As a surfer, your surfboards are your tools for the sport that you love. Without them, you can simply not surf.
Because our boards bring us so much joy, it is crucial that we look after them.
Whether you are storing your surfboard for a day or two between surfs, or if you are putting it away while you wait for the next season, you will want to make sure that you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that your board will be undamaged when you are ready to hit the waves again.
Proper storage of a surfboard is not difficult, but you should always keep in mind to protect the rails, tail, and nose, keep your board out of direct sunlight, avoid keeping your board in hot spaces such as a car and make sure to always clean off the salt and sand before storing it.
Below, we will discuss the different options you have to store your board, both for the short and long term and the easiest, safest, and most convenient choices.
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Important Tips for Storing a Surfboard
Before discussing different methods of storing your board and which ones work best, it is good to know what you should and shouldn’t do while storing your favorite toys.
1. Keep Your Board Out of Sunlight
Apart from dings from collisions and knocking your board through transport, the biggest threat to a surfboard is heat and direct sunlight.
Leaving your surfboard in the sun will lead to it turning a yellow color. Although this effect is purely a cosmetic problem, it can still be heartbreaking to see your new shiny whiteboard fade into an ugly yellow.
More importantly, however, is the affect sunlight and over-exposure to heat will have on the resin and fiberglass.
When your board becomes too hot, the resin or fiberglass can begin to separate from the foam and result in bubbles forming around your board.
Although these bubbles can be fixed by sanding down the areas and re-glassing them, this is tedious and sometimes expensive.
Delamination can easily be avoided by keeping your surfboard out of direct sunlight.
2. Do Not Leave Your Board in a Car
Never leave your board in your car. There are a few reasons for this which include:
- Delamination due to high temperatures.
- The melting of wax (more of an annoyance than a damage problem).
- High chance of theft.
The only exception to this rule is if you live in a safe environment with weather that is cool enough not to melt the wax from your board. Still, even in this case, as your car is not made to store surfboards, the pressure from the seats is likely to leave pressure dings when left over a long period of time.
3. Avoid Storing Your Surfboard on Hard Surfaces
Pressure dings are a big problem with surfboards, and storing your board on a hard surface can increase these risks.
This is particularly true when storing your board upright on its tail or horizontally on the rails.
At times these may be your only choices, and if this is the case, then making use of a towel, pillow, or piece of rubber under your board will prevent any damage that could otherwise occur.
4. Make Sure Your Board Is Secure
If you are storing your board upright or at a height, you should always ensure it is secured.
This can be done with a small rope, bungee cord, or simply by tying your leash around it and something fixed.
Although you may feel as though your board is safe, a simple knock could send your surfboard crashing to the ground.
This could do no harm but could also result in large dings, or worse cases, snap your board.
5. Always Rinse Your Board With Fresh Water
Although surfboards are made to spend time in the ocean, salt water can be corrosive and, over time, will eventually begin to degrade the fiberglass and resin of your board.
After each surf, you should rinse off any sand and saltwater from your surfboard before storing it.
6. Always Use a Surfboard Bag or Surfboard Sock
Surfboard bags are designed to protect your board. Whether you are planning a long trip or simply storing your board at home, you should always make use of a storage bag.
A bag or surfboard sock will help protect your board from scratches, keep it out of the sun, and reduce any damage that may occur from knocking it against hard surfaces.
7. Do Not Hang Your Surfboards by the Leash
Some surfers may suggest that you use the leash of your board and a hook on the wall to store your board.
This may be a convenient and cost-effective short-term solution at first, but you risk your leash plug being pulled out.
If this happens, you are in for a pricey repair.
A further risk is if the plug pulls only slightly out, creating a gap for water to enter your board and thus allowing your surfboard to become waterlogged.
Different Ways to Store Your Surfboard
Whether you are storing your surfboard for the short term or over a longer period, there are multiple different ways you can do so.
Some are better for the long term, while other methods are best if you don’t plan to use your surfboard for a longer time.
Lean Your Board Against a Wall
One of the most common ways for surfers to store their boards at home is by leaning them up against a wall.
This is a space-saving method that keeps your board accessible at all times. However, this method does come with more risk as you could easily knock your board over while wandering around your house.
If you plan to store your surfboard upright against a wall, you should make sure that you use a surfboard cover (not a sock) and put a soft layer under the tail so as to not destroy it.
Use a Surfboard Rack
Surfboard racks are one of the most secure ways to store a surfboard, especially if you have multiple boards that you like to switch between.
Racks take up more space than other methods, but they are the most convenient and will keep your boards the safest, especially if you secure them with rope or bungee.
Vertical racks tend to take up more space than other storage systems, although they do provide the ease of switching out your board at any time with little to no effort.
These racks can store multiple boards in upright positions and usually include a soft floor that prevents damage to your board’s tail.
Click here to check out our favoriteVertical racks on Amazon.
Vertical surfboard racks are the most common way that surf rental shops store their boards as they are mounted and removed multiple times throughout each day.
Horizontal surfboard racks are ideal for surfers who do not have much storage space. These racks are mounted on a wall and will store your board with the nose and tail horizontal to each other.
