Care of your Waveski
A few pieces of information to help you keep your ski safe. The two main things to avoid are - excessive sunlight or heat, and breaches to the composite skin. The ski is fairly robust but a few things can make it last longer which is why I have put this together for you.
Your ski is made from EPS (expanded Polystyrene Foam) which are basically little bobbles of foamed plastic, each has a capillary air gap around them.The skin is a composite of glass fibre and epoxy resin. The glass fibre gives the tensional strength and the epoxy resin the adhesion to the epoxy core and its rigidity. Other fibres are used for different mechanical properties, aramid (or ‘kevlar') for impact strength along the rails and carbon fibre for tensional strength along the stringer of the ski.
Any breaches to the composite skin (dings) must be repaired as soon as possible or at least covered with a good adhesive tape I suggest the aluminium duct tape) as a temporary measure. If left, a small split will slowly allow ingress of water that will be ‘sucked’ into the foam core and add weight and prove difficult to remove completely. If you do get a ding and it has gone un-noticed you may notice it coming out in your car or if you leave it in the sun or a warm garage. If you suspect a ding but aren’t sure, heat it up in the sun and observe - the expansion of the capillary air will force water out through any breach.
This is the best way of removing any water ( if you havent access to avaccum pump), put it somewhere where it can heat and cool with the ding down, this action will drive most of the water out. If you have clipped a rock and suspect the fin boxes may have been compromised use the heating method and spray into the box with soapy water, a breach will be evident by bubbles forming.
The ski sis fitted with a breather valve. This has a Gore-tex membrane fitted which allows air to go through it but not water. This then means the ski can equal its internal pressure via this valve. However, its still is inadvisable to leave a ski in a hot car on a sunny spring or summer day in the UK, the breather valve will not allow the pressure to equalise quickly enough and the pressure could be enough to push the ski off the core and ‘delaminate’. This effect is greatly increased with dark coloured graphics, red and black being the worst. I have even seen surfboards that have delaminated by being left in a dark board bag on the roof of a car, but that was in south west France.
Your belt is held int the boxes by a stainless plate that holds it in place. Through use and time the belt material can compress, its advisable to retighten the belt every six months or so or otherwise the belt will be reliant on the screws passing through it and will eventually wear through and tear. It is the clamping action of the plate and not the screw holes that secure the belt. Your belt and buckle must be kept in a good state of repair, if you notice any fraying of the belt replace it, I have never had any problems with the buckle release mechanism. Leave the belt end long as this is the thing you should be trapping too release the belt not the buckle.
The resin is resistant to UV degradation but often pigments are not, so limit the time the ski sis left in direct sunlight or some fading may occur. I have done many tests on pigments and paints and have found that batches an resilience can vary.
Only repair a ski with epoxy resin. The 'subn cure' types are good for some dings and as temporary measures but do not have much structural strength. The main problem with polyester resins is that they will dissolve the EPS core but if you can successfully seal the foam ( eg. with epoxy sun cure) you could use polyester on small splits. If in doubt ask, I will be glad to help.