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How To Look After Your Waterskis & Wakeboard – Handy Hints & Maintenance Tips

May 04, 2022 8 min read

Free Australian Shipping on orders over $50 🙌

How To Look After Your Waterskis & Wakeboard – Handy Hints & Maintenance Tips

How To Maintain Your Wakeboard & Waterski Equipment At Home

If your wakeboard, waterski, or tube isn't getting wet right now, there's plenty you can do at home to look after it. Waterski equipment maintenance requires little effort and can be completed at home. Regular maintenance will ensure that you don't have any problems once you're back on the water. With our guide to waterski, wakeboard, and tube maintenance, you'll be completely prepared for your next ride!

Repair Your Wakeboard Or Waterski

There’s no doubt about it, something will ding, dent, or scratch your beloved waterski or wakeboard sooner or later. Superficial scratches should not require repair, but any significant dings or dents should be addressed as they risk delamination as the core material absorbs water while riding. There is nothing you can do to save your waterski or wakeboard once it begins to delaminate, so start working on repairs as soon as possible. It is simple to repair a waterski or wakeboard. Simply use any two-part epoxy to fill in the affected area after lightly sanding it. When the epoxy has fully cured, sand it back with wet-and-dry sandpaper to match the shape of your ski or board.

waterski maintenance, how to look after your waterskis

Replace Defective Parts

If damaged parts on a waterski or wakeboard are not checked on a regular basis, they can cause catastrophic failure on the water. The last thing you want to happen while riding is to lose a fin or have your foot come out of a binding. While you can't get out on the water, here are some things you should look into.

Fins

Fins are an essential component of any waterski or wakeboard. Examine your fins for signs of wear and tear. Even minor dings and dents can have a significant impact on how your board or ski feels on the water (especially slalom skis). Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to repair a damaged fin, but if it's not too old, it can be easily replaced.

Binding Bolts

Binding bolts are frequently overlooked when inspecting the condition of your wakeboard or waterski. Binding bolts may appear fine when your board or ski has boots attached, but this frequently conceals corrosion and wear on the bolt and insert underneath. Riding in salt or brackish water without rinsing will corrode your bolts completely over time. They become impossible to undo if left unchecked and eventually fail completely (usually while you're riding). After riding, we recommend completely removing your boots and rinsing them with clean water. To reduce the risk of corrosion, apply lanolin products to the bolt and insert.

Laces

Nothing beats fastening your boots before attempting your first ride of the day and finding a lace snapped which in turn makes your wakeboard or waterski unrideable. It only takes a second to inspect wakeboard and waterski laces for wear and tear, and it will save you a headache (and some cable ties) on the water. Examine your laces for frayed parts that are likely to break and replace them.

Waterski Tube Bladder Repair

Waterski tubes take a lot of punishment behind the boat. Something will give sooner or later. If your tube has completely disintegrated, it's probably time for a replacement, but small tears and holes in the bladder are completely repairable. Most people only notice them when they take the tube out on the water and watch it gradually deflate while in use. Remove your tube bladder, fully inflate it, and leave it to sit overnight to get ahead of the game. If the tube has deflated, there is a small leak. A thorough visual inspection will help you find the leak. If you still can't find the hole, try spraying it with soapy water and looking for bubbles. If the hole is on the bladder's surface, repair it with a tube repair patch kit. If the leak is coming from the bladder seam, a patch will not hold when the tube is reinflated. We recommend applying Aquaseal directly over the hole without using a patch.

How to Clean Your Wakeboard

Wakeboards are built to withstand marine environments, but basic maintenance is required to keep your board in top condition. If your wakeboard isn't properly cared for it can end up costing you more in the long run and ruin your riding experience.

Keep your wakeboard in pristine condition by following the below simple steps.

Rinse With Cold Water

After being in saltwater, everything needs to be rinsed, including your wakeboard. Rinse the fibreglass with fresh water, especially bindings and fin hardware. Metal or chrome fittings can become corroded with salt water, resulting in expensive repairs and loose fittings. Rinse salt from any metal parts to avoid this.

Avoid Using Sunscreen

Lotions and oils should never be used on your bindings. Oil can cause the rubber in your bindings to deteriorate and become slippery. Bindings that are lubricated can cause your foot to slide out, making control of the board difficult. To avoid injury when you crash, you want either both feet to come completely out of the boots or both feet to stay in the boots. During a crash, having one foot in and one foot out is extremely dangerous!

Examine for Wear and Tear

Before heading out for the day, inspect the board and bindings for cracks or tears. Boards can be broken simply by going big or landing awkwardly. Breaks usually begin as minor cracks near the boots/bindings' mounting location. Check for tears or cracks in the boot/bindings. Riding with even the smallest tear can ruin the board. While inspecting for tears, make sure the binding hardware and wakeboard fins are secure. If the fins come off the wakeboard, they will sink immediately, and you need those to ride.