Although these wall-mounted racks will help you save space, they do make taking your surfboard on and off more difficult, and if not properly secured, there is a higher risk of your board falling and seeing some serious damage.
One plus side of wall-mounted racks, other than the space-saving, is that it is a great way to display your surfboard.
This is like having art in your house that you can remove and ride a wave with.
Amazon has a great surfboard wall-mounted rack available here.
Use Ceiling Racks/ Loft Space
Ceiling racks are one of the best ways to safely store multiple surfboards. They are safe as they are often out of reach, and they do not take up any space.
The inconvenience with this is that your surfboards are difficult to store and remove, and when taking them down, you risk a high chance of dropping your board and damaging it because you will likely be standing on a ladder or chair.
Although storing your boards on a ceiling rack or small loft area is the safest choice, it is not ideal for short-term storage.
Surfboard slings work similarly to wall mounts; however, instead of your boards resting on a hard frame, they are secured by a sling material.
This is a great way to store your board while avoiding pressure dings. However, surfboard slings are difficult to use when storing multiple boards at a time.
Surfboard slings tend to take up a lot of space as your boards will be free hanging. This also adds the chance of them being knocked around or bumped into if you are spending time in the same room.
Store Your Board Under Your Bed or Behind a Couch
If you do not have available space and cannot mount racks on the wall, a final option is to store your board on the floor but out of the way.
This is not an ideal way to store a surfboard as the hard ground has a chance of causing damage to the rails, nose, or fins.
That being said, at times, we do not have an option, and this is our only choice.
If you need to store your board in such a way, then it is best to store it under a bed or behind a couch where it is out of the way and does not run the risk of someone standing on it.
The one advantage of storing your board like this is that there is no risk of it falling over, which in a way makes it safer.
Accompany this with a soft surface and a board cover, and your board will be safe, secure, and easily accessible.
Short Term Storage
Logically storing your surfboard for a short time will be slightly different from long-term storage.
The major difference between the two is that your boards need to be easily accessible, easy to move, and easy to store away.
If you follow the below steps, you will be on a good track to keeping your surfboard safe, clean, and ready to use at a moment’s notice.
1. Clean your surfboard with fresh water: As mentioned before, it is important to rinse off your surfboard every time you leave the ocean. This clean, however, can simply be a light rinse if you plan to use your board within the next few days.
2. Repair dings: Repairing dings on your surfboard as soon as possible is always best. If you leave a ding or small crack in your board, you may forget about it before your next surf session.
Alternatively, you may wake up to find that the waves are pumping, only to have no surfboard because you did not fix it when it broke.
3. Choose a bag: Using a surfboard cover is a must, even if you are only storing your board for a short time.
This cover can be a heavy-duty travel bag or simply a surfboard sock. However, storing your board in a day bag is best as it will make transporting your surfboard safer and easier.
Click here to check out our favoritesurfboard sock on Amazon.
4. Store your surfboard: Once your board is clean, repaired, and in its case, you can simply store it in your chosen location.
For short-term storage, leaning your board against a wall, storing it under your bed, or using a surf rack are the best choices as they allow for easy access.
Long Term Storage
When you are storing your board away for longer periods, it becomes slightly more complicated, although still not difficult.
Situations that might call for this are if the surf season is over and you do not plan to surf for a few months, you are going on holiday and do not plan to take your surfboard with you, or you are storing away an old or spare board that you do not use much.
All of the steps from long-term storage are the same as short-term storage with a few minor changes.
1. Remove the wax: To remove wax from your board, simply leave it in a warmer place for a short while so that the wax can soften. Once the wax is loose, you will be able to easily scrape it off with a wax comb or bank card.
2. Remove the fins: Sand and salt often get trapped in our boards’ fin boxes over time, so removing the fins before cleaning and storing them is a good idea.
Doing this will also make storage easier.
3. Rinse your board with fresh water: When you plan to store your board for a long time, it is important to thoroughly clean any sand and salt from the board before storing it.
You should also dry off the board with a towel and leave it for an hour or two so that all the moisture has gone.
4. Choose a bag: When storing a board for a long time, you should opt for a thicker bag with more protection when possible.
5. Store your board: Once your board is prepared, you can store it in your chosen spot. When storing a surfboard for a long time, it is best to store your board out of sight and out of the way.
This could be in a small loft area or on a high-mounted rack in your garage or spare room.
Storing Your Board Close to the Beach
As constantly moving your board to the beach and back home can be a hassle and increases the chance of damage, some surfers make deals with surf shops close to their favorite break.
Some surf shops will store your board in their shop for you for a small fee, or in some cases for free.
This is great for convenience, but it does come with a high risk as many people will be in and out of the shop all day which increases the chance of someone knocking it over.
Although this may seem convenient, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before doing so.
Whether you surf every day or only use your board once a year, it is important to store your board properly.
Surfboards are not cheap, and if they become damaged, it can cost a lot of money and time to get them fixed.
As your surfboard is the source of your ocean fun, it is worth the small amount of effort it takes to look after it.