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Local surfer Neal Durling in his surfboard repair workshop.

Dinged by Bill?

Local surfer Neal Durling in his surfboard repair workshop.

Local surfer Neal Durling in his surfboard repair workshop.

With Hurricane Bill having blow though Nova Scotia, there are no doubt a few surfers with fresh dings on their beloved surfboards.

In the coming days, some of those surfers will likely be paying a visit to Neal Durling, who has become one of the go-to guys for surfboard repairs in the Halifax area.

ScotiaSurfer.com recently caught up with Neal at his workshop in Cow Bay.

SS: How long have you been repairing boards? When did you decide to start a business?

ND: I’ve been repairing boards since I started surfing 12 years ago. I taught myself, and learned mainly on my own boards, by trial and error, and a bit of research.

I didn’t ever “decide” to start a business; it just kind of turned into that when some friends of mine started asking me to fix their boards, after they had noticed I was doing a pretty decent job on mine.

I guess I’ve been doing it for money for about three years now, though.

SS: How can you avoid damaging your board?

ND: I always tell people that if you surf, you’re going to get a ding eventually, no matter how well you take care of your board.

The only boards that don’t get dinged are ones that hang on a wall or sit in a corner somewhere. Other than that, remember to tie your boards down to the racks before driving away.

SS: What sort of prices do you charge? How long does it take for a repair job?

ND: Price and time vary quite a lot and I can’t give you any meaningful “general estimate.” Prices will vary based on the amount and nature of damage, how much labour is required and the cost of materials necessary to fix everything.

I work on a first-come-first-served basis, so the amount of time will depend on how many boards are in the queue.

SS: What’s the best way to get a board to you?

ND: Drop it off at Kannon Beach, or email me at neal_durling@hotmail.com, and we’ll arrange a time I can grab it.

SS: Do you make boards as well?

ND: Giving it a crack soon. Won’t be selling any time soon. Too many good boards out there to compete with, unless I am turning out a really good product. We’ll see…

When Neal is not fixing surfboards or working at Kannon Beach Surf Shop, he can be found out on the breaks around Nova Scotia. Neal is sponsored bu O’Neill, Kannon Beach and Dakine.

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