– This one isn’t about soft tops but about regular surfboards –
If you landed on this page, then probably one of your favorite toys doesn’t look as virgin white as it did when you got it from the surf shop. Bummer! It’s such a shame that epoxy or fiberglass surfboards turn yellow.
So, why does a surfboard turn yellow? The short answer is: exposure to UV radiation. If the board has been in the sun too much, it’s resin and foam can slowly turn from white to yellow. But why do some boards turn yellow only after a few months, and others never? And what can you do about it? And do surfboards exist that don’t turn yellow?
Why does a surfboard turn yellow?
It’s a common thought that it’s the resin – the top-layer of the board – that turns yellow. However, most poly resins used in surfboard construction have a UV filter additive.
This resin should protect itself and the foam underneath it from UV damage. But even if the resin has this UV filter additive – the foam can still yellow, eventually. Prolonged exposure to the sun can speed up this process. Resin will also yellow over time, but not as fast as foam exposed to direct sunlight.
Exposure to heat and sunlight degrades all surfboards over time – those with and without UV inhibitors and stabilizers. Yellowing is likely if left in the sun and heat. Let’s face it: it’s virtually impossible to keep your board out of the sun and heat ALL the time. Long road trips, hot summer sessions…
And although it’s not the prettiest look…yellowing doesn’t necessarily mean your board isn’t working anymore. You can just continue to surf it.
Sometimes, if the yellow spot is very local, it might indicate that the foam might have gotten wet. Pay attention to possible delaminating. At that point the board needs a repair.
How to prevent your surfboard from turning yellow?
The obvious: don’t leave it out in the sunlight after surfing. Cover the board in a sock or board bag. In your house, store the board in a dim lit corner.
Surfboards that don’t turn yellow
In white surfboards the yellow is most visible. If you get a colored surf board instead of a white one – you won’t notice the UV damage. I had a blue surfboard and a yellow one. Both of them got a bit faded in the deck (especially where there was no wax). But they ‘aged’ much better than my white board.