How to Maintain a Wooden Skimboard

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Wooden skimboard history dates back to the late 1920's when Laguna Beach lifeguards skimmed the sand on handmade plywood pieces. Now, wooden skimboards are cutting edge by comparison. Crafted from maple wood, obeachee or plywood, traditional wooden skimboards are now glassed with one or more coats of resin. Others have graphite bottoms or multiple coatings of other fiber reinforcement. To protect her investment, today's swimmer must make it a routine to check the board after each session in the water.

Things You'll Need

  • Surf wax
  • Hard car wax
  • Skimboard sock or bag
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyester resin
  • Fiberglass cloth
  • Clear epoxy or laminate sealant
  • Wax the deck with surf wax before heading out if it doesn't have traction pads. As another form of traction, this procedure keeps a skimmer's feet from slipping on the slick wood. Optionally, regularly wax the bottom of the board with hard car wax for added protection against the wear and tear of sand and pebbles and for a smoother ride.

  • Rinse the board with fresh water to remove the salt, which over time will have corrosive effects, weaken the board and reduce overall performance. Before storing it, ensure the board is completely dry. If the skimboard has any scratches or nicks, salt or fresh water will seep into the board and cause delamination. The wood will swell and make the board much weaker.

  • Keep the skimboard out of the sun as much as possible by sticking the tail into the sand after catching a ride. Exposure to sunlight and heat will soften the resin, causing the board to lose its shape. According to Skimboarding.net, point the nose toward the sun so that as little of the board as possible is directly facing the sun. Alternately, place the board into its sock or bag until you can store it properly.

  • Repair nicks and small dents immediately. Look specifically at the nose and tail. First, clean out the area completely and remove any dirt, sand or debris. If necessary, use a razor to edge out the debris. Allow the nicked area to dry completely and then sand the surface to create a rough texture. Apply resin to the spot and if possible mix in e-glass or fiberglass cloth. Clamp the area overnight. Then, lightly sand the surface for a smooth finish. Finally, coat with a clear epoxy or laminate sealant.

  • Protect the board from damage when traveling. Store the board in a padded travel bag specifically for skimboards. Alternately, wrap the board in many towels or a wetsuit before placing it into a nylon bag. When flying, ask the airline to store the skimboard on the plane versus below with the luggage. Depending on the airline, this may incur a small fee but save the skimboard.

Tips & Warnings

  • When the wooden skimboard is not in use, store it in a board sock or bag to protect it from the elements.
  • It is imperative to check the condition of your board before heading out to avoid a possible accident.
  • Do not attempt extreme maneuvers without expert experience and/or supervision.

References

  • Photo Credit girl skimboarder image by Wimbledon from Fotolia.com
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