I guess fix it. How? Well, that depends on a few things. What’s the damage? Small little ding or almost snapped? What’s are you crafty skills like? Two left hands? Maybe you want to trust someone else with fixing your board….What’s your budget like? Broke…DIY is the answer.
Ok let’s start with the damage…it’s only a little scrap, a small ding – The more like accidently-dropped-the-board-and-the-tail-has-a-tiny-crack sort of ding. It’s not very deep. You may ask yourself, why bother fixing at all? It’s tiny…well, you really want to avoid water seeping into your board because the resin inside is a bit like a sponge and soaks up water, which makes the board heavy and unbalanced. When you see boards with yellow spots all over that’s what it is…water soaked…(if it’s a bigger ding you also want to fix it because it’s not fun riding a board with sharp edges – you’ll be the one ending up with the dings in your skin).
So we’ve established now, even small dings need fixing. The super quick fix – only to be used if you don’t have anything else – just stuff it with wax. It sounds like a good idea at the time but it’s a bitch (excuse my language but it’s true) to get it out again. Board repairers hate you for it cos they need to get it out before they fix it (and so do you if you attempt to fix it). So it’s a good solution if you are travelling and you don’t have any resin handy. In an ideal situation, you have a little tube of solar resin in your car/travel bag. Clean the crack, pour a bit of the stinky resin into the crack, let it dry in the sun a bit of sanding (usually a bit of sandpaper comes with the resin) and voila – almost as new.
That was easy, almost too easy. Especially if you surf a busy beach, sooner or later you’ll probably encounter a ding of slightly bigger dimensions. The odd fin chop or hole is almost unavoidable. I’ve heard of stories people duck-diving into each other and there you go have a massive hole. I’ve heard of people turtle roll on the inside and other people run over them…the craziest things happening… BTW if it’s your fault offer to pay for the damage. It’s only good surf etiquette and you would expect it the other way round too.
Unless you have two really left hands and no time whatsoever (and maybe if it’s a very new board), there is no reason why you should not attempt to fix it yourself. I would suggest going to your surf shop and getting a ding repair kit. You’ll find everything you need in there and then follow these steps:
- Let board dry first – don’t start fixing if it’s still wet
- Secure board in stable position
- Clean the ‘wound’ – i.e. sand off any sharp edges and cut out any resin that is soaked with water
- Mix your resin (resin, hardener and blue stuff).
- Stir until no more bubbles
- Fill hole
- Let dry
It takes a bit of practice before you get it right. I have some pretty ugly spots on my boards from various ding repair attempts. If you have a ding in a brand new board, I would still maybe put it into more professional hands to get it fixed.
Board repairers also come in handy for any bigger or more complicated ‘injuries’. Deep holes, creases along the side of the board, fin plugs ripped out of board, that’s when it’s usually time for me to visit the ding doctor (trusted ding repairer of the Eastern suburbs in Bronte – 0405059134) or give it to the guys at dripping wet who can fix it too. Dripping Wet is a bit dangerous cos they might try to flog you a new board and if you are weak like me you might go in to get your old board fixed and walk out with a new board under your arm…
Sometimes you’ll have to face the truth though as well and they may tell you it’s beyond repair. Sad but happens (remember the story of poor Bruce I).
Having said that, you don’t necessarily have to go to the ding doctor or the likes at all. You may consider yourself a talented ding repairer…Seriously, I know a few people who actually really like fixing boards and it turns into a bit of a hobby and they get quite good at it. There are heaps of DIY videos on YouTube explaining step by step how to fix all sorts of dings. I even found an iPhone app called iDing repair that looks quite useful.
Some other tips for the up and coming ding doctor: get a sander; sanding is a pain in the butt and you never get it as smooth sanded by hand than you do with a sander. I got one from the hardware store for $50 bucks. Everyone needs a good sander.
Also good to know: Unfortunately, resin is highly toxic so avoid breathing it in and maybe try not to fix your board inside your apartment. Outdoors/garage is the place to get your mission underway.
You’ll figure it out but it’s very sticky. So avoid getting it on your fingers, you may not get it off anytime soon.
Happy board fixing!