Because our surfboards and paddleboards are hollow, they need to be vented. If your board is left in the sun, left in a hot car, taken onto a flight or even stored in a heated house, the pressure changes can cause serious structural damage to them that can be irreparable.
To combat this, each board has a vent hole that needs a vent screw to be fitted to it any time you think your board may get wet (surfing/paddling, stored in a shed or in a bag on top of your car during wet weather, etc.)
When the board is out of the water the vent screw needs removing.
The vent hole is fitted to the deck of your board and is literally a hole that goes through into the hollow of your board.
We provide you with two vent screws (one being a spare) but they are simple M5 stainless steel cheese-headed bolts, so can be replaced easily if you lose them.
Before any surf, we always check our fins, our leash and our vent screw. Always remember your vent screw.
Our surfboards are finished with a bio epoxy resin and fibreglass by an expert laminator. This provides a robust, water-tight finish for years of use.
If you ding your board and chip or crack the finish, you’ll be best to repair it like any other ding repair. Take off any fibreglass or resin that is damaged or cracked, sand the surface smooth and then apply another layer of fibreglass and resin. This is best done by a ding repair specialist.
If you chip the finish and damage the wood underneath, you’ll need to remove the cracked fibrelglass and damaged wood first. Then you need to replace the section of damaged wood and replace the fibreglass finish as above. We would recommend bringing it to us to do this if you can.
If you manage to puncture through the fibreglass and wood and actually make a hole into the hollow centre of your board, you’ll need to remove the cracked/broken fibreglass and damaged wood first. Then you need to replace the section of damaged wood, which may require actually taking more wood out to give yourself something to fix to. Then replace the fibreglass finish as above. We would recommend bringing it to us to do this if you can.
If you ding your board and take water onboard, we advise you drill a 10-20mm hole towards the noes of you board through into the hollow of the board, then leave the board stood up on it’s nose with the vent screw left out so that as much water as possible can drain from the board. We would then recommend bringing it to us to repair it.
We use tung oil for finishing our bellyboards and handplanes, unless requested otherwise. It is a 100% natural finish, derived from the tun nut. It is a very forgiving oil, but it does take quite a while to cure. Best applied with a lint free cloth or brush.
We find it best to get the first coat on and leave it for 12-24 hours before wiping any excess off. Then it needs to be left for 24-48 hours before applying a second coat.
Subsequent coats can be rubbed down after 30-60 minutes, but must be left another 24-48 hours to give it a chance to cure.
The oil will continue to harden and cure over the coming weeks, months and years.
We find it best to get a minimum of two coats on before first taking your bellyboard or handplane into the sea for the first time and the optimum number of coats to aim for eventually is 6-8. You’re looking for a rich, hard surface to the wood.
You’ll find after your first surf, the wood may appear to have taken some water on and swelled a little. That’s perfectly normal, just knock it back with some sand paper and get some more oil onto it.
We would recommend oiling your handplane or bellyboard every year with light use, but every couple of months if you’re using it regularly.
As and when your board takes a knock or scrape, lightly sand the affected area and then oil as necessary.
Otter Surfboards 2023
Registered VAT no. 391 7762 58
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