Your surfboard is going to get dinged! Reef, rocks, baggage handlers, your own recklessness or the brute force of the ocean - one of these things is going to ding, break or utterly shatter your surfboard. With a proper surf repair kit you can mend most surfboard dings on your own. The following items are part of the best travel surfboard repair kit.
We are no experts on repair and most of what we know we learned from other surfers or just learning by doing. But our surf travels are extensive and more often we had to repair our boards ourselves rather than bring them to a professional. If your board is seriously damaged or even snapped - this surfboard repair kit will not do the job and you need to see a ding-doctor. Nine out of ten dings we mend on our own with exactly this travel surfboard repair kit.
Solarez Epoxy UV Cure
This is the most important item for the kit, you can repair any dings on your surfboard. Use this to patch up epoxy AND polyester surfboards. The resin is great because it hardens in minutes in the sunlight. However it's more meant as a quick fix - exactly what you need on the road.
Solarez Polyester UV Cure
This resin is for polyester surfboards. Always try to fix a ding with the same resin that your board is made of. Do NOT use this for expoxy boards - you can see the foam melt away before your eyes.
Solarez Microlite - Microballon
This is basically foam mixed with resin. If you have deep dings, a chunk of foam is gone or your nose broke of completely - this is what you need to repair the board or reshape. CAUTION! Not for epoxy surfboards! This is mixed with Polyester resin - it will melt your epoxy board.
The resin will just stop the water from coming in. But the fiberglass cloth is actually what makes the repair strong and durable. It's up to your own judgement if a ding needs fiberglass or not. The fiber glass cloth should be S-glass (S for strength).
These are very useful to apply and spread resin on the surfboard. Eat a lot of ice cream on your travels and always save up the popsicle sticks. Yes you have to eat ice cream to keep your surfboard in good shape - its a tough job but you have to do it. 🙂
Sand your board before you apply any resin to ensure a stronger bonding. In addition, sand any surplus resin and make it smooth. Use three different grits - for rough, medium or smoothing action. Something like 60, 150 and 320 grit.
A swiss army knife
A small knife is a great tool for anything. Using the scissor to cut fiberglass cloth, the knife to cut away broken pieces of surfboard, the file for really heavy duty sanding (honestly never had to do that..but who knows?).
Hex wrench / Allen wrench
Sometimes a fin screw gets stripped of its thread. And in our experience it mostly happens at a very inconvenient time. After a morning surf session an hour before the plane departed to Java, we couldn't remove the fins and since then we always pack hex wrenches - two sizes smaller and bigger than the standard FCS fin key are enough. The FCS and Future fin keys have the size 3/32 inch = 2,4 millimeter.
FCS fin screws
Your FCS screws will get mishandled, by your own doing or by the ocean. It's wise to carry some spare fins screws. You can get them in most surfshop and its best to pack them before you go looking for those remote waves. It would suck to interrupt your surf adventure for something so small and trivial.
Camera Lens Blower
This piece of equipment is not a must-have. If your into photography and carry this around anyway - it's also very useful to repair your surfboard. Its strong airflow will remove leftover pieces of fiber, foam or dust before you apply the resin.
We wouldn't recommend one of those Travel Kits from Solarez. Half of the stuff in it you don't actually need, or is only necessary if your surfboard needs some serious repair and if that is the case we would recommend to bring it to a professional. In addition the included tools like scissors, tape, etc. are of very poor quality and the plastic container just takes away to much space in the backpack if you plan to travel lightly.
How do I actually repair my surfboard?
This is a topic for another article. Learn from other surfers, ask your local surfshop if they could show you how its done or even organize a repair workshop. Watch videos on Youtube, ask in Facebook Groups or forums like swaylocks.com.
And most of all - its learning by doing: Let the ding dry out - sand it - apply the right resin - sand some more and surf again!
If you have any further questions or remarks on our repair kit write us on Facebook or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to receive feedback and learn from others how they repair their surfboards while traveling.