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We have all seen the amazing stunts performed by surfers along our shores. Whilst older surfboards are longer and possibly heavier than their modern counterparts, they all perform the same function - to allow surfers to fearlessly and skillfully ride the waves close to shore. This is a very popular hobby for the keen amateur surfer, and provides a good living for professionals, but no matter what level the surfer is at, surfboards do suffer damage with use. It has been said that if you want to own a surfboard which is in absolutely perfect condition, leave it safely stored and never use it, as normal wear and tear alone will create pressure dents from knees and feet, dings, cracks and scratches, as well as sun and corrosive salt-water damage if not adequately protected. If these bother you or affect the performance of your board, you will probably need the services of a surfboard and fiberglass repair specialist to sort them out professionally.
Most modern surfboards are constructed from polyurethane or polystyrene foam covered with layers of fiberglass cloth, and polyester or epoxy resin, providing a lightweight and strong surfboard that is extremely buoyant and manoeuvrable. It is a far cry from the original surfboards that were invented in Hawaii and which were constructed from hard and heavy woods - sometimes weighing up to 60 kg - making them difficult to transport and travel with. Because of its light weight and high strength properties and its ability to provide protection from rust, fibreglass is used in many different applications across many industries, including swimming pools, hot tubs, baths and enclosures, boats, aeroplanes, motor-vehicles, water- and septic-tanks, high-volume storage tanks, roofing, high-thermal insulation and orthopaedic casts. The water treatment industry also makes use of fiberglass covers to assist in the control of odours, and its use in cooling towers protects against rust and corrosion. Fibreglass (or glass fibre, to be exact) is manufactured from a reinforced woven plastic material which has embedded randomly laid fine glass fibre yarns held together with a binding resin, which forms an extremely strong, light-weight, corrosion-resistant and resilient material. Fibreglass is exceptionally versatile as it is flexible and therefore able to be molded into different shapes, making it ideal for manufacturing swimming pools and hot tubs, baths, etc. which then just have to be placed in their final positions.
Whilst small repairs to fiberglass items may be carried out by those who are used to carrying out their own general repairs, larger and more complex repairs should be attended to by the professionals. A great deal of care must be taken when working with both fibreglass and resin. Fibreglass dust can affect the skin, lungs, upper respiratory system and the eyes, resulting in soreness and irritation to the throat, nose and eyes, and prolonged contact to exposed skin may lead to dermatitis. Those who suffer from asthma and bronchitis may find that these conditions are aggravated when working with or exposure to fibreglass, as the dust can become lodged in the sinuses or enter the lungs. No adverse long-term health effects will usually result from touching the material. Fibreglass resin produces fumes, even when dry, which may result in dizziness, weakness, fatigue and nausea. Unless you have the knowledge and protective equipment required to work with this material, rather let the professionals deal with the problem.
It is not difficult to find specialists who are able to handle both small and more major repairs to fibreglass structures. At the coast, especially, there are many surfboard manufacturers and repairers who are able to assist when your board has come out of the water in a slightly worse-for-wear condition and needs professional, experienced and knowledgeable experts to get it back to peak performance. If your fibreglass swimming pool, hot tub, bath, water-tank or other fibreglass structure needs attention due to damage sustained or simple wear and tear, you will find the right specialists in a number of places. Following the trend to become visible online, internet searches through sites such as Uptasker will provide you with the names of the right specialists in your area. This site also provides online ratings and customer reviews so it is a quick and easy task to find the top-rated specialist where you need one. You will also find fibreglass repair specialists through home and garden magazines, building, architectural and industrial publications and the Yellow Pages. As always, word of mouth referrals should be your first choice, as many talented, experienced and knowledgeable specialists do not need to advertise and rely on this method for bringing in new clients.
Whether it is a beloved and well-used old friend, or a brand new model, your surfboard must be kept in top condition in order to provide the best performance on the water. Whilst you can certainly carry out minor repairs yourself, the more complex needs such as a cracked rail or nose ding will need the expertise of a specialist. Similarly, if your hot tub or swimming pool, for instance, has sprung a leak or developed a crack call in the professionals to have the job done right, first time. For more tips, see our surfboard and fiberglass specialists’ articles.
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