How To Fix A Stripped Surfboard Fin Screw

Sometimes, after excessive usage, it may become apparent that a surfboard fin screw in one of your fin plugs or fin boxes has become stripped and will need to be fixed before using it any further.

It is best not to put this off until later, as it can cause problems with the surf fin and even cause the fin to wobble or fall out, which could prove to be especially dangerous while surfing.

This might seem like a troubling task at first, but it is actually quite easy and simple to do once you know how to get the job done.

The first thing that needs to be done is to clean the box containing the stripped screw with fresh water.

Since your surfboard has most likely been excessively used by this point, it would be pretty understandable to assume there is sand or grit caked onto the fin box.

After cleaning it, ensure that both the fin screw hole and the area around it are clean and then wait for it to finish drying.

Stripped Fin Screw DrillDrill TapWhile you are waiting for this to dry, it is perhaps best to go find yourself a drill and the correct sized bits required to complete fixing the fin.

Aside from the drill itself, a #21 bit will be needed to drill a new hole and a 10/24 tap (if you are repairing a FCS fin screw hole) or 10/32 tap (if you are repairing a Future Fins screw hole) will be needed to re-tap the newly drilled screw hole.

A tap should only cost you about $2 USD from a hardware store.

Once the work area and surfboard fin screw are fully clean and dry and after grabbing the other required items, get some masking tape.

Fix A Stripped Surfboard Fin Screw Masking TapeTake some tape and place it over the screw hole, making sure it covers the hole completely, on the inside cavity of the fin box or fin plug.

This step is done to make sure the resin does not run out the bottom of the hole into your fin plug. This will prevent you from being able to insert the fin tabs into the fin plug after your repair job is complete!

After this is done, you can start preparing the epoxy.  We recommend using quick drying epoxy made for use on fiberglass and plastic, such as Quick Cure 5 Minute Epoxy.

5 Minute Epoxy RepairFill the screw hole with the epoxy and make sure to leave a small space at the top of the screw hole so that drilling can be started with more ease.

After waiting for a few hours for the epoxy to fully dry, grab your drill and the #21 bit and drill a hole through the epoxy.

Take plenty of care to make sure the drilling is in the same angle as the original screw hole.  This is very important to avoid problems when replacing the screw, or else you will have a far larger problem on your hands!

After drilling the hole, use the tap to re-tap the drill hole. Again, take plenty of care to make sure this is done at the same angle as the original screw hole. This cannot be stressed enough!

Now insert a fin into the surfboard fin plug or fin box and replace the surfboard fin screw. Ensure that the surf fin is screwed in as tightly as it can go. If the screw doesn't wobble and is in tightly enough, it's safe to go out and surf again!

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