Surf's Up Magazine

Surfboard Yellowing: Why Does It Happen?

  • Date: February 27, 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Surfboards face a lot of wear and tear. From dings, to sun exposure for extended periods. This can result in reducing their performance and lifespan significantly.

When neglected, sand and grime will accumulate on the surface of our boards resulting in a diminished deck, rails and underbody. Plus, as if that wasn’t bad enough, discoloration is bound to occur giving an unpleasant yellowish hue. Read on to learn more about surfboard yellowing.

surfboard yellowing
Surfboard Yellowing

Why do Surfboards Turn Yellow?

Like blonde surfer hair, the sun’s intense UV rays cause the resin on surfboards to take on a yellowish hue. Yet their performance is not impacted. Even if your board has transitioned from its original white color to yellow, you can still reap the same rewards when riding them in the water as before!

Are you curious if there are any strategies to stop your surfboard from discoloration? Or maybe you’re looking for a brand that offers boards designed with this in mind.

How Can I Prevent Surfboard Yellowing?

To minimize sun exposure damage to your surfboard, the most straightforward solution is to keep it out of direct sunlight if possible. The immense intensity and UV rays from our 93 million mile distant star can be destructive on many levels.

Without us knowing, our surfboards are exposed to significant amounts of sun. While we soak up the waves and bask in a day at the beach, ultraviolet rays from the sun magnified by water’s prism effect continually bombard our boards’ fiberglass resin.

Although it may be unnoticeable while surfing for extended hours, this exposure can cause considerable damage over time if not taken into account.

Even if stored upside down, when left in the car or on top of it for long periods, our surfboard’s deck is relentlessly exposed to UV rays.

The resin coating applied to the top layer and foam below is usually meant to prevent degradation from UV radiation. The addition of a UV additive will further extend this protection, though it can still cause yellowing over time.

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays accelerates the yellowing process. This causes foam layers to discolor first followed by resin coatings on top.

Sunlight and Heat

Heat and sunlight are the ultimate enemies to surfboards. They compromise the board’s chemical composition, leading to discoloration and fading.

On sweltering days when the sun is blazing, it’s tempting to take our surfboards out for a wave. However, even though we can’t keep them away from heat and direct sunlight entirely, by storing them in a dry cool spot instead of leaving them baking won’t only slow down yellowing but also prolong their life span as well!

A yellowed surfboard may not be the most attractive. bBt it is still just as reliable and sturdy for a fun day on the waves. In fact, don’t let its aesthetically displeasing color stop you from taking part in your favorite aquatic activity!

Visually, white surfboards seem to become the most sun-faded and yellow after weathering. However, if you don’t have a mainly white deck but instead own one featuring colored designs or patterns, then it will be far less likely that you’ll experience any hint of discoloration.

surfboard turned yellow
Surfboard Turned Yellow

Using a Bag to Prevent Surfboard Yellowing

Have you ever thought about protecting your board like a musician does their instrument – by placing it in a case?

It might be costly to purchase a surfboard bag, but if preserving the condition of your board is something that’s important to you then investing in such an item pays off. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy and cherish the long-term relationship with your beloved surfboard for many years!

Investing in a surfboard bag does not have to be expensive. You can get quality protection for your board within a variety of price points. From as low as $60, all the way up to hundreds, you’ll find something that fits into your budget and ensures premium safety for your beloved surfboard.

Don’t let high prices fool you; sometimes even the most inexpensive option provides just as effective coverage! Shop around and discover which one is right for you.

If you invest in a surfboard bag, it’s recommended to keep your surfboard inside of it as much as possible.

That way, when you load it into your truck or car, you don’t have to worry about UV rays affecting its condition. Plus, once at the beach you won’t be concerned with how much heat or sunlight is on the board. Since it’s already been safeguarded from those elements in its protective bag.

Rather than using a UV additive on the deck of your surfboard to protect against yellowing, opt for a reliable and durable surfboard bag.

It provides complete protection from sunlight 100% of the time while stored. Completely preventing any peeling or other damage caused by prolonged exposure.

With this safeguard in place, you can rest assured that your board will stay in pristine condition as long as it is kept within its protective case!

Are There Surfboards That Retain Their Color ?

Soft top surfboards once had a less-than-desirable reputation; many people believed they were just for novice riders.

However, over the past decade their popularity has skyrocketed and now rival traditional boards in nearly every regard — plus, they don’t discolor with time like some other models!

Soft tops are quickly becoming an excellent choice amongst experienced and rookie wave riders alike.

Soft tops have undergone striking design transformations in recent years. Once blighted by an unsightly 9-foot top, you can now find a multitude of more aesthetically pleasing alternatives for your foam cover needs.

How Can I Make My Surfboard Last As Long as Possible?

Taking the time to adhere to these straightforward steps will not only preserve your surfboard’s condition and vibrancy, but it will also extend its life. So no more wondering why do surfboards turn yellow. Just utilize good care and sound judgement for a board that looks incredible for years!

Avoid Exposure to Direct Sunlight

Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause serious damage to a surfboard. From it turning yellow, suffering delamination of its laminate seal, and skin peeling. All culminating in cracking of its fiberglass and outer layer of resin.

long board gone yellow
Longboard Gone Yellow

Fix Dings as They Happen

Instill a positive habit. After each time you surf, take the time to dry off your board and inspect it thoroughly for any signs of cracks or dings, no matter how miniscule they may be. If left unattended, even tiny fissures can spread quickly and eventually ruin your beloved surfboard altogether!

Don’t let pesky dings get you down – it’s normal for surfboards to acquire small cracks over time. With an all-inclusive resin-fiberglass kit, repairing the damage is a breeze – just make sure to follow instructions!

Prompt action is key when filling in the crevices with fiberglass epoxy. By taking care of them right away, your board will be back on track in no time.

Avoid using wax to fix dents and fissures, as it will quickly melt away when submerged in water – thus exposing the crack. To repair them permanently, utilize a resin-fiberglass tool kit instead!

Rinse the Salt off your Surfboard After Every Session

After a sun-filled day spent on the sea, salt accumulates on your surfboard and eventually weakens its build components.

To make sure your board is always in tip-top shape, be sure to rinse it off after each use. If you have access to a water hose, set the nozzle on high and let it run for about a minute.

Once finished, store your board somewhere dark and dry where potential damages are kept at bay. With this simple step of maintenance, you can ensure that your equipment will last!

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