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A Surfboard’s Big Summertime Enemy – Surfboard Delamination!

surfboard delamination

summer heat damage to surfboards

Surfboard delamination… a surfer’s worst nightmare!  In these dog days of summer, what’s the biggest challenge in taking care of your surfboard?  Is it that guy in the crowded line up who keeps dropping in on you?… or stuff that keeps falling on your board where you keep it in your garage?… or your “friends” that keep borrowing your board and bring it back without telling you about the ding that mysteriously showed up on the nose?  Sure, all of those demons are after your board to turn it from “showroom perfect” to “beater board”.  But, the biggest enemy that’s attacking your surfboard at this time of year is HEAT that causes surfboard delamination!  Yes, good old hot summer sun heat.  DELAMINATION… the “D” word… a surfer’s worst nightmare once it happens to your surfboard especially if it goes unrepaired.

Why, you might ask, would the summer sun damage my surfboard?  My board is made for “fun in the sun” at the beach, right?  Yes, but you’ve got to understand some of the dynamics of the summer sun so you can protect your surfboard.  On a typical hot day in any beach town up and down the east and west coasts, the daytime temps can easily push above 90 degrees.  On a hot sunny day, the surface temperature of your car can exceed 150 degrees when left sitting in the sun.  “Hot enough to fry an egg”, as the old saying goes!

If you leave your surfboard strapped on top of your car without any cover protection i.e. a sun reflective surfboard day bag, or even worse leave it inside your car even with the windows cracked open, you are going to cook your surfboard just like the frying eggs in the picture.  At 130 degrees, the chemicals that make up the foam in Epoxy boards will emit gases that have to go somewhere.  At 150 degrees the chemicals in the foam in Polyester boards do the same thing.  Where do they gases go?  They create such incredible pressure inside the foam in your board that a bubble forms, or pops out, where the gases cause the fiberglass to separate from the foam blank.  This is the “D word”… DELAMINATION.  And once it starts it spreads like a cancer on your board.

What can you do about protecting your board from the summer heat and sun?  At Surf’n Gear we want to give you several good suggestions:

  • If your surfboard is going to be on top of your car for longer than an hour, get yourself a good sun reflective day bag for carrying and storing your board. At Surf’n Gear we’ve got a great selection of Surfboard Day Bags and Travel Bags for you to look at.  Your local surf shop should also carry surfboard bags in stock.
  • Don’t leave your surfboard inside your car unless your park in the shade with the windows down allowing ventilation in your car.
  • If you’re at the beach all day with your surfboard, don’t leave it lying on the beach with the deck side facing up. Why?  Because the wax that’s on the deck will quickly heat up turning the wax into a hot gooey mess that will fry your board.  Flip the board over so the bottom is facing up and then throw a towel on top of your board to protect it from the direct sun.
  • When you get home, don’t store your board sitting outside in your back yard. Find a safe and secure place for it inside where it will be protecting from the heat, dirt, debris and theft.

What do you do if the “D word” happens to your surfboard?  Get it repaired ASAP!  If left unchecked, the delamination will spread quickly and it will weaken your board significantly.  At Surf’n Gear we carry the full line of Ding All Surfboard Repair products.  Your local surf shop should also have ding repair available.

Your surfboard takes care of you while you’re in the water so do your very best to take care of your surfboard while you’re out of the water.  Your surfboard will thank you with lots of great rides for a long time!