By Dennis Ellis - The Boardroom
Surfboards hold a special place in the hearts of most of us.
Surfing is our passion and due to the fact that we spend so much time on the bladdy things, most people grow quite fond of them. Al Merrick reckons they are more than just inanimate objects because they are handmade.
So, we love them, and we want(or should want)to make them last as long as possible, hence you’ll be hearing from this crusty sea dog for the next little while about how to get the most life out of your fibreglass friend.
Most boards these days start at around 3 and half to 5 and a half sheets, a fair chunk of change which you don’t want to be dishing out every couple of weeks. A polyester board with medium weight glass job should be lasting at least a year. 2 years is good, 3 is probably too long if it to still be a performance board. Remember, shapes are constantly evolving, so not only should you be getting a better board, but your surfing will not stagnate, which does happen after too many years on the same board. The jury is still out on epoxy lifespans, it’s generally double that of a polyester board, but some of the more expensive options out there can last many years.
In terms of value, think of your board as a laptop or flat screen TV. Would you bounce your laptop down the stairs, leave it on the roof of your car for days, or let your 3 year old play horsie on it? Nope, so let’s look at protecting your investment as you do your others, which fortunately don’t have to make the hazardous trek to the beach in a hot car, dodge the bergies in the carpark and then the frothing okes and gnarly rocks in the water.
It’s hazardous out there. Enemy number one though, is the heat. Leave the flatscreen baking in the sun all day? The same goes for your board.
In summer as we know the temp in a car can reach 80 plus. This will destroy your baby like nothing else apart from snapping. On the car roof,not much better. In a boardbag? Still not good enough. Think laptop guys.
Sure, epoxy boards are more heat sensitive, but even your polyester board will shrivel up like a Willards chip given enough heat. The air inside expands, escapes and you’re left with an empty shell.