It sucks when it happens, but in the life of a surfer, having to repair a broken or dinged surfboard is almost inevitable at least once. But simple dings and scratches can be easily and quickly repaired right at home if you have the right tools and knowledge. Here are a few basic steps for repairing dings on epoxy and fiberglass boards.
The Fiberglass Fix
- Gather your supplies: resin, masking tape, catalyst, fiberglass cloth, sandpaper, a knife or razor blade, a Popsicle stick and a cup for resin.
- Set your surfboard up where you can easily access the damage, such as across a table or two chairs.
- Use low grit sandpaper (about 60) on the ding. You don’t need to sand through the ding entirely. It just needs to be roughed up a little bit.
- To keep everything neat, tape off the area. Leave just a bit of space around the ding.
- Cut a piece of fiberglass to cover the ding. You want it to overlap with the board around it by about ½ inch.
- You may already have a pre-mixed resin such as SunCure. Use that if you have it so there isn’t any mixing required. But if you don’t, combine the resin and catalyst (the stuff that makes the resin hard) in a cup.
- Put a small amount of mixed resin and catalyst or SunCure onto the ding. This is going to help the fiberglass you just put on stick to the board and make a long-lasting repair.
- And voila! Get back out in the line up!
The Epoxy Cure
- Gather your supplies: epoxy resin, fiberglass cloth, cavasill, sand paper, a box saw, a razor blade, disposable gloves, stir sticks, a mixing cup, a paint brush and a squeegee.
- Make sure the area where the damage occurred is completely dry so you don’t get discoloration over time.
- Cut out the damaged area with a box knife and/or a razor blade
- Put foam plug into damaged area. Cut around it to resize so it fits into the newly cut area.
- Mix a little bit of epoxy resin in a mixing cup. Then mix cavasill into the resin until it doesn’t droop anymore and it begins to harden.
- Cover all surfaces that will touch each other with the resin and cavasill and then put the foam into place.
- Scrape off all the resin that squeezes out between the board and chunk of foam.
- Use 60 to 100 grit sandpaper to sand the epoxy foam plug to the shape of the board. (It sands really easy so don’t go too fast).
- Coat and fill the foam with a mixture of epoxy resin and cavasill.
- Use a little bit of the epoxy resin and cavasill and use the squeegee to press into it and cover it with the mixture. Then allow it to dry completely before sanding it down so it is flush with the board.
- Next cut your fiberglass cloth so that it overlaps the damaged area about ½ inch.
- Rub out any bubbles with your fingers and then use the squeegee to thoroughly coat the cloth with the mixed epoxy resin and cavasill. Let it dry completely.
- Once the epoxy resin hardens you can clean up any puddles or reaming threads with a razor blade.
- Then start sanding in two stages. First sand with 60-100 grit to flatten out the new repair.
- Next, use 220 grit sandpaper to get rid of any scratches from using the lower grit.
As you can see, repairing your surfboard can be an involved but simple task, and it’s very important to learn even as a beginner surfer. Repairing your own board will boost your confidence and help you learn more about the contour and workings of your stick!
At Sunset Surf Dominical, we are happy to teach our students about repairing scratches, punctures and dings. Happy Surfing!