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The Purpose of Surfboard Socks

Posted by George Johnson on
The Purpose of Surfboard Socks

The purpose of a surfboard sock is to provide a protective cover for your surfboard during transport and storage. Surfboard socks are lightweight and flexible covers that fit snugly over your  board to protect it from scratches, dings, and UV rays.

Transporting your surfboard can be risky, exposure to UV rays, vulnerability to accidental bumps, rough handling can all damage your precious board. A sock provides a layer of protection for your surfboard against these potential hazards.

In addition to protection during transportation, surfboard socks also protect your surfboard during storage. Storing your surfboard in a surfboard sock helps to keep it free from sand and other debris that can accumulate on it, keeping your wax pristine & reducing the need for frequent scraping or full re-waxing. 

Overall, the purpose of a surfboard sock is to provide a convenient and effective way to protect your surfboard and extend its lifespan. By using a surfboard sock, you can ensure that your surfboard stays in good condition and ready for use whenever you want to hit the waves.

The Benefits Of A Surfboard Sock

One of the most important pieces of equipment for any surfer is their surfboard. Surfboards are not only expensive but are commonly bespoke, being difficult to replace should they get damaged beyond repair.  It’s therefore essential to take good care of them, especially when they are being transported or stored. One way to protect your surfboard is by using a surfboard sock. 

Using a surfboard sock carries a number of benefits;

  1. Protection from Scratches and Dings

One of the most significant benefits of using a surfboard sock is that it provides protection from scratches and dings. When you are transporting your surfboard, it can come into contact with other surfboards, car doors, or walls, which can cause scratches or dings. These types of damage may not seem significant at first, but they can accumulate over time and weaken the surfboard's integrity & ability to remain watertight. A surfboard sock provides a protective layer that helps prevent this kind of damage. The sock is made of a stretchy material that conforms to the shape of your surfboard and provides a cushioned layer that absorbs any impact. This makes it less likely that your surfboard will get scratched or dinged, keeping it in better condition for longer.

  1. UV Protection

Another benefit of using a surfboard sock is that it can provide UV protection. The sun's rays can be harmful to your surfboard, causing discoloration or even delamination. Delamination occurs when the layers of a surfboard's construction begin to separate, causing the board to lose its strength and shape. This type of damage can be costly to repair or may even require a new surfboard altogether. A surfboard sock made with materials that provide UV protection can help prevent this type of damage. The sock acts as a barrier between the sun's rays and your surfboard, keeping it safe from the sun's harmful effects. This can help prolong the life of your surfboard and save you money in the long run.

  1. Sand/ Grit Prevention 

Using a surfboard sock equipped with a pull tight drawstring opening can prevent the likes of sand & other elements of grit coming into contact with the board. Preventing any scratches that may have otherwise occurred & critically protecting your wax from soaking up sand/grit. When sand & wax combine, the combination changes the texture of your deck from a soft sticky surface to one more akin to sandpaper. A rough abrasive surface which can be extremely harsh on the skin when padding or wear on the chest panel of a wetsuit if present. Typically a sandy board deck can be fixed with extra wax application if light, or a full wax removal / reapplication is severe. Prevention is the best solution for avoiding these issues, with a surfboard sock forming a physical barrier between your wax and the outside world. 


  1. Convenience

Using a surfboard sock is also convenient. The sock is lightweight and easy to use, making it a convenient option for transporting and storing your board. You can slip the sock over your surfboard, pull tight the drawstring and it’s ready to go. This makes it easy to transport your board to and from the beach without worrying about damage. Due to the fabric nature of surfboard socks, the sock can also be rolled or folded into a compact form to fit inside a backpack or car boot when not in use. Keeping the sock out of the way when not on the board, and easy to transport when on the move. 

  1. Durability

Surfboard socks are made of durable materials that can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use. The materials used to make surfboard socks are designed to be tough and durable, providing long-lasting protection for your surfboard. This means that your surfboard sock can withstand repeated use and still provide the same level of protection. Additionally, surfboard socks are easy to clean, and often machine washable, so you can keep them looking new and fresh for years to come

What To Look For In A Surfboard Sock

When buying a surfboard sock, there are several things to consider to ensure you get the best product that suits your needs. Here are some factors to look out for:

  1. Size and Fit

The size and fit of the surfboard sock is one of the most important factors to consider when making a purchase. You want to make sure that the sock fits your surfboard properly to provide adequate protection. Most surfboard socks come in different sizes to accommodate different surfboard shapes and sizes. Make sure to check the dimensions of your surfboard and compare them to the sock's size to ensure a proper fit.

  1. Material

The material used to make the surfboard sock is another important factor to consider. The most common materials used to make surfboard socks are polyester, nylon, and canvas. Polyester is the most popular material for surfboard socks because it is lightweight, durable, and provides good protection against scratches and dings. Some companies are now looking to produce more environmentally friendly surfboard socks, focusing on using natural or recycled materials to help reduce their impact on the environment. Each surfboard sock should have its constituent materials detailed on either the product label or description, including a percentage breakdown of the materials used in it’s construction. 

