Got A Ding? How to fix surfboard dings and how to avoid them in the first place

So you just got a ding on your favourite surfboard! Now what do you do? Send it to a local surf shop, find a friend who can fix boards or fix it yourself?

First of all, a ding is not the end of the world when it comes to our favourite fibreglass/resin friends. That being said, some dings are more “traumatic” than others and require a lot more nuances than a shallow ding less than the size of a quarter.

For instance, if you have broken the nose or tail off of your board, or snapped your board right in half, you’ll be looking at a more difficult/expensive repair. More often than not, dings are “fix-able”, but of course there are rare occasions when a ding is so extreme it never rides the same again, even after it is fixed.

So let’s break down dings and how to fix them

Say you’ve chipped the nose of your board and need to ride it that same afternoon. There are a couple of options for this. Solar Resin is a great temporary/simple option to fixing your board right at the beach. The only catch? You NEED the sun! Without the sun, solar resin does NOT work. If you do have the sun, keep in mind it doesn’t take long for the resin to “set.” Then all you need to do, is simply read the directions on the back of your kit (which can be purchased in most surf shops in Australia). A tip for doing this solo-make sure you use the sandpaper they give you in the kit to sand down any loose fiberglass. If you simply stick the resin over it, it will have a poor, gritty appearance.

If you’ve decided you want your ding looking seamless, determine if you have the patience and wear-with-all to do it yourself or if you want to bring it to a ding repair shop. Most surf shops either have a ding repair person on hand, or can recommend one.For a non “solar res” fix, you’ll need fiberglass, resin, Q-Cell, Tape sandpaper, scissors, paint brush or squeegee, and something to set your board on above the ground. You may also want goggles and a face max to protect your eyes and lungs from the toxic materials required in ding repairs.

What are the steps involved in a ding repair?

If you are fixing your own ding, large or small, these are the general steps for fixing a board. Keep in mind, delaminated boards (boards with air pockets under the glass from sun damage or water damage) or boards that have MAJOR dings like a torn out fin, might be better off fixed by a professional.

If it is a small to medium size ding and you decide to fix it yourself, here are some general steps.

  • Make sure the board is water free and dry!
  • Trim down the area of the ding (excess fibreglass)
  • Sand down the area in and around the ding
  • Get Q Cell Ready
  • Cut Fibreglass into strips slightly bigger than the size of the ding
  • Pour the resin over the fibreglass
  • Squeegee or brush it off (with an old paintbrush) so the resin is flat
  • Let it “set”
  • Once it has completely set, sand it down starting with a heavier grit sandpaper and going lighter for a smooth finish
  • Note: You may need to repeat these steps for deeper dings.

In summary, dings are just part of the life of any surfer, but certainly can can ruin a good surf session or trip, so make sure you are prepared when, inevitably they come your way.