how to clean a surfboard

One of the most important things you can do to ensure that your surfboard lasts for a long time and continues to function at its best is to keep it clean.

But even if your board has been through some tough waves and has picked up some dents and scratches, cleaning it is really more vital than ever before since it can prevent future damage and help increase the lifespan of your board, even if it has seen better days.

In this article, we are going to examine the most effective strategies and procedures that will assist you in cleaning your board to a high degree, regardless of whether it is brand new or an old reliable.

What you need

When it comes to cleaning your surfboard, there are a few things that you can utilize to make things much easier for yourself and improve the finish on the board significantly. These items can be found in the following sentences.

Even while there are traditionalists who will tell you that a lot of this material isn’t required, we believe that it is in your best interest to use it so that your board will endure for a longer period of time.

You will require a rag for wiping things down, a wax comb, surfboard cleanser, surf wax, and a towel for drying everything off once you are finished. These are the fundamental tools that you will need.

A decent surf comb should ideally have a few different possibilities on it, with one side being smooth and flat with a pointed edge, and the other side having serrations on it.

Surfboard cleaner isn’t hard to find; you can find it online or at your local surf store. It’s essentially a specialized cleaner that helps break down remaining surf wax, making it easier to apply a new coat of wax and ensuring that things stay as clean as possible.

Wax removers such as Pickle wax remover, Bluewater DeWaxit, and Sticky Bumps Wax Remover are among the many that are considered to be highly effective; however, you are free to select whichever cleanser best meets your needs.

How frequently am I supposed to wipe off my board?

In all honesty, if you want to make sure that your board is maintained in the best possible condition, you should make it a point to make sure that you rinse off your board and wipe it down after each and every use. This is to ensure that there is no trace of saltwater left on the board after each time it has been used.

Because salt water may cause significant damage to a surfboard and can be rather abrasive to even the toughest materials, it is vital to rinse the board thoroughly after each session.

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After every few sessions, you should think about doing this so that you may have a thorough cleaning. There are several factors to consider, such as the length of time you spent in the water, the location where you surfed, and whether or not your board sustained any damage; nevertheless, you are certainly able to take all of these things into account when making your decision about what is ideal for you.

However, you will get the best results from your board in general if you clean it properly after every other decent session. This will ensure that the materials are not being worn down and that no major problems are being neglected or disregarded.

What you’ll need

Before we begin cleaning your board, you’ll need to have the following items:

  • Plastic credit card or a wax comb 
  • Small rubbish bag
  • A clean rag 
  • WD40
  • A clean cloth 
  • Surfboard cleaner or solvents like turpentine or white spirit
  • A little water
  • A towel
  • Rubber gloves (optional but recommended)

Because you will be working with a type of solvent, it is strongly recommended that you undertake this activity either outside or in an external building that has adequate ventilation.

How to clean your surfboard so it looks just like new

Heating your surfboard

The majority of well-known surfboard wax manufacturers start with a paraffin wax foundation for their products. The wax will become easier to remove once the heat has melted it and turned it into a liquid. This will make the procedure of cleaning much simpler.

There are two options here:

  1. Position your surfboard so that it is bathed in sunlight and turn your old surf wax so that it is facing up. It is time to begin scraping the wax as soon as you see that it has begun to sparkle and glisten.
  2. If you reside in an area that experiences chilly weather, you may warm up the deck of your board by using a hair dryer. Just make sure not to get too close to the dryer and to keep it moving at all times.

The one and only rule to follow in this situation is to apply just enough heat to your wax in order to soften it. If you expose your surfboard to too much heat, it could get damaged.

Pro tip – Warm water surf wax and base coat cannot begin to melt unless they are heated to a higher temperature.

Scraping off your surfboard wax

You are now prepared to begin scraping the melted wax off of your surfboard, so go ahead and get started.

  • As you begin to remove the wax from your board, make sure you have your tiny garbage bag in hand and keep it nearby.
  • Beginning at the nose of your board and working your way down in long, straight lines with your wax comb or plastic credit card, start at the nose of your board.
  • Put the wax that you have removed into your trash bag, then continue.
  • Make long strokes in order to cover the surface area as quickly as possible.
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When you are scraping, you should never apply too much pressure to the credit card or wax comb. This might cause pressure marks and cracks in the fiberglass or your board if it’s not taken care of.

Cleaning the surface of your board

Now that you’ve removed the most of the grime and wax from your board, it’s time to deal with any wax and marks that are still present.

To ensure that the finish on your clean board looks “just like new,” you can apply a solvent of any kind, which includes the following:

  • You might try using surfboard cleaners, which are an excellent choice if you don’t mind shelling out some cash for a solution.
  • If you are on a tight budget and wanting to clean your board, turpentine or white spirit will perform an equally fine job for you.

Before rubbing away any lingering spots of wax or scuff marks, apply some solvent to the clean rag you are using.

After this, it’s a good idea to give the whole board a wipe-over for two reasons:

  • It ensures any minuscule bits of old wax are removed
  • It’s a great way to assess your board for any damage

Although it’s possible that other solvents would do just as well, I can say with certainty that I’ve tried all of the aforementioned options and can recommend both of them.

Cleaning your tail pad

  • The grip that you utilize for your back foot is known as your tail pad. The diamond patterns that make up the grip become covered in a mucky, greasy, and waxy substance over the course of time.
  • Even though tail pads are notoriously difficult to clean, we have a special technique that can make white tail pads look as good as new.
  • WD40 is the product to use when you need to get inside the crevice between your tail pad.
  • Make a scrubby motion with your rag to remove the grime, and if there is still some remaining grime, just repeat the process.

Finishing up

  • The conclusion of your process will likely provide you with the highest sense of accomplishment.
  • To begin, give your board a thorough rinsing with clean water to remove any leftover solvents or cleaners from the surface of the board.
  • Now that you’ve reached the end of the process, you can complete it by applying a new layer of wax that is primed and ready to meet your requirements for gripping.
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When cleaning your surfboard isn’t enough

  • As much as you clean your surfboard it isn’t going to fix a damaged surfboard.
  • If you notice any dings or holes in your board when you’re cleaning it then you’ll need to seek out the assistance of a surfboard repair specialist who can advise on if it’s irreparable damage or not.

Proper care to reduce surfboard cleaning

The key to increasing the lifespan of your surfboard and your other surfing gear is to properly care for it while you’re not using it in the water.

The following are some of the long-term consequences that can result from a lack of care:

  • The neoprene of your wetsuit might become ruined by accumulations of sandy wax.
  • The accumulation of wax on your wetsuit or boardshorts might cause discoloration.
  • Wax that has been well kept and cared for can be removed more easily.
  • reducing the useful lifespan of the board
  • An excessive amount of wax causes your surfboard to become heavier, lowers your buoyancy, and makes it more difficult to catch waves.

Best practices for surfboard care

If you follow these guidelines, it will be easier for you to keep your surfboard in pristine condition, regardless of whether you are just starting out as a surfer or have been doing it for years.

  • When you are storing your boards, make sure to use a surfboard rack to keep them organized.
  • When transporting your quiver, you should make use of a board bag or a surfboard sock.
  • Never stack unprotected surfboards on top of each other; unless you want surf wax on the bottom of your board, this is the wrong way to do it.

Even seasoned surfers are sometimes guilty of forgetting how to properly care for their surfboards, despite the fact that surfboards are expensive purchases.

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