Fix-it Tip: When The Airline Scuffs Your Surfboard
Once you drop off you kite gear at the airline check-in counter your bag and gear are out of your sight and out of your control. Most times travel is fine but damages can happen, and the airline usually won’t pay for your damages.
After our last trip from Aruba, my surfboard arrived slightly scuffed on the upper edge. It appears something got wedged against the side and pushed through the travel bag’s padding. I took this opportunity to create and easy fix-it guide on how to repair this small scuff. The damage described here is relatively small, the method shown can also be used for other damages, but the use of fiberglass may be advised for larger damages.
Step-by-Step Kite Surboard Repair Instructions
1. Clean up the rough edges with sand paper (150-200 is ok)
2. Mix your 2-component epoxy resin! If you ride surfboards of any kind, you may want to keep a pack of Resin Repair around just in case. Mixture here is 1:2, but other products have different mix ratios. So check!
3. For scuffs that are not structural and only have a little hollow “cavity” you may not need any fiber class. The scuff in the picture is about the size of a thumb nail and only needed a “filling.” To make the resin less runny, mix in milled fiberglass or silica for strength and structure. You want to make a paste with the viscosity of tooth paste. This makes the paste more controllable and keeps the shape and does not “run away.”
4. Add color dye (optional) if your board is painted or has a base color ($6.99 for a set on Amazon). Larger sets with more colors are available for a slightly higher price. Colors can also be mixed to achieve a color tone close to your board’s color.
5. Fill in the damaged area by using a wooden or disposable spatula. Estimate the amount needed and account for it being spread by tape in the next step.
6. Use clear packing tape to level area to surrounding surface. Tape it tightly and straight and try to cover the area with one tape width. If you put in a wrinkle, your paste will also harden with a wrinkle. (FYI ;))
7. The resin should harden out on its own overnight, but you can accelerate it under UV light or with a hair dryer. When the affected area is hardened you can remove the tape by just pulling it off. Sometimes the area may still be sticky to the touch of your finger. This may be due to the mix ratio being slightly off or other factors i.e. outside temperature and humidity, but will eventually harden.
8. Once it is not sticky anymore, use 800-1500 sand paper to smooth the edges if needed. It may not be necessary because the clear tape leaves a very smooth surface.
Equipment Needed for Surfboard Repair:
150 Grit Sand paper
800 Grit Sand Paper