Caring for and repairing your surfboards—all surfboards—is key to ensuring their longevity, and the longevity of the joy they bring you as a result.
The construction of the R-Series surfboards is quite simple: stringers, fin boxes, and a closed-cell, durable copolymer foam. (The deck pad is intentionally omitted from this section, but well touch on it later)
The black foam that you see on the rails and bottom of the R-Series board is what the board is made of—there is no separate skin or laminated layer. We did this to simplify the construction in a way that allows for the practical recycling at the end of the board's useful life—a life we want to prolong as much as possible, because 10/10 times we would rather see this board under your feet than in the recycler.
The foam is inherently very resistant to blunt-force-trauma—think: elbows, knees, the shoreline. Where the foam is more likely to be damaged is with sharp, puncturing blows—think: fins, sharp rocks, and thin leashes.
The good news is, if you get a "ding" in your R-Series, the board will not start taking on water like a foam & fiberglass constructed board will. That said, there are plenty of instances where you will still want to patch it up. For most cases, we recommend Epoxy Solarez. It is simple to use, and the epoxy formula is safe for R-Series foam. Do not use the polyester formula as it will damage the foam.
If you really want to go the extra mile and mask where the repair was done, we have fixed the ding with Epoxy Solarez, and then once its dry and you're happy with the repair, hit the area with a light layer of Flex-Seal spray—yes, the stuff from the funny infomercials. They have it at ACE or Home Depot, and it matches the R-Series foam remarkably well.
Ingredients for Repair:
Epoxy Solarez (1 oz, more as needed)
Flex Seal Spray (1 Can)
There is no need to cut debris from the R-Series, or to do any sanding whatsoever, but the basic principals of the repair are the same as this video. You want to fill the ding with just enough Epoxy Solarez to get it back to the surface of the board, but not so much that is spills over.
Damage from the Leash:
The ocean generates a tremendous amount of force. Water weighs a pint a pound, as we learned in gradeschool... combined with the force of a 2 to 6 foot wave breaking, if you've ever been bounced off the bottom by a set wave that you couldn't quite get under, you don't need me to tell you how much power waves have. If your leash gets wrapped around the rail of the board, the force of that wave is pushing your board one way, and the leash is pulling it the other—which can result in your own leash damaging the rail of your board.
There are two things you can do to ensure this does not happen:
- Use the thickest leash you have. We suggest "PRO" leashes, as they are thicker in diameter than "COMP" leashes.
- Whenever possible, kick out of a wave—either over the shoulder or straight into the flats. If you are "controlled-falling" you should be able to direct your board away from you as you fall. The leash getting wrapped around the rail is more likely to happen if you are getting sent through the washing machine, which usually means the wave did not go as planned.
Damage from Heat:
The foam on the R-Series is surprisingly resistant to heat. We have heard plenty of questions about the black foam in the sun. Under normal circumstances, the board should have no issues at the beach for a normal day of hanging out—which is much different than a black, glassed board. Where you need to be concerned is: direct sunlight reflecting off windows, motorcycle tail pipes, and temperatures exceeding 140 degrees F (60 C).
Unlike most foam board or soft-top constructions, the deck pad on the R-Series is NOT structural to the board. We recessed the deck of the R-Series boards 5mm to accommodate the no-wax-needed deck pad. In the earliest days of this project, we had some issues with the adhesive used for this pad, but those problems have since been resolved and we are extremely confident in the deck pads being securely fixed to the board. In addition to eliminating the need to wax your board, the deck pads offer us a handy canvas for colors, art and collaborations.
Because the adhesive is so secure, it is NOT possible or recommended to remove your pad to exchange for a different one—for this reason we do not sell loose deck pads.
The fin boxes on all R-Series boards are secured through to the deck with screws and washers. This is because there is no fiberglass shell to hold the boxes in place—like on a traditional surfboard. If you have any issues with your finbox, we can send a replacement with screws and washers. The boxes sit in a cavity that matches the exact shape and dimension of the box, so they are seated perfectly in place.
We designed the R-Series board with the maximum likelihood of being returned and recycled. We are even offering you a $50 voucher toward a new R-Series surfboard if you return the board to us at the end of it's useful life, so we can grind it up, and return the components to our suppliers for recycling and downcycling.
If you have an R-Series Surfboard by Almond, and are ready to recycle it, contact us and we will email you instructions on how to do that, and how to redeem your voucher.
R-Series Recycling Video from Almond Surfboards on Vimeo.