When it comes to sport, it is essential to take good care of the equipment you use. You should also look after any special clothes and shoes that you need, as this will help prolong their life. Failing to perform the appropriate maintenance checks on your equipment means you may miss issues that could cause you a problem. The big question when it comes to surf kit, (that’s everything from your board to your surf robe), is just how often do you need to replace items?

Surfboard

As the most expensive piece of surfing equipment it is understandable that you will want to take good care of your surfboard. After all, it is overall a relatively flimsy piece of equipment that you put through a lot. Follow a good maintenance routine of rinsing the salt water off your board after surfing, ensuring it is completely dry and then repair any dings as soon as you can – certainly before you surf again. Use a board bag for storage and make sure you store your board correctly. After all, it doesn’t take much to knock it over, which could damage it. Doing all these things will really help to prolong the life of your board. Experts suggest that you really shouldn’t need to replace your surfboard that often, especially if you look after it properly. So, while you don’t need to replace it that often many surfers like to buy a new board every couple of years, and of course, a board that has been looked after is not difficult to sell on!

Leash

While some surfers claim not to use their leash it is a good idea to do so; it can prevent you from losing your board where it might hit someone else or get caught on something and damaged. Again, you should make sure you rinse the salt water off it and allow it to dry before storing, this will help increase its lifespan. Check it regularly, and if it is looking damaged then replace it, otherwise it should last at least a year with regular use, longer if you do not surf all the time. It is one of those items that you may prefer to replace before it is damaged rather than waiting for it to happen.

Wetsuit

After your surfboard, your wetsuit is probably the piece of equipment that takes the most punishment. Over time the elasticity of your wetsuit will change, used daily it is likely to stretch however if you buy a wetsuit and then rarely use it you will find that it may become a little harder and will appear to have “shrunk” when you next wear it. Whether you use it or not a wetsuit most definitely has a shelf life. It is difficult to say how long a wetsuit will actually last there are obviously a number of variables that come into play. How often is it worn? Whether it is rinsed off properly? How is it dried – direct sunlight or not? The quality of the wetsuit in the first place. You put your wetsuit through a lot, so it seems fair to suggest that if you buy a top of the range wetsuit and surf every other day, then you should only expect it to last the one season. If you surf less two seasons, it should be okay. An entry level suit, the sort someone who only surfs once a week or less is more likely to buy should last a little longer.