How to Take Care of Your Stand Up Paddle Board
Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. There’s nothing better than paddling on cool water on a sunny summer day! But the outdoor elements can also wreak havoc on your SUP if you’re not careful, so follow these care and maintenance tips to make your SUP last as long as possible.
RAVE Sports Paddle Boards
1. Watch out for sun damage: Paddling on a sunny day is obviously what your SUP is for, but when you aren’t using your board it should be stored out of direct sunlight. Most quality-made SUPs are constructed of an expanded polystyrene (EPS) water-resistant foam core encased with layers of fiberglass and covered with a clear epoxy coating. Heat from sunlight can make the gas and air inside the foam overheat and swell, which creates pressure on the fiberglass and epoxy skin. The fiberglass will then bubble, crack or split, or layers may peel away from the foam core (this is called delamination). Also, deck pads are attached to the outside epoxy coating with glue, which can break down in excessive heat. SUP vent plugs, which allow air to pass through while preventing water from getting in, will reduce this pressure by allowing the air to escape, but will not prevent all damage from excessive heat. Storing your SUP in a shady spot out of direct sunlight is a simple way to avoid this potential serious damage.
Sunburst Shoreline Paddle Board
2. Keep it dry: When you’re done paddling, rinse it off and dry it well. This is counter-intuitive for a product meant to be in the water, but the bacteria and microorganisms in water may damage the SUP’s surface. This is especially important if you paddle in salt water. Also, if you collected any dents, scratches, or cracks during your outing, you’ll see them right away on a clean, dry board and will be able to repair it before your next trip.
Dry Off Your Paddle Board After Use
3. Remember the fin: It’s easy to get so engrossed in your paddling adventure that you forget that there’s a 10” fin beneath you. In shallow water, paddle carefully so you can avoid rocks, submerged fallen trees, or other obstacles that can break your fin. When it’s time to store your SUP, lay it deck-side down on the ground or on a stand to avoid snapping the fin. We recommend removing your fin before long-term storage, and remove any debris, sand or dirt that may have collected in the fin box.
Mind Your Paddle Board Fin
4. Repair dings, scratches, and cracks ASAP: Stuff happens. Pressure dents (small, concave indentations) can occur when knees, elbows or other items wield a lot of pressure on a small area. Cracks and dings are caused by extreme blunt force such as hitting rocks, docks, or other hard objects. If you paddle over a rock in shallow water, you may end up with a deep scratch. Any and all of these situations may open up the foam core to the elements, and if water seeps into unrepaired cracks your SUP will lose buoyancy and performance. Depending upon the amount of damage and your skills, use a DIY epoxy ding repair kit for minor damage, but taking it to a fiberglass epoxy specialist for larger damage is probably a good idea.
Repair Your Paddle Board
5. Use a storage bag: For long-term storage, put your SUP in a storage bag designed for SUPs (after washing and drying it and taking off the fin, of course).
Paddle Board Carry & Store Bag
6. Transport with roof pads and straps: To prevent damage to your SUP while transporting it to the water, use cross bar roof pads and use caution when tugging the straps tightly. Make sure the straps are tight, but not so tight as to cut into the board.