Wakesurfing has exploded in popularity over the last decade and more and more people are discovering how much fun it can be to ride behind the endless wave. Wakesurf boards aren’t cheap though, so it’s important to take care of them so they can last for years. Buying a high-quality wakesurf board is an investment, and we’ll show you how to take care of it.
Wakesurf boards are fragile and it’s important to follow the guidelines below if you want to prevent damage and prolong the life of your boards.
Physical Damage and Transport
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, prevent the damage and there's nothing to repair!
The simplest and least expensive of all board travel solutions is the board sock. Board Socks are most at home when small scratches and UV- Sun damage are the primary concerns for the board. These socks are often built with a simple construction that stretches over the surface area of the board providing UV resistance. Some board socks come with additional padding in the nose of the board, as the nose is most prone to damage consider one of these socks if light traveling is on your agenda. If you want to protect your board from our greatest friend and biggest enemy on the water, a surf sock is for you!
For someone that travels a bit more with their boards, this is the solution. Additional padding around the circumference of the board, as well as additional insulation, prevents heat-related damage as well as small bumps and dings. While these bags will not protect your board against massive damage, they do prevent most small dents that can occur while loading and unloading your boat as well as damage from potholes on the way to the ramp. Some surfboard bags come with a reflective case, these bags should be utilized in areas with lots of intense sun-like Southern California, Arizona, or even Dubai. The reflection and padding act as insulation, which prevents the wakesurf board from heating up and the gasses expanding inside the board which can lead to deformation. As a bonus, many of these wakesurf bags come with a strap for ease of transport as well as pockets to store your fins and fin keys. The traditional thickness for most surfboard bags is around 10mm, however, this number can be upped in some cases to over 15mm for those of us wishing to travel long distances with our boards.
Check out all the Wakesurf Board Bags and Socks»
Wakesurf Board Fin Setup
Fin setups can be tricky, but we recommend starting by placing all of the fins in your board. The wakesurf boards we carry will either feature a tool-less Fin-S System (Ronix & Slingshot) and other brands will use a tool to tighten the fin screws and keep the fins in place.
Fin-S Overview: Ronix wakesurf boards come standard with the Fin-S system. While this setup doesn’t require a tool to put the fins in place, it can require a little bit of force to lock the fins in place and remove them.
FCS 2 Overview: FCS 2 is a keyless variant of FCS, where FCS requires the use of a key to screw down internal attachment points FCS 2 allows for a plug and play style design where the fins are inserted and pushed into place. FCS 2 fins can also be used with FCS boards, the key will still need to be utilized for affixation but this does allow one set of fins to be used on multiple boards if the shape and performance are desired.
Regardless of the type of fin box on your wakesurf board, fins should always be removed before traveling. Modern wakesurf boards have lots of exciting construction that allow for bigger airs, better slashes, and faster speeds. These innovations in wakesurf board construction also leave some boards prone to damage. Alone without the fins, fin boxes are a solid part of the board, However, when the fins are inserted, and the fins are stacked against a hard surface it can create a high degree of torque on the fin box that can lead to stress fractures, and impact-based cracks. Some of these cracks and fractures can be repaired, but sometimes the damage is not seen until the board has been in the water several times and the core is waterlogged, creating damage that is often irreversible.
How to Safely Store your Wakesurf Board on Your Boat
Not all surf racks are created equal. Many stock wakeboard tower forks were designed specifically to be used with wakeboards. These designs assume the boards are durable, and because of this do not need the same levels of protection that surfboards do. Excess rattling or forks that are too narrow can cause unnecessary wear by eating away at the stomp pad or denting and dinging and sometimes even cracking the wakesurf board itself. To prevent these issues, modern surf equipped boats offer clamping board racks that are wide enough for all of your boards and because of their clamping mechanism offer the safety and security needed to prevent the board from rattling and cracking. However, these clamps are not cheap, starting at around 1000$ they can be out of the range of a lot of riders where affordability is just as important as the time on the water. For these riders, there is another option! If your boat is equipped with a bimini top, a wakesurf rack carrier can be your saving grace. For just under 200$ and a little bit of your time, you can install one of these carriers on your bimini top and safely carry several boards at once.
Other things to consider: Never store your boards on the seats or floor of your boat. A boat by definition is something that floats and moves through the water, and with this comes waves, wakes, and an unstable foundation. Boards can fall over and damage other boards, people can slip and fall, and boards can bounce out of the boat if a particularly nasty wake is hit. If you do choose to leave your fins in your boards while the boards are not in use make sure that the fins do not make contact with the upholstery or carpet as the fins can damage or rip anything soft sided in the seating area.
Check out all the Wakesurf Board Rack Options»
Wakesurf Board Storage When Not In Use
The final part of care for wakesurf boards when not in active use is storage. For some this is in a garage, others a boathouse, but the basic principles still apply. Keep your wakesurf board out of direct sunlight, away from heat sources, or anything that could cause damage to it. Remember, these boards are made from cutting edge materials that make them respond amazingly on the water, but can also mean reduced durability. Running into a wakesurf board with a car, bike, or even knocking something over onto it can cause damage, which can easily ruin your board.
In an era where new high-performance boards can run upwards of $1200, board care is a top priority to prolong the life of your investment. Protecting your boards to and from the waterways, ding repair, and proper storage all make a huge impact on the overall lifespan of your wakesurf board. When you find a wakesurf board that rides the way you truly love caring for it will be the only way you can assure that the board will live to the end of its normal lifespan.
By definition, hobbies cost money to pursue and wakesurfing is no exception. The little extra upfront for a bag or bimini carrier can be the difference between a ruined weekend and a surprise $600 bill later on down the line. Take care of your wakesurf board, and it will take care of you.