On this page:
- Caring for your SUP board.
- Installing the fin.
- Cutting your stand up paddle to the proper length.
- Replacing the deck pad.
With proper care, your Jimmy Lewis board will last for many seasons of riding pleasure. Here are a few tips that will help you take good care of your board and it applies to most other brands.
Almost all damage occurs to boards when they are being loaded or transported, so please be EXTRA careful when you’re loading and unloading your wet boards from your vehicle. Wind gusts can blow your board off before it’s tied down, so never leave it sitting up there loose (trust us on this!).
Sun and heat are the enemy! We highly recommend keeping your board in a padded board bag made with reflective or light-coloured material when transporting. Do not leave your board in a hot vehicle for any length of time as damage can occur.
Boards can get hot enough in the sun to de-laminate and/or soften up the adhesive on the deck pad, so try to keep them as cool as possible at all times. Boards are not warrantied against damage caused by excessive heat or improper storage.
If your board is equipped with a Gore air vent, it is maintenance free. They are somewhat fragile, so don’t mess with them!
Important! Do not store your board in a wet board bag — dry it out before leaving it in a bag for any length of time to avoid paint blisters from osmosis and mold (not to mention odors). Blisters in the paint on your board are always due to improper storage and are not covered under warranty.
When your board is not being used, place it deck-down on the beach as you would with any surfboard.
Inspect your board carefully if you suspect that it has been hit on a rock or other hard object, or if you have run aground. If you determine that it might leak water, you must seal it before use! Plastic packing tape or epoxy putty can be used on small holes temporarily, but you should have the board repaired professionally as soon as possible. Duct tape is not recommended, but is better than nothing. Five-minute epoxy can be used in an emergency but it will have to be removed before a proper repair is done (it doesn’t harden up enough for a solid repair). If a fin box has any cracks that might allow water in, it should be replaced by a professional board repair shop before use! Water can seep into any crack in the board and it is almost impossible to get it out. It will not damage the board, but will add a lot of unnecessary weight. Damage from impacts or improper use is not covered under warranty.
Winter storage? You may let your boards freeze – it will not damage them.
Installing the fin (single fin boards):
Undo the fin screw and slide the metal fin plate nut into the center slot in the fin box and slide it all the way to the front of the fin box using a screwdriver.
Insert the back of the fin into the center of the fin box and slide it to the desired location. Normally this will be right at the back of the box for flat water paddling, and more forward for surfing. Putting the fin at the back of the fin box makes the board track straighter but makes it harder to turn and vice-verse for the fin set more forward in the box.
Push the fin down into the box so that it is flush with the bottom of the board.
Slide the metal plate under the fin and line up the hole in the fin with the hole in the fin plate.
Insert the screw and tighten firmly (not too tight) and you’re ready to paddle!
Installing the fins (quad and tri-fin boards with Future fin boxes):
Insert the fins tail-first with the flat side towards the center of the board. Push the fins down so they are flush with the board and tighten with a surfboard fin key (available at any board shop or hardware store). Do not over-tighten! The hex screws only need to be snug and can be stripped if you over-tighten them. If the fins are a little too tight to go in by hand, you can “lightly” tap them in with a rubber mallet, or sand the edges of the fin box with sandpaper or a file (be careful not to scratch the board).
Many people like their paddles cut to 8″ (20 cm) taller than they are; i.e. if you’re 6 feet tall’, cut the paddle to 6 feet, 8 inches. The current trend for pure wave riding, is to use a paddle that is only 3 to 4 inches taller than you are. If in doubt, leave it a little long and you can re-cut it shorter after you try it.
To cut the shaft, use a sharp, fine-bladed hacksaw (a chop saw or table saw will also work well). Mark the cut with masking or electrical tape and rotate the shaft while cutting it so that it doesn’t splinter when you get through to the end. Sand off any rough edges with sandpaper or a file.
Glue the handle on with two part epoxy and use plenty to ensure that it is fully sealed. Five-minute epoxy works well (you must work quickly with it!) Mix the epoxy very well with a stir stick (tongue depressor) or plastic spoon in a disposable cup and pour it onto the handle. Make sure the handle is on straight before the epoxy sets by checking it on a level floor or table. Once it’s lined up the way you like it, wipe off any excess resin with a rag, then stand the paddle on the handle-end until the epoxy cures. This will ensure that the epoxy seals the handle to the shaft with no possibility of water getting in.
Alternate method: Hot glue can be used to attach the handle to the shaft. Heat with a hair dryer or hot air gun to melt the glue. Be careful to not melt plastic handles.
With Jimmy Lewis handles, it is possible to remove them later on if you find that the shaft is too long. Just heat with a hair dryer then tap it off carefully with a hammer and re-glue with epoxy or hot glue.
It’s a very good idea to tape the edges of your blade so that it won’t scratch the rails or the deck of your board. Use one or two layers of high-quality electrical tape in your choice of colour, or special SUP paddle tape. You might have to replace it every few months, but it’s cheap insurance.
If your deck pad is lifting up at the edges, you can glue it back down with some spray glue such as 3M High-Strength 90, which is available at Canadian Tire, or most hardware stores. Please fix the pad before it rips. Note: deck pads are not covered under warranty.
Replacing Deck Pad
If your deck pad is ready for replacement, here’s how to do it:
Warm up the board in the sun and peel the old pad off carefully. It’s best to move very slowly and try not to rip it. After the rubber is all off, it’s time to get the glue off. Cover the entire area with a thick layer of paper towels or an old bedsheet. Saturate the paper towels heavily with paint thinner (Varsol) then wrap the area in poly film (plastic drop sheet, or garbage bags, etc). It will take about a liter of paint thinner or more – don’t skimp. More is better.
Note: Do not use lacquer thinner as it will damage the clear-coat on the board.
Let the thinner soak in overnight, or as long as possible.The paint thinner will soften the glue so you can use a plastic squeegee, or old credit card, to get the gunk off. MAKE SURE TO DO THIS IN A WELL VENTILATED AREA! After all the glue is off, it’s easy to apply the new pad.
Mark the centerline on the board and the pad so you’ll have a guide to go with. Start from the center and push it down toward the edges — having a friend to help at this stage is very helpful. Once you have it in place, put the board on a carpet or other soft surface (remove the fins), and walk all over it with bare feet to make sure that it is stuck down well.
Here’s an excellent video from Jimmy on how to install your deck pad properly.
We highly recommend using rail tape on your boards to keep them looking new indefinitely. Click here, for a video on how to apply it easily.
Enjoy your Jimmy Lewis boards!