Care and Maintenance

To keep your board looking good, care for it the same way you would for your car
(or - with some of us -  maybe, better not? :)

Wash it in fresh water now and then with a mild detergent, to remove accumulated pollutants.

If yours is a satin-finished go-fast bottom, rub the yellow gunk off with a "purple pad" (a purple-colored Scotch-brand scrubbing pad). This will restore the color, as well as make the water sheet off cleanly and speed you up. For a similar effect with more work, wet-sand with 600 grit wet-and-dry paper. Keep it flooded, lest you scratch your bottom!
For all glossy painted areas, an automotive rubbing compound will do wonders. My favorite is "3M Finesse-It III extra-cut". In a pinch, toothpaste works fine.

If you get some on your non-skid, you can just rinse it off.

If you subsequently wax such shiny painted areas, the wax will seal and protect the paint, sloughing off pollutants for a while. Just don't wax the bottom, since the water would bead and slow you down.

Maguires "Gold Class" makes you look good!

For little paint chips, get some touch-up paint from your dealer, or from an automotive paint store. Dabbing it onto the chipped spot will not only make it look better, but also glue down the paint's edges, to keep it from peeling
If you got muck stuck onto your non-skid, normal scrubbing does not take it off, and you do not want to harm the non-skid, try a soft eraser!
For tar on non-skid, I remove as much as I can with the eraser, then scrub with detergent, then dab at the remnants with "Goo-Gone", a citric acid-based product available from most department stores. Rinse thoroughly afterwards, lest the chemicals eat into your paint.
Now that it is clean and shiny, protect it in a bag, BUT

make sure you never put it away wet and zip up the bag!! The moisture contained in padz and straps, as well as attached to the board itself, will create water vapor in the bag when exposed to higher temperatures (substantial in a closed, dark car!). This water vapor can penetrate into paints, causing blisters.

How bad can it be? a sailboard with padz and straps typically holds about half a pound of water, or about one cup. That will make a lot of vapor when it heats up in the greenhouse that is your closed bag.

Always leave the bag open, until the board is totally dry!

And for you windsurfers who listen to my preaching about opening the vent plug when not on the water: if you open the plug, then stick the wet board into a bag and zip it shut, the moisture from padz and straps will find its way into the EPS foam core. Don't go there!

And speaking of vent plugs: opening yours whenever you are off the water is the single most effective thing you can do to prolong the life of your board. Leaving it closed will cause the EPS foam core to expand and contract at least once a day. You take any substance, no matter how stout, and you push and pull it continually, at least 365 times a year, and it will fail. Guaranteed!

It's not that much, you say? I just measured my Trusty Old 9'-4": typical summer day, near sea level, early morning, cool 60 degrees, it was 4 15/16" thick. Then the day warmed to 89 degrees, a thermal low developed, and the board expanded to 5 3/16". That is a whopping 1/4" change, or 5%!!

Get into a routine, where you tighten the vent screw just before you put on your harness, or some such thing, and it will become second nature, and you will not forget. But DO IT!

For long-term storage, keep it in a nice, comfortable place. If you live in a cold climate and have to heat in the winter, keep in mind that the rafters where you store your board may be substantially warmer than the rest of the space. And do not let your board touch the furnace!! (you think I am dreaming up gory scenarios? think again!). Make sure you don't store anything really heavy on your board, especially not anything heavy with sharp edges. Given enough time, your board will acquire dents that way. especially when it is up in the rafters. where it is warm...

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