Wakeboarding is a thrilling sport indeed. But not all of it is fun and games; there are responsibilities involved as well. Aside from learning how to keep yourself safe, you also need to have some idea on how to clean the wakeboard and wakeboard tower.
Maintaining your wakeboard and accessories so they remain in a good condition is essential and sensible. That’s because the condition of your tools impacts your performance greatly. In fact, neglecting your board and tower can even lead to terrible accidents.
In today’s blog post we are going to walk you through all the ways you can maintain your wakeboard and wakeboard tower’s condition. You’re going to learn what to do and what not to do when preserving the quality of your precious gear. Let’s get started!
How to Clean Wakeboard and Wakeboard Tower?
More than the other wakeboarding gears, the wakeboard itself and the tower are two things that require maintenance the most. Well, that’s only to be expected; these two things are usually the most expensive!
First, let’s take a look at ways to keep your wakeboard clean and pristine. Later, we will talk about wakeboard tower maintenance in detail.
How to Clean Wakeboard?
There are 4 main principles to keep your wakeboard clean and properly maintained. These are :
- Rinse off With Freshwater
This step is crucial for people who use their wakeboard to surf in the marine environment. After hours of exposure to the corrosive sea spray, your wakeboard would need a strong spray of fresh water to clean off all the salt.
There are quite a few reasons why you need to wash off the salt. The first reason is, it can cause structural failure of your wakeboard. Your wakeboard’s metal parts are susceptible to corrosion due to the salt, and it’s imperative to get rid of the salt water as soon as you’re done surfing.
Even the rubber or fiberglass parts of your wakeboard aren’t immune to the harmful effects of saltwater. Some people might notice a gradual discoloration of their board. That tends to happen if you’re not diligent about washing off the salt water quickly.
Sometimes, a cursory hosing off isn’t enough to get all the salt out of your wakeboard. Depending on your wakeboard’s build, there might be a lot of hidden nooks and crannies. Saltwater and sand may cling there stubbornly and speed up deterioration.
A good way to prevent this is to pay attention to your wakeboard while you’re washing it. If you notice sand clinging to the smaller parts, take a toothbrush and scrub them thoroughly.
Now, I know a lot of people use their wakeboards in freshwater. You may think it is unnecessary to wash your wakeboard afterwards since it was on water all along! But that’s wrong, and you do need to wash your wakeboard.
A big reason for that is grime that your wakeboard will pick up no matter where you’re using it. Washing it after every use prevents discoloration and deterioration. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this advice later.
- Keep Away From Direct Sunlight
After you’re done washing your wakeboard, the next logical step is to dry it in sunlight, right? Nope! You should never dry your wakeboard in direct sunlight. In fact, try to keep it in shade as much as possible.
When you’re wakeboarding, you’re out in full sunlight. But when you’re done, you should put it in shade as quickly as possible. It prevents the deterioration of the materials from the harmful rays of the sun.
When you’re handling a used wakeboard, you will sometimes notice the color has faded or yellowed. Often that is due to prolonged and unnecessary sun exposure.
Other than aesthetic reasons, you should also keep your wakeboard away from the sun for practical reasons. Plastic and rubber parts will deteriorate the longer you put the wakeboard and its accessories out in the sun. This can cause accidents and cause you to lose a lot of money.
The obvious solution is to keep your wakeboard in the shade for storage purposes. After washing it, put it somewhere with shade but also enough ventilation and a breeze for it to air dry. Drying time usually doesn’t depend on wakeboard size, as water tends to slide off almost instantly.
Hanging the bindings upside down is a good idea. You can hang the life jacket and ropes together on a sturdy hanger and air dry them too. Once everything is dry, put it into the garage. Make sure you’re not storing damp gear. That’s a sure way to invite mold.
- Keep Away From oil or Lotion
No matter what activity you’re indulging in, it’s a given that you’ll be wearing sunscreen or some sort of tanning oil or moisturizer when you’re on the beach. However, keep these chemicals away from your wakeboard and its components.
The reason behind this is because oils, lotions, gasoline, and other petroleum products are bad for your board. They can cause the materials to deteriorate. Moreover, these can make your bindings slippery, which is a recipe for disaster.
Even if by accident you get some oil or lotion on your board, make sure to wash it off with freshwater as soon as you’re able to. If you’re desperate for some sort of lubrication, use water or better, use binding lube.
- Regularly check for Deterioration
While it’s not strictly a part of cleaning your wakeboard, it’s still an important process to maintain the gear. Each time before you go on the water, check all your gear for any imperfections, tears, cracks, and fraying.
What looks like a harmless spot or line can turn into a broken part when you’re on the water. Make sure your fins are attached tightly because in case they’re loose, they will sink and you’ll never find them. All your fancy wakeboard moves would be impossible without fins.
