How to Repair a SurfmatI am constantly being asked what is the best way to repair a punctured mat.
We all have accidents from time to time and there is a few little tricks to make it an easy job.
Holes and tears come in all shapes and sizes.
Here is a few common ones that we will study and use in our Master Class.
First there are pinholes theses can happen from a variety of minor incidents.
These little buggers can be hard to find sometimes.
There is a simple trick to locate these that we will discuss a later.
Although they look nasty they are relatively easy to fix.
Third ones are tears and this kind of damage is nasty and can be a challenge to repair
Ok now lets get to work and get these problems fixed.
My preferred adhesives are wet-suit glue which is a rubberized contact cement, and if wet-suit glue is not available contact cement will do and for the big tears a urethane cement like Aqua Seal is ideal.
Right lets get to it.
First thing we have to do is locate the holes and hardest ones to find are the pin holes.
By simply using dish washing liquid and wetting the mat you will soon find the problem and the hole.
Blow your mat up extra hard and wet the mat with soap.
You,ll soon see bubbles where the hole is.
Pin holes and punctures are repaired the same way.
Tears are a little different but we,ll get to them in a minute.
One of the problems with wet-suit glue is as it drys it curls your patch up.
The best way to do this is to reverse a piece of tape and stick it down on a flat surface.
Smooth side down and material to material for the best mechanical bond.
You also very slightly scuff the material with some 280 grit for an even better bond.
Now apply wet-suit glue to the patch and the hole on the mat and wait for it to dry.
Make sure you massage the first layer of glue into the fabric and make sure it is wet out properly.
Apply at least 2 or 3 layers of glue to the mat and the patch.
Make sure the circumference of glue is bigger than the patch.
If the corners peel up on bigger holes like a puncture wait till the glue is dry and use a blunt object and push the curled pieces back down until they knead together flat.
Once the glue is dry carefully peel your band-aid up being careful to keep it all together and apply the patch in rolling action. This eliminates any issues with getting air under your patch.
Apply pressure to make sure there is no air under the patch and there is good adhesion.
Leave for 24hours and your good to go.
Be super carefully removing the sticky tape from the patch and don,t try and do it too early or too fast or you can rip the patch off before the glue is cured.
Now we will deal with the nasty rips and tears.
The same process applies but first we have to stabilize the the tear.
If we do not do this the exterior patch may not be able to deal with the internal pressure exerted on the tear by surfing.
We do this by placing an internal patch first.
You will need to sacrifice a piece of your carry bag for this operation.
Cut a piece of fabric that is at least an inch bigger than your tear all around.
We do not want to glue the mat together internally during this process.
The extra material allows for a bit of bleed off of the glue.
Cut 2 large patches. One for the internal repair and one for the exterior repair.
Place one of the large patch inside the tear making sure you have smooth side to the smooth internal side of the mat.
For this process we use the AQUASEAL urethane cement.
Its slow to go off so you have plenty of time to get this right.
Run a little glue around the inside of the tear and position the internal patch.
Apply tape to hold the tear in aliment and wait for 24 hours to dry.
Then repeat the first process with wet-suit glue at the beginning of the class and your mats as good as new and ready to go.
Well I hope this lesson makes life a little easier for you when it comes to fixing your mat when those unexpected surprises happens.
Instead of O NO..its ok I can fix it.
Thanks to Tom Carroll and his dust up with the rocks and barnacles at Little Avalon for the making of this lesson.
Have fun and happy surf mat sliding everyone.