Store Your Wakeboard in the Shade

Wakeboards spend a lot of time in the sun while out on the water, so keep them in the shade when you return to the dock. The sun will oxidise the colour of your wakeboard over time, but with proper precautions, this can be delayed. Wax your board once a season to keep it looking good. Regular Carnauba wax will suffice to seal in the colour of your wakeboard.

Maintaining your wakeboard on a regular basis can help keep it looking new for years. It only takes a few minutes and is well worth it if you find the right wakeboard for you!

how to look after your wakeboard

How To Apply Wax To Your Wakeboard

If you’re a cable wakeboard, ensure you take some time to wax the base of your wakeboard. Waxing your board will increase your speed over obstacles and keep it from hooking up on scratches and dents in the base. But don't just use any wax. Some skateboard or snowboard waxes are not water repellent, so they will not work properly and may even cause damage to your board. Use wakeboard wax which is the best option for getting your wakeboard ready for the park. Using wakeboard wax on the top deck of your wakeboard can also help to prevent sun discoloration and damage. This is worthwhile for both cable and boat riders!

Wakeboarding Gear Maintenance Tips

  • Keep your wakeboard out of the sun for extended periods of time. The sun, like skin, deteriorates gear.
  • After using salt water, rinse your equipment with fresh water.
  • Every time you ride, inspect your board and bindings. A small tear can quickly become a ruined board or binding.
  • Before riding the board, replace any worn or damaged parts.
  • Check the fins to ensure they are secure. They disintegrate like sunglasses.
  • Before each ride, make sure the binding retention bolts are tight.
  • Use a wakeboard bag to store and transport your equipment. Bags protect your boat from bumps, scratches, and prolonged sun exposure. Before storing your wakeboard in its bag for an extended period of time, make sure it is completely dry.
  • Keep your equipment in a cool, dry place.

Wakeboarding & Waterski Rope Maintenance Tips

  • Store the rope away from direct sunlight because UV rays can cause the fibres in the rope to break down.
  • After each use, rinse the rope with fresh water and wash it to prevent dirt from penetrating the rope and causing weak spots.
  • Alternate between two ropes, using each for a long time before switching to the alternate. Wakeboard ropes stretch over time, and rotating your ropes will prevent permanent stretch.
how to look after waterski equipment, waterski rope maintenance

Tips for Winter Storage of Waterskis, Wakeboards & Equipment

Your ski gear, like your boat and motor, must be properly stored for the winter. While today's equipment is built to last and requires little maintenance, a little effort and care in use and storage will keep your ski gear in good shape for many seasons.

Here are some pointers for preparing your waterski equipment for storage. While long-term storage is more important, these general guidelines apply to everyday care of your gear and will extend its useful life.

The sun is the leading cause of equipment deterioration and premature failure. Always keep your ski equipment dry and out of the sun. Ski equipment used in salt water must be thoroughly rinsed to remove all salt after each use, especially before storage.

All of your ski equipment should be kept clean (clean any dirt with a mild soap and water solution), dry (moisture will destroy materials, seams, and glues), and out of direct sunlight. Even indirect sunlight, such as sunlight streaming through a window during the day, can fade graphics and colours.

Wetsuits are the most delicate piece of ski equipment in terms of care and storage. Wetsuits should be kept clean and dry at all times. The wetsuit should ideally be stuffed with newspaper and the zipper closed. Then, lay the suit flat and store it under a bed or somewhere completely out of direct sunlight.

Broad hangers can also be used to hang and store wetsuits. A high-quality large suit hanger will also suffice. Use of wire or narrow hangers will cause excessive stress on the material and seams, potentially causing permanent damage. Wetsuits should be stored in the back of a closet, where they will be out of the way and out of direct sunlight.

Accessories made of neoprene such as hoods, booties, and neoprene vests should also be stored clean, dry, and out of direct sunlight, with the weight of the garment distributed as evenly as possible.

Kneeboards, skis, and wakeboards should all be stored away from direct sunlight and in a location where they will not accumulate scratches and dings. Storing items under a bed or horizontally overhead with only two points of support is recommended. While it may be tempting to store skis "on display," a ski leaning against a wall may be bumped, knocked over, and damaged on occasion.

Skis and boards should be stored in a fitted case or wrapped in plastic or cloth. If your slalom bag causes your high-wrap bindings to bend down, leave the bag open and cover the open areas with a plastic bag or towel.

Ropes and life jackets should be stored in the same way; clean, dry, and out of direct sunlight. The bright colours of polypropylene ski lines will fade quickly in the sun.

Your ski gear should last several seasons and survive many long winter lay-ups with just a little effort and proper care.

 

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