It’s no secret that properly maintaining your windsurfing gear and equipment will increase its longevity while saving money on repairs. Don’t spend extra just because you didn’t take the time and care to maintain your gear.
What can people do to maintain or repair their equipment?
Most windsurfing gear is built tough to withstand the wear and tear of the wind, weather, and salty sea water. The epoxy constructed boards make it easy to repair minor dings. Sanding the damaged area and then Using a two-part epoxy (resin and hardener) and fiberglass cloth to fill the ding.
Keeping your board out of direct sunlight when you aren’t using it will help to preserve the board and foot straps, which can be replaced if needed. The sun causes color fading and the UV rays accelerate the breakdown of the fabric on the foot straps. Foot straps generally last longer if the board is stored out of the sun.
Modern windsurfing sails are constructed from a mono-film material. It’s recommended to keep them out of the sun when they aren’t being used. Common sail wear and tear includes punctures and smalls tears that can be fixed with sail tape. If you don’t have sail-tape, try patching the puncture with clear packaging tape or stickers affixed to both sides of the damaged area. If the tear is more serious, a sail loft can replace an entire panel. Keep in mind, that repair costs may vary depending on the age of the sail, sometimes more than the sail is worth.
Other helpful windsurfing maintenance tips include:
- Keeping sand off of your sail, out of the mast, and away from any moving parts, like the pulleys in the back of the boom or on the mast base, is always a good idea.
- Rigging your sail in the grass so the mono-film doesn’t get scratched will help keep the sail looking better over time. Remember, you don’t want to crease your sail, just roll it up and don’t set anything heavy on top of it!
What if you live in a humid climate?
If you’re living in the tropics, you’re better off putting your gear away wet with salt water versus wet with fresh water. Why you ask? Sails, in particular, can get mildewy if they’re damp with fresh water, but salt water helps to kill mold and mildew! No need to rinse your gear with fresh water at the end of your session as you can be getting rid of the beneficial salt.
Can it be fixed?
We all want to try to increase the lifespan of what we buy. But sometimes things can’t be fixed. Find out when your gear can be repaired versus when it must be replaced.
- Boards are generally repairable if the damage is small. If the board is broken in half or buckled all the way across, replace it.
- Sails can be patched or panels replaced. The battens in the sail can be replaced if they break. If the sail is older, the cost of the repair may be greater than the value of the sail—then it is time to replace it.
- Masts are generally not repairable. But if your mast is split or splintered just at the base, you may be able to cut an inch or so off the length without causing problems.
- Booms can have the grip replaced, most commonly the front end of the boom (where it attaches to the mast) can be replaced. But if the body of the boom is broken or bent it’s time to buy a new one.
Overall, windsurfing gear is surprisingly durable and resistant to normal wear and tear. Ironically, the wind is your equipment’s greatest enemy, that’s why it is important to keep the mast positioned in the direction the wind is coming from, especially when you’re on the beach. This will prevent your sail from getting flipped around and punctured. Also, be mindful when putting your board on the roof of your car—if you walk away without having tied it down, it could easily blow off into the parking lot.
If you have any questions about the condition of your equipment, feel free to give us a call at 727-656-6569.