  1. Padding and Thickness

The amount of padding and thickness of the surfboard sock is another factor to consider. Some surfboard socks are lightly padded at the nose, while others are heavily padded. A heavily padded sock may provide more protection, but it can also add weight and bulk, making it less convenient for transportation. Another key consideration is the weight/thickness of the panels making up the bulk of the sock & covering the majority of the board. Fabric weight is typically denoted by GSM (Grams Per Square Meter), where typically the higher the number, the thicker / more protective the fabric is. Consider how much padding you need based on your transport needs and the level of protection you want for your surfboard.

  1. Closure System

The closure system of the surfboard sock is another factor to consider. Most surfboard socks have a drawstring closure system, while others have a zip or velcro closure. A zippered closure system provides a secure fit and easy access to your surfboard, but risks damage to the board when coming into contact with the metal teeth/zip of the mechanism.  While a drawstring closure can be more adjustable but may not provide as secure of a fit. It’s important to check the sock uses a quality cord stopper to ensure a tight & secure closure. 

  1. Design and Style

Surfboard socks come in different designs and styles, so consider your personal preferences when making a purchase. Some surfboard socks have a simple design with no graphics, while others have colorful patterns and designs. 

  1. Price

Finally, consider the price of the surfboard sock. Surfboard socks can range in price from around £25 to £65, depending on the size, material, and brand. Consider your budget and needs when making a purchase, and remember that a higher price doesn't always mean better quality. Check the sock description to fully understand the make of of the surf sock, including it’s environmental credentials (virgin vs. recycled materials etc), level of protection offered (padding thickness & fabric GSM etc), fit (width, length & fabric stretch) & designs offered (block colors, patterns, textures etc). 

Comparison Of Socks Vs. Travel Bags

Both surfboard socks and travel bags have their advantages and can be useful for different situations. Here are some advantages of a surfboard sock compared to a travel bag:

  • Lightweight and Compact: Surfboard socks are typically lightweight and compact, making them easy to transport and store. They take up less space than a travel bag and can be easily packed into a backpack or other luggage.

  • Cost-effective: Surfboard socks are generally less expensive than travel bags, making them a more affordable option for surfers who want to protect their board during transportation in cars & on foot. However, for air travel a travel bag is the only option, containing significantly more padding/protection suitable for keeping a surfboard safe inside a cargo hold. For an extra layer of protection, a board can first be placed inside a surfboard sock, before being placed inside a travel bag for air travel. 

  • Protection for Short Trips: Surfboard socks are ideal for protecting your surfboard during short trips, such as when you need to transport your board to a nearby beach. They offer protection against scratches, dings, and UV rays, which is often sufficient for shorter trips  by car & on foot. 

  • Easy to Use: Surfboard socks are easy to use and can be quickly slipped on and off your surfboard. This makes them a convenient option for surfers who need to protect their board on the go.

Ultimately, the choice between a surfboard sock and a travel bag depends on your individual needs and preferences. Surfboard socks are a great option for short trips and provide essential protection for your surfboard, while travel bags offer more comprehensive protection for longer trips or air travel.

How To Care For A Surfboard Sock

Caring for your surfboard sock is important to ensure it lasts as long as possible and continues to provide adequate protection for your surfboard. Here are some tips for caring for your surfboard sock:

  • Rinse with Fresh Water: Regularly rinse your surfboard sock with fresh water to remove any salt or sand that may have accumulated. This will help prevent any damage or wear on the material and zippers. Some surfboard socks are washing machine safe which can speed up the rinsing process. 

  • Hang to Dry: Allow your surfboard sock to air dry completely before storing it. Do not use a dryer or heater to dry your surfboard sock, as this can damage the material and padding.

  • Store Properly: Store your surfboard sock in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in damp areas or leaving it exposed to the elements, as this can cause mildew or mold to develop.

  • Clean as Needed: If your surfboard sock becomes dirty, spot clean it with a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as this can damage the material.

  • Avoid Sharp Objects: When transporting your surfboard in the sock, be careful not to expose it to sharp objects or rough surfaces. This can cause tears or punctures in the material, which can compromise its protective capabilities.

Check for Damage: Regularly check your surfboard sock for any signs of damage, such as tears or holes. If you notice any damage, repair it as soon as possible or consider replacing the sock.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your surfboard sock stays in good condition and provides optimal protection for your surfboard. Proper care and maintenance can help prolong the life of your surfboard sock and save you money in the long run. 

How To Store A Surfboard Sock

Surfboard socks are robust by design, but proper storage of your surfboard sock is important to ensure that it stays in good condition and continues to provide adequate protection for your surfboard. Here are some tips for storing your surfboard sock:

  • Clean and Dry: Before storing your surfboard sock, make sure it is clean and dry. This will help prevent the growth of mold or mildew, which can damage the material and padding.

  • Roll it Up: The best way to store your surfboard sock is to roll it up. Start at one end and roll it up tightly, making sure to keep it as compact as possible. Rolling the sock up will help to prevent wrinkles and creases in the material.

  • Use a Storage Bag: Consider using a storage bag to keep your rolled-up surfboard sock in. A storage bag can help protect your sock from dust, dirt, and other debris that can accumulate on it while it's in storage.

  • Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Store your surfboard sock in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in damp or humid areas, as this can cause mold or mildew to develop.

  • Avoid Pressure or Weight: Do not store heavy items on top of your surfboard sock, as this can cause it to lose its shape or become misshapen.


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