Our surfboards are not just planks of fiberglass that help us ride waves, but instead, they are personal tools that become extremely close to us.
Because our surfboards are so personal, many surfers choose to customize their surfboards with custom paint jobs and stickers.How to Put Stickers on a Surfboard
How to Put Stickers on a Surfboard
To put stickers on a surfboard you simply need to clean the area, roughen it up, place your sticker, and allow it to dry.
That being said, if this is not done correctly then you can expect to lose your new surfboard stickers during your first session in the ocean.
Let’s take a look at exactly how you can put stickers on your surfboard, how to make them last longer, and what type of stickers are best.
Table of Contents
Can You Put Stickers on Surfboards?
Customizing our surfboards is a joy, and adding stickers to our boards is not only possible but a cheap and easy way to make our surfboards slightly more unique.
It is possible to use any sticker on your surfboard (providing you use a clear coat), but stickers made for the purpose always work best
What Stickers Type Is the Best for a Surfboard?
If you are looking for new stickers for your surfboard you will want to ensure that you are using high-quality stickers that are waterproof or at the least, water-resistant.
Vinyl stickers work best for surfboards and other surfaces that are often in contact with water, however, using a waterproof clear coat could help diversify the types of stickers that you are limited to.
9 Steps to Put Stickers on Your Board
If you are ready to spice up your surfboard with some new stickers, then the following steps will ensure that they are neat, secure, and last as long as possible.
1. Choose a Sticker
There are thousands of surfboard stickers available, with countless colors, designs, shapes, and more.
As surfboard stickers are semi-permanent, you should make sure that you are happy with the stickers you will be using, because you won’t be able to remove them and reuse them.
2. Decide on a Spot
As mentioned above, once you have placed your surfboard sticker, there is no going back without ruining the sticker.
This is why it’s important to decide exactly where you want the sticker to be placed.
A good idea is to mark the spot with a pencil or trace around the sticker before it has been peeled.
This will ensure the sticker ends up in the correct spot.
3. Clean the Area
Once you have decided on a location, you need to ensure that the area is properly cleaned.
Make sure to remove any sand, salt, dirt, or impurities from the area before you place the sticker.
If the area is dirty then the sticker won’t be properly placed on your board and will likely come off after a short time in the ocean.
Simply use some warm water and soap to wipe off the area and then allow it to dry.
4. Roughen up the Location
Although it’s not necessary, slightly roughening up the area with some fine-grit sandpaper will help increase surface area, and therefore aid the sticker with better adhesion.
Make sure that you don’t use sandpaper that is too coarse. Instead, using a 200 + grit paper will roughen the area without causing damage to the resin.
5. Peel the Sticker
Once the area is prepared, you can peel off the back of the sticker and prepare to place it.
Make sure to not touch the sticky side with your fingers or other objects as it will remove some of the sticky adhesion and reduce the stickers sticking capability.
6. Place the Sticker
Place one end of the sticker down and slowly lower the rest onto your surfboard.
Don’t try and put the entire sticker down at the same time as it might cause folds or air pockets beneath the sticker.
Using your fingers or a flat card (such as a bank card) smooth over the area to remove any remaining bubbles and air pockets.
7. Allow to Dry
Allow the sticker some time to dry. This will only take a few minutes, but if you allow your surfboard to become wet before the glue on your new sticker has dried, then there is a good chance it will come loose.
8. Apply a Clear Coat
Because surfboard stickers are waterproof, it is not necessary to use a clear coat, however, doing so will ensure that your sticker lasts for a significantly longer time.
Just as you would put a high-quality clear coat over your new surfboard art to protect it, so can you do with surfboard stickers.
9. Show Off Your New Designs
Once your clear coat has dried there is nothing more to do other than head down to your favorite break and show off your new stickers to the rest of your surfing community.
Should You Put Stickers on a Surfboard?
Whether you put stickers on your surfboard or not is entirely up to you and your personal preference.
There is no real upside or downside to using stickers, other than the opportunity to add your own twist to your gear.
As a downside, stickers, over time, begin to lose their color, and will become dirty and less appealing, although, all that is needed to be done here is to remove them and replace them with something new.
How Long Do Stickers on Surfboards Last?
The longevity of the stickers on your surfboard depends on multiple criteria.
Similar to the average lifespan of a surfboard, the more you use the board, the faster your stickers will degrade.
That being said, if you use high-quality vinyl stickers, look after your surfboard, don’t overuse it, make use of a clear coat, and correctly apply the sticker, then your surfboard stickers could last for years before needing to be replaced.
How Do You Remove Stickers From a Surfboard?
Although surf stickers look great on our surfboards when they are new, over time they begin to look tatty and less appealing.
When this happens you may want to remove the stickers and replace them with something new and vibrant.
To remove stickers from your surfboard you will need rubbing alcohol, acetone, turpentine, or another type of adhesive remover.
Simply place your chosen adhesive remover on a cloth and soak it over the sticker.
Allow 5 minutes for the solution to soak in and then using a flat card, begin to gently scrape off the sticker.
The sticker should come loose easily, but there will likely be a sticky residue left behind.
To deal with this you can use hot soapy water and a cloth to remove what is left.
Alternatively, using peanut butter, bicarbonate of soda, or WD-40 will help remove the last of the sticky glue.
When scraping the sticker from your board, make sure not to use a hard object, and avoid pressing too hard to avoid damaging your board.
Surfboards and stickers have long been a team to be reckoned with.
Whether it is pro stickers to represent your sponsor or something funky to give your surfboard some character, surfboard stickers can bring something unique to the table.
Using a high-quality vinyl sticker should last, both with its adhesion, as well as its color.
If you are wanting to spice up your surfboard but don’t have money for a new paint job, then some surf stickers could make it feel like new.