For many Americans, surfing isn’t just a fun and exciting sport; it’s a veritable way of life. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or someone who’s just catching their first waves, it’s critical you take proper care of your surfboards, wetsuits, and other surfing gear to ensure they stay in pristine condition year after year. After all, surfing gear can be quite expensive and, since they’re used in salt water, can be damaged or even destroyed if not stored correctly.
If storing your surfboards and surfing gear is essential to you, the information below will float your proverbial boat. It’s the top tips for storing surfboards and surfing gear, brought to you by the storage experts at StorAmerica Self Storage. Read on, discover them all, and ensure your days on the waves are filled with excitement rather than disappointment that your gear is a mess.
Surfboard Storage Tips
1. Rinse Well with Fresh Water
You must rinse your surfboard well with fresh water after every surf session. The reason is simple: salt water is the bane of surfboards and practically anything else you use in your surfing adventures. Most surfboards are constructed with a foam core covered by a fiberglass shell. Fiberglass can be corroded by salt water and become weak, leading to a drop in the board’s structural integrity. Saltwater also breaks down the epoxy resin commonly used to make surfboards and can cause delamination. Lastly, salt damages traction pads, reducing their effectiveness and grip when surfing.
2. Dry Your Board Thoroughly Before Storage
As critical as it is to rinse your surfboard with freshwater, drying it thoroughly is just as important. The reason is that moisture can lead to mold, mildew, and, in time, surfboard damage. You should note that drying your surfboard in the sun isn’t recommended because of the damage the sun’s UV rays can cause. In other words, put your board in a shady spot with good ventilation and let it dry completely before storing it.
3. Store Your Board(s) Horizontally
It’s highly recommended you use wall racks when storing your surfboards to store them horizontally. Storing horizontally reduces the stress on your board and prevents a common problem called the “banana effect.” The banana effect is a deformation that can cause your board to bend or flex, impacting performance.
4. Use Climate-Controlled Storage for Best Results
If you live in an area of the United States that’s commonly affected by extreme temperatures, it might be best to use a climate-controlled storage unit. This will ensure that your surfboard and surfing gear are never exposed to extreme heat or cold.
Wetsuit Cleaning and Storage Tips
1. Hang, Don’t Fold, Your Wetsuit
Folding a wetsuit is never a good idea as the neoprene material can become permanently creased. Folding can also damage the fibers and reduce the suit’s lifespan. The best way to store a wetsuit is to hang it on a broad, padded hanger to maintain its shape.
2. Always Rinse Your Wetsuit with Fresh Water
When salt water dries on your wetsuit, tiny salt crystals are left behind that can lead to wear and tear on the neoprene fabric because they’re abrasive. This can weaken the fabric’s structure and ruin your wetsuit and board, which makes rinsing with clean, fresh water essential.
3. Dry Your Suit in the Shade (Not the Sun)
Like your surfboard, it’s best to dry your wetsuit in a shady area rather than directly in the sun. Sure, the sun will dry it faster, but the UV rays can damage the material and significantly reduce the lifespan of your suit.
4. If Possible, Rotate Between Wetsuits
Depending on your budget and how long you’ve been surfing, rotating between wetsuits might not be possible. If you have several, however, using one and then letting it fully dry and recover its elasticity between uses is a great idea and will increase the longevity of all of your suits.
How To Clean Your Surfboard
1. Wax On (then Wax Off)
Before storing your surfboard, use a scraper to remove any old wax from its deck. This will keep it cleaner and give you better traction the next time you apply new wax.
2. Use Plain Soap and Fresh Water
Lots of fresh water and plain soap is the best way to clean a surfboard after you’ve removed the wax.
3. Never Use Solvents on Your Board
Never use harsh solvent on your board, as it can damage the epoxy and other materials used to make it.
4. Repair Dings and Dents
Repair any dings or dents regularly, as they can allow water to enter the foam core of your board and, over time, destroy it from within.
Mold Prevention Tips
1. Ventilation is the Key to Mold Prevention
Proper ventilation is imperative when storing your surfboard, wetsuits, and other surfing gear. Good airflow will prevent mold and mildew, which will prevent damage.
2. Ensure Your Wetsuit and Board are 100% Dry
We talked about this already, but it’s worth noting one last time that drying your wetsuit and surfboard completely before storage will significantly increase their lifespan.
3. Use Desiccant Packs to Absorb Moisture
Those little desiccant packs you find when you purchase a new pair of sneakers? You can buy them in bulk on Amazon to absorb moisture when storing your wetsuits, surf gear, and surfboards.
Store Your Surfboards and Gear Righteously with StorAmerica
Whether you have a single surfboard, wetsuit, or several of both, and a lot of surfing gear, storing everything with StorAmerica Self Storage is a smart choice. StorAmerica offers climate-controlled storage units that will help keep your surfing gear in top condition when you’re not using it. You can also store all your other summertime gear with StorAmerica and do it safely in our state-of-the-art storage facilities.
To reserve a storage unit, fill in the online form; your storage unit will be ready when you arrive. There’s no deposit necessary and no credit card needed to do so. Month-to-month leases, convenient drive-up storage units, and 24/7 security cameras are just some of the perks of storing with StorAmerica Self Storage. Until then, hit the surf and enjoy yourself out on the water!