Wood boards do require special care. Because our boards are hollow, two vents are required to accommodate air pressure changes. Atmospheric changes and thermal changes can exert great forces on hollow wooden boards if not allowed to vent. We use a custom constructed vent/leash plug on our boards for a safe, secure, and simple vent solution. Note on boards designed specifically for surf we often use a dedicated leash plug.
At all times when the board is out of the water, the screw vent should be open. When driving through even moderate elevation changes with a board, shipping by air or if a board is baking in the sun, the expansion/contraction rate can cause the board to inflate, damaging the board. Same situation as when your chip bag or water bottle builds pressure when you travel to the mountains.
Wood boards should be rinsed with fresh water before storage and may be occasionally waxed. Salt water is very corrosive and while our boards are designed to be used in salt water, a rinse with fresh water keeps salt deposits from prematurely degrading the finish. Boards may be waxed with a automotive wax to further protect the finish. If there are any traction pads on your board, take care not to get wax on the traction.
The board should be stored in a board bag at all times when not in use, unless you can’t stop yourself from displaying it over your mini bar. This protects the epoxy coating from yellowing and becoming brittle over years of use. It also protects the board from dings and damage. We find the most common damage to boards is from car top transportation and from paddles being smashed into the deck or rails during falls. Rails and decks are reinforced with double or triple layers of glass for increased impact resistance. Less common damage occurs when hitting bottom, being dropped or from other accidents.
If a board is damaged it can be repaired easily by someone with glassing and perhaps woodworking experience (depending upon the extent of damage). A board may be temporarily patched using packing or duct tape in a pinch. Most important is to prevent water from entering the board. If the board is damaged and does take on water, let it dry out completely before attempting a repair.