By John DeMeo
One of the best parts of the outdoors is being near the water. One creative way to be on the water is with a standup paddle board. While these range in price and features, the way I purchased mine was on Craigslist. You should always use safe online practices when purchasing through Craigslist and never give out your personal information. Be sure to meet in a 3rd party location and take a friend with you. With my purchase though, it did need a little maintenance but the major components were perfectly fine. I had a friend of mine who knows more about them then I do test it on the water before I purchased it.
The one major need besides a good scrub was new deck foam. I searched all over the internet on how to replace the foam pads on my Jackson SUPerFISHal but came up with nothing. There were a few threads that mentioned some ideas but no one gave a clear and easy description on how to do this. Below, I will explain the steps I took to remove and reapply brand new deck foam on my board. I spoke with a Jackson representative who helped walk me through the process and give me good insight on the proper procedure.
Clean the board off from any loose debris or dirt. The following process is messy but being able to minimize it helps keep you on track. You don’t have to scrub it clean, but it is a good idea to do a quick wipe down.
Remove the foam pads by simply pulling up on a corner and working your hand behind the foam. Try to pull it off in one piece and take your time. If you go too quickly the foam can rip off, making it harder to get the rest off.
Use a blade from a classic retractable blade knife to scrape off any remaining foam pieces. Lay the knife horizontally to the board to get the most scraping surface. Apply pressure and run it over the foam area until it scrapes off. It is easiest to do this while the foam is still dry.
After the foam has been cleared (most of it) it is now time to move on to removing some of the glue. The goal is to first get any of the “dirty” glue off and some of the other glue. Jackson said that it is not imperative to remove every bit of the glue, but any dirty glue should be removed. I used Goof Off and it seemed to work well, but it was still not magic. Always be sure to test it on one area first to be sure it does not harm your surface, but for me it did not. I would spray it liberally on the area and let it sit for two to three minutes. After I waited, I would use the blade again to scrape the glue off going back and forth. I always made sure the edges were clean and the surface clear of any glue clumps because I knew when I reapplied new foam I wanted there to be a good seal. After I scraped it off I wiped the surface with a dry towel so that the chemical agent didn’t remain on the board.
After repeating this process for each foam area I was left with a board with no foam pads on it! I then rinsed the board off with a lot of water so that no chemical residue was left on it and all debris was now off. I dried it with a new towel and placed it flat on the ground again.
Once the board is dry, I used a hair dryer to heat the desired area on the board. Jackson said that they foam has the best seal when both the board and the glue on the back of the foam is heated up first. The back paper on the foam peels off and then is stuck to the area you desire. The easiest way I found to take the back piece of paper off was to carefully peel up a corner, rip a piece of the paper then re-apply it to the corner so you can grab the foam and peel off the rest of the paper. BE VERY CAREFUL, once you place it on the board…it is stuck! There are no chances of reapplying it in a slightly different spot.
Once all the pads are on, store your board for at least 12 to 24 hours with heavy objects on top of it to keep pressure applied to the newly stuck foam pads. This will help ensure a tight fit to the board.
The whole process took about 3 hours but did take some real elbow grease. I am excited to use my board and hit the water!