If surfing is your newfound love and you’ve recently spent a small fortune (and considerable time) supporting your passion, it makes sense to treat your beloved surfboard like the treasure it is. Most of them have a fixed lifespan, especially if you enjoy it so much you break it out often. Unfortunately, the moment a board hits the sand and saltwater, it’s begun its path toward damage and destruction if left to its own devices. So, it’s up to you to do all you can to avoid common care pitfalls and ensure a long and fun-filled life for your board.
Here are 5 must-dos to keep your surfboard in tip-top shape:
1. Clean and dry your board after each use.
Saltwater can have negative effects on almost any surface it touches. It’s important to rinse the sand and saltwater off your board using the fresh-water spigots that are usually available by the restrooms at the beach before you leave. When you get home, leave your board outside in a shaded area for a little while to ensure it is completely dry prior to putting it away.
2. Apply surf wax regularly.
Surf wax is a sticky gel-like substance applied to the surfboard’s surface that is essential if you want to keep your feet firmly planted on the board when riding a wave. While how often you wax depends on how often you surf, experts recommend re-waxing your board four times a year or seasonally.
3. Protect your board with a board bag or sock.
Even when they’re handled with kid gloves, accidents still happen. The resulting dings and scratches can be avoided by inserting the clean and dry board into a board bag or sock. Board bags are available online or at your local beach shop for a reasonable price. Socks tend to be a bit pricey, but you may be able to fashion a custom sock yourself out of canvas, upholstery or an old army blanket. Just remember to pad the bag or sock with foam or extra fabric to ensure your board stays safe and unharmed.
4. Avoid exposure to elements.
During the summer season, keep your gear inside and away from rain, sun and even morning dew to maintain its structural integrity. You might even want to hang them from hooks or displayed on the wall or hallway space in your apartment as decoration. This will ensure they’ll be intact and ready for your next adventure.
5. Store it out of the way at the end of the season.
If you won the New York City real estate lottery and have the space, installing vertical wall storage racks in your garage or basement is ideal for long-term storage of surfboards. If you’re short on space like the rest of the city, you may have to find another solution, like a storage unit.