It is a common problem faced by wakeboarders everywhere. You pull out your board to get ready for your next adventure and discover a chip in the surface material.
It shouldn’t be surprising. Most wakeboards are coated in a material that needs care and attention. So, what do you do now?
Finding a chip or a scratch on your high-end wakeboard isn’t the end of the world. Much of the time, you will find out that there is a way to repair the wakeboard yourself, without needing to locate a pro surf shop to handle the work for you.
What You’ll Need
You’ll need to gather a few supplies before tackling the repair. These include:
- Epoxy Resin
- Resin Hardener
- Sheet of Fiberglass
- Disposable Mixing Cups
- Masking Tape
- Putty Knife
Once your supplies are gathered, you can get down to the business of repairing your wakeboard. It is incredibly important to note that the process is not a quick one.
The steps are not particularly difficult, but the entire thing is going to take several days, because time is needed in between steps in order for the whole thing to dry. You need to make sure that the board is dry and set before you try moving onto the next step.
Step 1: Using the sandpaper to sand the chip until there is no visible crack and the area is smooth.
Step 2: Now you will want to mix the fillers that will be going in the chip. Wearing the mask and gloves, measure out 4 units of resin to 1 unit of hardener. The amount depends on the size of chip you’re dealing with. Add a couple of spoons of Microlite to the mix to make a paste.
Step 3: Using the putty knife, apply the paste to the chip that you are repairing. Fill the entire space completely, pressing down to make sure that it reaches every bit of it. Leave it overnight.
Step 4: The next day, sand the putty that you added to the board until it is level with the board’s existing surface.
Step 5: Cut a piece of fiberglass out that will cover the chip. Using the masking tape, tape all around the area you are repairing.
Step 6: Mix a new batch of resin and hardener. The radio is still 4 parts of resin to 1 part hardener. Apply the mixture to the top of the area and then gently apply the fiberglass. Saturate the fiberglass with the mixture until it is completely coated. Leave it overnight.
Step 7: The next day, remove the masking tape and any excess glass around the chip. You might need to use a razor blade to remove the extra glass. Then, sand over the top of it until it is flush with the rest of the board.
Step 8: Mix Microlite and resin to apply over the top. This will give you a finer and smoother finish. Only use a thin layer over the area that you are working on. Leave it overnight.
Step 9: Using a fine sandpaper, sandpaper over the work area. You will want to sand it both wet and dry to get the right surface texture.
Step 10: You will finish the project by painting it. Cover up the entire board so that the area that you are working on is the only area that is exposed.
Masking tape is also good to use around the area so paint doesn’t run or sneak off to any other places. Leave it overnight.
Step 11: Remove the masking tape and the cover the next day. If you have additional colours to use, you will repeat the same process as the previous step, where you cover the area around the area that you are working on so the area being painted is the only one exposed.
How To Prevent Chipping
There are some things that you can do to prevent the chipping from happening to begin with. Just like you would with anything precious, you need to take care of your board if you are hoping that it will last. Some ways to prevent chipping include:
How are you storing your board? If you haven’t yet, make sure that you invest in a good wakeboarding bag. The bag goes over the board when you are transporting it and storing it in between uses.
The bag will be able to prevent the board from getting chipped or scratched when you are moving around. The bag will need to be the right size for your board as well and opt for one that is mildew-resistant.
Keep Your Board Cool
You might think that since you are out on the water, in the sun, on your board that it is weather resistant.
Unfortunately it is not true. When your board is left in direct sunlight, your board can be damaged severely. The heat can damage the coating, making it more susceptible to cracks and dings.
Don’t Use The Roof Rack
If your car has a roof rack on the top of it, it is very tempting to strap your board up there. We recommend against it, however.
Putting your board up on the rack will expose it to a number of unpredictable types of damage. Keep the board inside of the car if you can and out of direct sunlight.
If you are running into trouble while trying to repair your wakeboard, it might be time to consult with a professional.
While it is much cheaper to do it yourself, it would also be expensive to just replace the board outright.
If you feel like you are in over your head, take your board to a professional shaper who will be able to evaluate your specific situation and let you know what can be done to repair the board effectively.
No one wants to replace a perfect wakeboard. But, you also don’t want a ruined and broken one.