Should You Repair Your Own Surfboard? - Stab Mag
1184 Views

Should You Repair Your Own Surfboard?

Advice from not a professional

style // Dec 11, 2020
Words by The intern.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Surfboard repair isn’t rocket science…

It is, however, something you need to practice to do with any level of success. There is more than enough content on Youtube for you to learn how to do a solid job and save a couple bucks, if you just spend a little time. 

Financially, it makes sense to learn the steps of fixing your own board. A lifetime of dropping damaged goods at the shop will slowly but surely burn a hole in your wallet. Paying a professional like Joe Roper to have a board from the ’70s completely restored makes sense, but paying $50 for a quarter-sized ding you could have fixed in the garage seems a bit unnecessary. The cost of materials for an average-sized ding is significantly less than what most shops would charge for it. I’ve figured out how to do a decent job over the past couple years, and have some tips for anyone looking to do the same.

First and foreskin, you’re gonna need a workspace. This is a rule of thumb for DIY projects in general, not just ding repairs. You don’t need a whole factory to be successful, just a comfortable space to work in. Also, it is essential to get the board off the ground. Use an upside-down ironing board, two bar stools—anything to keep you from fixing it criss-cross applesauce. An uncomfortable position will fry your back and your patience pretty quickly.

The most overlooked aspect of ding repair is preparation. Preparation is key, and every step you skip is gonna bite you in the ass down the road.

First off, make sure the foam is completely dry. Remove any wet foam, carefully sand the surrounding area, and tape off where necessary. Gutting a board with a switchblade feels naughty at first, but the truth is you’re better off taking out too much than too little. 

Lay out measuring cups, an extra set of gloves, mixing sticks, and anything else you may need prior. I know this sounds obvious, but it’s pretty easy to forget the little things. Once the resin is poured, things start to get messy, and you want to make sure every necessary tool is within an arm’s reach.

Wondering what to use? If you’re serious about learning how to fix boards, I would stay away from those all-in-one kits with tiny premixed tubes. It’s not that they don’t work, they’re just better-suited to small, quick fixes on the go. If you want to see progression in your ding repair skills,  you’re gonna have to take the training wheels off. 

Get yourself some resin and Q-cell filler (Q-cell thickens the liquid resin into a paste and makes it easier to spread). Buying a gallon of resin may seem more costly at first, but you’ll get more bang for your buck. Those little tubes of Suncure may only cost $13, but that’s pretty expensive for the limited amount of repairs they can supply. 

For a newcomer, I’d recommend buying resin that kicks in UV light, as it won’t harden unless you expose it to sunlight or a UV flashlight ($11.50 USD on Amazon). This will give you time to work out all the kinks before committing to a time-sensitive polyester or epoxy resin. You don’t need some industrial-grade orbital sander either. While it may cut down on production time, patient hand-sanding will provide the same result with less risk of overdoing it. 

How to get started with limited risk to your beloveds? Grab an old board with lingering cracks and fissures and give ding repair a go. The brand new board with a blown fin box should still get dropped at the shop, but the decaying ’90s shortboard in the corner of the garage is an ideal place to start. You’re gonna make mistakes at first, fuck up here and there, but in the end it’s worth it.  

If a lousy alcohol-dependent intern can figure it out, you can too.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 3 

Nike has entered the chat.

Oct 5, 2022

Unlocked: Leonardo Fioravanti’s Stab Edit Of The Year Entry 

Watch 'The Cut' now, and baffle at the quality of both the waves and the…

Oct 4, 2022

The Pro Surfer Who Filmed A War Documentary In Ukraine

Damien Castera's got a story to tell.

Oct 4, 2022

Honest Review(s): O’Neill Hyperfreak Fire

Pushing the Limits of Wetsuit Tech for Men & Women

Oct 3, 2022

How Much Would You Pay For A Session Like This?

A cost-per-vision breakdown of Kian Martin and Tai Buddha's latest strike mission.

Oct 2, 2022

Ongoing Dialogue: Jack Freestone And Album’s Matt Parker On How They Get Sparks To Fly

"Nowadays, a standard thruster feels pretty alt to me." -Jack

Oct 2, 2022

Davo’s Death Strikes At Surfing’s Core

The underground icon battled demons til the end. His untimely demise is yet another cautionary…

Oct 1, 2022

Macaroni in the Pot

Jaleesa Vincent and 200 Lefts in the Mentawais

Oct 1, 2022

Introducing A Brand New Travel Series (With A Familiar Name)

Watch the first New York episode of Stab & Red Bull's No Contest Off Tour.

Sep 30, 2022

Leandro Dora: Pro Surfer, Businessman, Punk Rock Festival Organizer, Spiritual Mentor, And World Title Winning Surf Coach 

Meet one of the most beloved and effective individuals in the athlete's zone.

Sep 29, 2022

12:31

You’re Gonna Click On A New Oscar Langburne Video

Style that can't be denied.

Sep 29, 2022

Long Read: An Angel At My Table

From Stab Issue 15, October 2006: Chris Davidson has one more shot at the big…

Sep 28, 2022

5:07

Watch: Kalani David’s Last Dance

A final surf part from the Hawaiian surf/skate prodigy.

Sep 28, 2022

Taylor Steele Won’t Let Surf Filmmaking Die Without a Fight

Movies shown, filmmaking advice, punk rock at the 2022 Solento Surf Festival.

Sep 28, 2022

Wait, Are We Going To See Moana Jones In The Olympics At Teahupo’o?

Team USA (women) and Japan (men) should be able to choose anyone they want to…

Sep 27, 2022

Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test

And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.

Sep 26, 2022

Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games

Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.

Sep 26, 2022

The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar

Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?

Sep 26, 2022
Advertisement