Similarly, make sure the bindings and the screws are tightened properly. Do all of this even before stepping onto the water. If you find something wrong, replace that part immediately. Just as you would check your wakeboard length diligently before buying, also check the small details.
Some people tend to wax their boards to prevent discoloration and deterioration. Some even use abrasive cleaners. I personally only suggest using fresh water and mild soap. If you’re unsure about how to properly clean your wakeboard and bindings, it’s best to check with the manufacturer.
For example, you have gear from CWB. What does CWB stand for wakeboard? It’s a brand that makes a variety of boards and bindings, and they’ll be able to instruct you on how best to find a specific type of gear.
How to Clean Wakeboard Tower?
There are two types of material that wakeboards are usually made of. Therefore, naturally there are two different ways to clean. Keep reading to learn both-
- Polished Aluminum
Most wakeboard towers are made of polished aluminum and that’s for a good cause. Polished aluminum is easy to clean and maintain. Even when there’s already some damage, you can restore it to a usable state.
It’s easy for metal to get corroded in the marine environment, and that’s also true for your wakeboard tower. Make sure you know whether your tower is polished or anodized, because they’re quite different to maintain.
Polished aluminum is easy to maintain because the polish is smooth and has a mirror-like finish. Water tends to roll off the surface and that reduces the chances of corrosion.
Since corrosion is less likely, usually polished aluminum towers are affected by pollutants in the air that can scratch the surface. If you’re diligent about cleaning and polishing your tower regularly, this has less chances of happening.
In general, it’s a good idea to wash off your tower with clean and fresh water every time you’ve come back from the water. In case the water is hard or has residues, you need to wipe it down with a soft, clean microfiber cloth. Otherwise, there will be unsightly water spots left.
If you’ve neglected to clean your tower in the past, there might be imperfections on the surface already. There could also be mineral and pollutant residue that doesn’t budge from simple water and mild soap. In that case, you need to use an aluminum polish after cleaning off the surface grime.
Be aware that polishing too often or too vigorously can do more harm than good. Using chemicals that are abrasive or improper for polished aluminum is also not something I would advise. Moreover, you should also not mix different cleaners.
- Powder-Coated Finish
Powder-coated finish tends to be more matte than polished finishes, and more sturdy as well. However, damage may still occur. Just like polished aluminum, powder-coated towers should also be cleaned with water after every use.
It should be noted that no matter how dirty you think the tower is, you should stick to using water and mild detergent to clean it. Using rough clothes or sponges is a no-no, and the same goes for rough brushes.
If you feel that you need to use something stronger than water and soap, you can go ahead and use white spirit. However, check with the manufacturer if even that is allowed or not. It will help to maintain your wakeboard tower’s structural integrity in the long run.
Some More Tips to Maintain Your Wakeboard Tower:
- Make sure you don’t skimp on cleaning the tower regularly. Neglecting to clean it after every use will cause a buildup of grime and then cleaning it off will be an unnecessary hassle.
- When you’re buying accessories for your wakeboard tower, make sure they are marine-grade. This means that the speakers and lights should be waterproof or at the very least, water-resistant. Buying ones that are especially immune to rust is also a good idea.
- Aside from cleaning the wakeboard tower after every use, you should also check it before every use. Make sure all the bolts, nuts, and screws are tight and secured. This will prevent any untoward accidents while you’re out on the water.
- Your marine lights are part of the wakeboard tower. Even if you usually go out on the water during the daytime, you should keep the lights in good condition so they don’t fail you during an emergency. Keep them clean and shining using a mild glass cleaner.
- Wakeboard racks are perhaps the most important part of the tower for a wakeboarder, as it holds all your beloved gear. You should treat the racks the same way you’d treat your boards. Wash the saltwater off after every use and dry it properly. Once in a while, clean it with a mild detergent. You can also purchase a polyester cover to keep it protected when not in use.
- Just like the lights and racks, keep an eye on your mirrors as well. Don’t let water spots build up on them. Clean them with a glass cleaner and you can buy covers for them as well.
- If your wakeboard tower is made of anodized aluminum, you can use a metal wax and a rug to clean it. Be careful to pick a polish or wax that’s especially for anodized aluminum.
- You might be tempted to use hot water to melt off some of the grime from your wakeboard tower, but that’s a really bad idea. At best, if there’s grime stuck in hard-to-reach places, you can just use soap and water on a toothbrush.
Now that we’re at the end of this blog post, I’m hoping you know the ins and outs of how to clean wakeboard and wakeboard towers. This is the knowledge that you should acquire even before you’re starting to learn how to wakeboard. Keeping your gear in pristine condition is something anyone should learn.
Now that you know, make sure your wakeboards and wakeboard tower never gets too grimy or even close to rusty. Prevention is better than cure, and regular maintenance can save you so much cleaning and repairing down the road.