5 Ways To Protect Your Paddle Board Investment

Is Your SUP Is At Risk?

Did you know that you might be damaging your stand up paddle board (SUP) without realizing it? This should be alarming to you because paddle boards aren’t cheap, and ultimately, ruining your SUP without realizing it would be heartbreaking.

Believe it or not, your inflatable SUPs and epoxy SUPs are most vulnerable to damage when you aren’t even using them. Sure, paddle boarding in shallow waters can threaten the integrity of your SUP, but there are more threats outside of the water that can do some serious damage to your board. For example, your SUP can be damaged by storing it incorrectly at your house or by leaving it out in the sun for too long. These two examples are important ones, however, there are many other ways to damage your SUP unintentionally. 

Below, we’ll outline a handful of the most common ways that people completely ruin their stand up paddle boards. From this list, learn the best paddle board care practices to protect your paddle board investment.

5 Ways You Could Be Damaging Your Paddle Board

ISLE SUP sock
ISLE UV-Protecting SUP Sock

1. Leaving Your SUP Out In The Sun

This is by far the easiest and most common way to unintentionally ruin a stand up paddle board. Leaving your SUP in the sun during those long, hot summer days can overheat your board, causing delamination on fiberglass or epoxy SUPs and busted seams on inflatable SUPs. Keep in mind, the sun will not damage your SUP when you’re using it on the water. This only applies to paddle boards that are left baking in the sun on land or strapped to the roof rack of your car for an extended period of time.

The best way to avoid sun damage is to find a shady spot to keep your SUP cool until you’re ready to use it again. Another excellent method is to use a paddle board bag or a paddle board cover to block the sun’s UV rays. This way, you don’t have to scramble to find shade at your local beach or lake. 

Remember to apply these same best practices when you’re storing your paddle board at home. That means storing your board in a location where it will not be in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Best beginner paddle boards

2. Not Cleaning Your SUP After Use

When you finish paddle boarding, make it a habit to rinse your SUP with fresh water before drying it off with a towel. It’s important to clean and dry your paddle board after you use it, especially if you paddle in the ocean, because the saltwater can dry out and eat away at the materials on your SUP. Furthermore, storing your paddle board when wet can lead to mold, especially if you place a wet paddle board into a storage bag or SUP sock.

In addition to washing and drying your SUP after use, it’s a good idea to give your board a deep cleaning every now and then. With a regular deep cleaning every month or so, you increase the chances of your paddle board maintaining its brand new look and shine. For cleaning supplies, we recommend using all-purpose Simple Green with a soft rag to clean your board and traction pad.

proper board storage
ISLE Padded Day Bags

3. Storing Your SUP Incorrectly

Storing your stand up paddle board incorrectly at home can damage your fiberglass, epoxy or inflatable SUP. It’s best to store your SUP in an insulated area like your house, garage, or shed. But make sure you do not store your paddle board next to your water heater or boiler because the heat can delaminate your rigid SUP or bust a seam on your inflatable SUP.

Always store your paddle board in a climate-controlled space between 40-100 degrees Fahrenheit. For inflatable SUP owners, the best paddle board storage locations include small spaces like your bedroom closet or even under your bed. 

Roof Racks for Paddle Boards
ISLE Roof Rack Pads & Straps

4. Transporting Your SUP The Wrong Way

One of the most unfortunate ways to damage your SUP is during transportation. For epoxy paddle board owners, strapping your board incorrectly to the roof rack of your car could lead to your SUP falling off your roof when you’re driving. This will not only severely damage your epoxy SUP, but it will also create a dangerous hazard to other drivers on the road.

Make sure that before you head off to your paddle board destination make sure you know how to properly strap your paddle board to your car’s roof. In addition, a paddle board bag is great for protecting your epoxy SUP whenever you’re on the move. For inflatable SUPs, it’s best to transport your board deflated and rolled up in its included carry bag. 

paddle boarding in shallow water
ISLE Sportsman iSUP

5. Paddling In Shallow Waters

Paddling in shallow waters poses a major threat to your stand up paddle board — especially for epoxy SUPs. Rocks and all other protruding elements can damage your SUP. Do your homework before you go to a new SUP spot to figure out if the water levels are going to be too low. Generally speaking, taking an epoxy paddle board on a river is not a good idea because rivers tend to have the shallowest water levels and the most rocks on the bottom. 

Shallow waters are not as much of a threat to inflatable SUPs, making them the SUP of choice for river paddling. The best inflatable SUPs for rivers are durable, stable, and rigid enough to take on shallow waters with ease. However, rocks can still scratch your iSUP’s center fin and the bottom of your board. Ultimately, it’s best to avoid shallow waters altogether if you don’t like the idea of your SUP getting damaged.

If your SUP does get damaged from shallow waters, fixing it can be relatively easy depending on the severity of the damage. In fact, there are a few great SUP repair products that make it easy for you to take care of your paddle board repair at home. For more severe damage, we recommend that you take your paddle board to a local surf shop or dinghy repair business to let a professional handle it.

Wrapping Up: Paddle Board Care

Protecting your stand up paddle board is simple if you follow the best practices listed above. It doesn’t take a lot of time and effort to ensure your paddle board will live a long and happy life. Make these paddle board care tips part of your regular paddling routine so you will never put your paddle board at risk of severe damage again.

how to store your SUP
Posted in Paddle Board Lifestyle
Douglas Robichaud - Doug is a content writer at ISLE Surf & SUP who has been surfing and paddle boarding for over 10 years. With a degree in English/Journalism, Doug has been an outdoor adventure content writer for over four years. Since joining the ISLE team, he has become a paddle board expert in all topics ranging from products, basic tutorials, tips and tricks, SUP safety, and new trends.