How Do You Fix a Broken Surfboard?

A surfer walking with board on beach

Surfboards can be delicate, and it is easy to scrape them if you’re not too careful. Damaging your beloved board can be a frustrating experience, even more so if the incident has happened out of the water! Most annoyingly, depending on the extent of damage, it can also be a time-consuming and expensive problem to fix if it happens often!

There are a variety of ways you can fix your board in the event of an accident if it has not been too irreparably damaged. Of course, in extreme cases such as snapping your board, it might be best to consider buying a new one. Although, cleanly snapped boards have been known to be repaired, and it is not impossible to fix them!

Below, we explain what to be aware of when fixing your board, which products are appropriate for specific boards and how you can fix smaller dents and scrapes.

Beginners Tip

For those just starting out, Bic surfboards are the perfect solution for a beginner’s board; they are extremely durable and incredibly hard to damage! They are the perfect go-to board after a foamy and can withstand a lot of impact without cracking or dinging.

A surfer trying to get out the water

Assess the Damage and Consider a Professional Board Repairer

Firstly, you need to evaluate how bad the damage is and decide if you are prepared to fix it yourself. For example, it depends on what has happened and how serious and expansive the damage is. Small dings and cracks can quite easily be repaired at home.

However, anything that covers a large area of the board or is significantly deep will most likely need to be seen by a professional board shaper and repairer. Or if your board is coloured and you want to keep it looking a level colour, it may be best to use the expertise of a professional.

Dry Off the Board

Once you have decided that you can fix the damage yourself, the board needs to be dried for a couple of days. This is so any water that has leaked inside the board through the broken area can dry, ensuring that water is not left inside when sealed back up.

It is best to keep the surfboard somewhere inside to complete this, where it is warm and dry.

Prepare the Board

Once this has been completed, you will need to de-wax the surfboard and ensure that the surrounding area is a clean surface to work on. Use a damp cloth to clean the board of any sand, dirt and sea salt.

If you see any rotten foam inside the board, this may also need to be carefully removed to prevent further rot.

You will then need to sand the area of the break to ensure a precise and smooth application of resin. This stage can also be completed before you leave the board to dry out, whichever way works for you!

Lots of surfboards on a beach

Make Sure You Have the Correct Resin

Possibly the most crucial step; selecting the right type of resin for your board! Home repair kits are often available with three forms of resin: epoxy, fibreglass and some which can be used on both. Which one you choose will depend on the material of your board. It’s important to select the right one, as the resin can melt the surfboard if incorrect.

Apply the Resin

It is always best to check the instructions of the resin you have purchased before applying the resin to the board.

If you need to replace some of the rotten foam, you can also purchase Q-Cell filler. You want to use about 30ml of Q-Cell filler and then what is required of the resin to create a toothpaste-like thickness. This will need to be completed before you apply the surface resin.

In general, it is advised to generously spread the resin on the broken area, starting by applying the resin as best as you can inside the crack. Once this is done, smoothly spread the resin on top and try to keep it in line with the board’s surface.

To hold the resin in place, you can use cling film or tape a sheet of plastic on top.

Surfboard in the sun

Leave to Dry

If you’re lucky and the sun is shining, it’s advised to leave the resin in the sun for a short burst of five-to-10 minutes. It is not healthy to leave boards in the sun for longer periods as it can delaminate the board.

Once complete, it is then recommended to leave the board to dry overnight. If you have put cling film or plastic on top, it is best to leave this on during this time, for a minimum of six hours.

Again, for this part of the repair process, please refer to the instructions supplied by the resin’s manufacturer to ensure the correct procedure is followed.

Sand Again

Once the resin is thoroughly dry, it is best to sand it again and ensure the repaired area is nice and smooth. Uneven surfaces can affect the performance of the board, so it is best to get them in line with the rest of the board as equally as possible.

Apply Sheet of Fibre Glass and Resin Again Where Necessary

For fibreglass boards, you may want to apply a sheet of fibreglass on top of the once cracked area and then another layer of resin to strengthen the repair. The same process will apply with the extra resin. Sand, apply and leave to dry, ideally overnight again. Finish with a final sanding.

A surfer turning on a wave

What to Do in a Rush

Obviously, you should always give your board the best chance of recovery and follow the above steps before using it again to make sure water cannot leak inside and make it water-logged.

However, here at Wetsuit Centre, we are also aware that when the surf is pumping, patience may not be the most ideal solution. There are a couple of things you can do in desperate situations when time and equipment is not on your side. We do recommend that as soon as you can, you should dry out and fix your board properly though.

Applying wax inside and over the crack can temporarily block out any excess water from getting inside the board. Also, duct tape has been used in very desperate situations, but for those who like to keep their board looking aesthetically pleasing, this may not be an option for you!

We have provided a basic overview on how to fix your board for the simplest of repairs. What are your best tips and tricks? Why not help a surfer out and share them on our social media channels?

Other Board-Related Articles That May Interest You:

Progression Tips: How Do You Know When You Are Ready for a Different Board?