 

Hybrid Surfboard

The best feature of these boards is that they are commonly available in the market. Hybrid surfboards are a fusion of two different types of boards: a Groveler and a performance surfboard. This combination allows you to paddle the board effortlessly and make them quite easy to maneuver. 

Moreover, these surfboards host a flatter shape and resemble the outline of a fish, which helps them catch waves more easily as compared to other surfboards. However, these boards aren’t designed to battle steep and barrelling waves and are rather built for newbie surfers. 

Epoxy Surfboards

Epoxy boards are composed of EPS foam, which is lightweight and more buoyant than standard surfboards. Epoxy surfboards combined with fiberglass and epoxy resin create a far more robust and durable board, allowing it to survive quite a few beatings in the sea. This type of surfboard is great for beginners who are in the process of learning how to catch small white water waves. 

Types Of Surfboard Damages

damage on a surfboard

Getting smacked by waves the whole day, surfboards are bound to get damaged and eventually worn out. However, before we move on to fixing or preventing such damages, it’s essential to know their severity. 

Pressure Dings

Pressure dings are small dents that are created in the epoxy of your surfboard. When you apply too much pressure to one area, the exterior of your board pulls in and compresses some of the foam within it. This creates a little concave hole in the board’s surface.

Despite their unappealing appearance, these dents are normally water-tight and rarely become a cause of concern. However, sometimes these pressure dings can crack the board and allow water to seep inside of it. If this happens, your surfboard will become heavier and lose its buoyancy, forcing it to sink underwater.

Tail and Nose Cracks

Apart from facing pressure dinks, surfboards also suffer from constant outbursts of cracks and crevices in the material. The greater the age of a board, the more likely it will crack or chip. Moreover, these cracks are most prevalent near the tail and the nose area, losing stability and speed while surfing. 

These cracks commonly occur when you drag your surfboard on the beach or it gets in sudden contact with surfaces like asphalt or truck beds. These tail and nose cracks can be catastrophic while surfing in high waves, therefore you should be extremely careful while dragging your precious board around. 

Buckling

Buckling is when the surfboard creases around the underdeck or the rails, ultimately causing it to break in half. Buckled surfboards are quite a risk to take into the water as they can snap at any time under extremely strong waves. 

In case of buckling, when a board is heavily fractured and the stringer is cut, plentiful fiberglass and resin are required for repair work. However, the immense amount of fiberglass tends to weigh down your surfboard, rendering it useless. Under such circumstances, you are better off replacing your surfboard

How To Take Care Of Your Surfboard

Whether you’ve decided to keep your old surfboard or buy a used one, you should know how to maintain your board. With proper care, you can greatly increase the lifespan of any surfboard you own and protect its quality.  

Rinse Your Surfboard

Although most surfboards are resistant to salt, they can still get heavily damaged if constantly exposed to saltwater. Saltwater may corrode and ruin your fin boxes, fin screws, and leash, making it extremely difficult to paddle and control your board. It is, therefore, critical to thoroughly clean and dry your surfboard after each surfing session to maintain its quality and prevent any wear and tear. 

Use a Surfboard Bag

If you really want to protect your board from damage, investing in a high-quality surfboard bag is a must. A surfboard bag is the best way to protect your board from getting dented, which frequently happens when you are transporting or simply storing your board.

Most bags have a shiny and white underside, which is ideal for reflecting sunshine and heat. Considering surfboards are used under direct UV rays and bright sunlight, a bag is essential to prevent your board from delaminating and yellowing over time. 

Check Your Board For Damages Regularly 

Before diving into the water with your surfboard, you need to ensure that it’s still watertight. Otherwise, water can seep into your board and destroy the foam. You should also constantly check for dings and cracks popping up on your surfboard. 

The good news is that you can repair most damages at home using a repair kit. Minor damages can be fixed with all-purpose repair kits like Ding All, bringing your surfboard back to life. However, for extreme damages, you need to ensure that the repair kit you use is appropriate for the construction type of your board unless you want to risk damaging your surfboard even more. 

If you’re unsure about the type of your surfboard, you can simply confirm this with your board manufacturer. Moreover, if you own a foam board, be wary of using PU, Epoxy, or Bodyboard repair products as they include resin that can damage the foam. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Should I buy a used surfboard?

A) You should only buy a used surfboard if you’re short on money or have conducted a thorough inspection of the surfboard. Used boards can contain cracks that might not be easy to identify at first. Moreover, buying a used surfboard online is almost always a terrible idea since one cannot inspect it for damages before purchasing it.

Q) Which type of surfboard will last the longest?

A) Epoxy surfboards appear to be more resistant to typical day-to-day bumps and dents than other types of surfboards, such as fiberglass. These boards are highly durable and can last for years if properly taken care of. 

Q) Can I repair my surfboard at home?

A) Yes, you can repair minor dings and cracks at home using a surfboard repair kit. You can also apply DIY methods to get rid of everyday dents and scratches. However, for heavy-duty repairs, it’s best to seek help from a professional. 

Q) How much would a new surfboard cost?

A) On average, a high-quality surfboard costs around $500. However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can get surfboards even under $150 like the Catch Surf. 

Conclusion

We can’t always bring up our minds to replace our very first surfboard. Moreover, with the plethora of options available, it can become quite daunting in figuring out the best surfboard for your needs. However, you can prevent this conundrum if you know how to properly take care of your boards and maintain them to last a lifetime. 

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