Cleaning Gel Coat for Surfboards

The great majority of surfboards are made out of fiberglass. While some of the cheaper surfboards can stand a few scratches and dings, it is understandable that most surfers would want to maintain their more high-end boards in top shape. Gel coats can be applied to fiberglass surfboards not only as a kind of protecting agent, but as a cleaning agent. Gel coats are pretty standard, so one can purchase almost any kind of coat. Luckily, surfboard gel coats can be used on fiberglass boats also.

What is Gel Coat Made Of?

Gel coats are made of polyester resin or epoxy. The gel coats are applied to the surface as a gel or as a spray, and they dry to make a hard, sturdy layer. As gel coats are invisible coats, they are excellent for repairing cracks or scratches in surfboards. They can be used for most do-it-yourself surfboard repairs, but many professionals who specialize in surfboard repairs can fix larger gashes or cracks on surfboards, a testament to the strength of gel coats.

How can You use a Gel Coat to Clean Your Surfboard?

A gel coat will not actually work as a cleaning agent on the surfboard itself, but it will give it a new, clean look when it is applied. The most important part of applying a gel coat is to gently sand or buffer off any previous layers or gel coat and certainly, surfboard wax. Once you have cleared any debris from the surface of the board, you can apply a gel coat that will give the surface of the board a shine. Previous to the gel coat application you can also paint the board, assuming that it needs a new coat of paint.

What is the Difference between a Gel Coat and a Colored Gel Coat?

A gel coat and colored gel coat have very little difference between them, as they both are made out of either a polyester resin or epoxy base. However, colored gel coats have the added convenience of adding color to your surfboard while you apply the gel coat layer. Fiberglass boat owners often use colored gel coats on their boats. The one disadvantage of colored gel coats is that the color tends to chalk. In other words, the color begins to get dull and white, leaving a chalky substance on the surface. The "chalk" unfortunately, cannot be removed.

What is a Good Brand of Gel Coat that You can Use?

There are many brands of gel coats that can be used for fiberglass surfboards and boats, including one manufactured by the company, Everlast. Everlast produces three types of high-quality gel coats, such as the premium laminating gel coat, the one-step finish gel coat, and the polyester gel paste. Depending on the condition of your surfboard, each gel coat type serves a different purpose. For instance, the laminating gel coat makes it easy to re-coat the surfboard with gel coating at a later time; the one-step finish coat provides gloss, and the gel paste fixes dings, cracks, and scratches. For a surfboard that simply needs some cleaning and a gloss, a finishing gel coat will be sufficient.

Gel coats are commonly used on fiberglass materials, especially surfboards that are prone to getting scratched or cracked. In fact, gel coating is an important component of surfboard maintenance and, in the long run, it is cheaper than waiting until the surfboard desperately needs repairs. While the gel coat is not itself a cleaning solution, it will give a high shine to an already cleaned surfboard. However, there are cleaning solutions available that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly, such as Chief Firewater Surf Wax Remover and cleaner, which safely cleans off wax, dirt, and oils off the board.

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