Your Windsurfing Board Maintenance Checklist

The days are gradually getting hotter and the long awaited season of taking your windsurfing board for a ride is finally here! However, there could be surprises waiting for you when you finally take out your board from its winter hibernation. It’s not just the salt from the previous season that might have been doing the damage but several other things. While, there are still ways to repair any kind of damage, depending on the extent of it, it should also be learning for all serious surfers out there. A little bit of maintenance is all it takes to extend the lifetime of your beloved board. Here are some basic windsurfing board maintenance tips you need to follow:

Windsurfing Board Tips for Sun Damage

Strong sunlight all day long can be tasking on your surfing board, especially with all that salt it takes in. While high-quality boards are made sturdy, you can always take some extra steps of precaution.

The average windsurfing board is made of beaded foam core coated with epoxy fiberglass for skin. The foam is meant to be resistant to salt, air and gas but the capability diminishes when the core temperature increases to high levels. The rapid expansion of air in the foam will put excessive pressure on the epoxy skin and over time, it will crack and peel off. Experts call this process de-lamination and it is one of the primary reasons for board damage.

What do you need to do?
  1. Rest your board in shade when not in use
  2. Don’t leave your board lying on the heated sand for too long
  3. Use a reflective bag to protect the board from sun damage
  4. Don’t put your board at the back of your open truck and expose it to direct sunlight
  5. Never use a bubble wrap when storing outdoors – it restricts the flow of air

Dealing with Water Damage

Windsurfing boards come completely laminated and with water resistant coating. However, over a period of use, water does get inside the core and this calls for immediate care. The first symptoms of water damage would be discoloration (also helped by the sun and salt) and gradually you will feel your board to slowly gain weight. Its water and sand penetrating the core.

What do you need to do?
  1. Repair all dings before taking your board to the water before the start of the season
  2. Get your board checked by an epoxy specialist
  3. Wipe your board completely dry before storing inside

Fixing Those Dings

There could be several reasons for dings in your windsurfing board. The most likely case is an extreme blunt force, either from you falling onto it abruptly or the board accidentally striking a hard surface. The pressure created can induce cracks that expose the core foam to outside elements.

The only way to handle such cracks and dings is to get the board repaired immediately. Generally, it will require some extra water sealing procedures. Ignoring a dent, howsoever small, will damage the structural integrity of your board and soon, it might get irreparable.

Tips for Fixing Pressure Dents

Pressure dents usually occur as small indentations, caused from constant pressure in a specific area. These usually show up in places that are also the touch-points with your body – the knees, heels or elbows. Pressure dents aren’t harmful other than creating a small dimple. However, you can always consciously shift pressure point so as not to induce a crack or weak-point.

Windsurfing Board Maintenance Tips for Board Fins

The fins under your windsurfing board give you the stability and balance when going with the tide. Without fins, you will likely topple with strong waves and winds. Windsurfing board fin maintenance calls for:

  1. Keeping the fin and fin box clean of dust, sand and other debris
  2. Never over-tightening the screws
  3. Regularly check for damages (being underwater most times, they are at most risk)

Last Minute Checks

  1. Check the deck plate and that the mechanisms are secure
  2. Ensure that the moving mast track is clear
  3. Put lubrication into the threads of fin bolt
  4. Check for possible corrosion in foot strap screws
  5. Check pulleys for signs of rust/corrosion
  6. Use a wire brush to remove any sticky debris or rust
  7. Change rope if they have dried out and got brittle

It’s always safer to spend a few extra hours in maintenance than putting yourself or the board in harm’s way. After all, the ride should be smooth. Happy surfing!

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