Not cleaning your surfboard is not advisable. The consequences include a buildup of dirt, grime, and saltwater residue, as well as scratches on the surface that cause small nicks and cuts, all of which can affect your board’s aerodynamics and make it more difficult to ride.
Overall, not cleaning your surfboard means a shorter lifespan – imagine the cost of frequently having to replace your board – and if you’re a professional, a workplace hazard. So here’s how to clean your board.
Remove the Wax
Wax buildup can make your board slippery, affecting its grip on the water.
Luckily, it’s pretty simple to remove the wax from your board. First, you can use a hairdryer or leave your surfboard in the sun to soften the wax. However, don’t apply excessive heat or expose the board to sunlight for an extended period as this will damage it.
Then, use a wax comb or a plastic scraper to remove the wax from the surface of the board, starting at the tail of the board and working your way toward the nose with firm pressure. You also want to apply a wax remover or an organic solvent like vinegar or citrus cleaner to a cloth and rub it over the surface of the board to remove any remaining wax residue. If you use the latter, make sure the solvent is safe for your board’s material.
Remove the Stains
There may be stains present after the wax removal and there are different ways to remove them depending on the type of stain.
First, use a surfboard cleaner or a mixture of water and dish soap to clean your board by applying the cleaner with a soft sponge or gently scrubbing the board with the soapy water.
Then, for stubborn stains, you can apply a mixture of baking soda and water paste for a few minutes before scrubbing it off. For oil or grease stains, you can apply a degreaser or rubbing alcohol to the board and gently rub the stain away. For rust stains, try a rust remover specifically designed for surfboards and a soft brush.
Remember to always read and follow the instructions on any cleaning product you use. You may even want to test a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire surfboard.
Rinse and Dry
Rinsing and drying your surfboard after removing wax and stains is an important step in maintaining the board’s integrity and prolonging its lifespan.
Rinse the board thoroughly with clean water, avoiding hot water as it can damage the material. Then dry it with a clean towel or let it air dry. If you do the former, use a lint-free towel to avoid leaving behind any fibers.
Once the board is dry, you can apply a new layer of wax evenly with a wax comb to create a textured surface for better grip.
Cleaning your surfboard regularly is important to keep it working properly and extend its lifespan. Luckily, cleaning your surfboard doesn’t have to be complicated.