Board Care for Inflatable SUPs (iSUP)
Inflatable SUPs (iSUP) are a great choice when you don’t have a garage or storage space for a traditional board. Not to mention they are easy to throw in the car and take camping or to a nearby lake for some paddling fun.
You will want to keep your iSUP in good condition so you can have many, many fun trips and adventures. Here are some tips to keep your iSUP in top condition.
First make sure to rinse your board/paddle/leash after each use. Especially after use in saltwater. Salt and bacteria can eat away at the material an iSUP is made of and make it brittle. If you are somewhere that doesn’t have fresh water to rinse your board you have 2 potions: 1) rinse it when you get home, 2) bring a rinse kit with you (a container of water).
Next, clean marks off your board using natural soap, Simple Green, or a Magic Eraser. Then rinse again. Don’t use abrasives on the traction pad as it could damage it. Traction pads are made from foam rubber and can be damaged by rough or sharp objects. Also, avoid scrubbing to vigorously as you may scrub the color right off of you iSUP.
Dry the board thoroughly before putting it in the bag. Remember that bacteria we talked about water carrying, well you don’t want it to turn into mold. No one wants to start their next adventure scrubbing down their board.
After you dry the board, deflate it, take off the fins and leash, roll it up, and put it in the storage bag. It is better to fold your board than roll it as it creates fewer folds in the seams which are the weakest part of an iSUP. Don’t fold it too tightly, folding it loosely is better for the seams and will keep your board in good shape for a longer period of time. It may take a few times to get the fold the right length for the bag, but you will get it after a few tries.
A common question is “Can I keep it inflated?” The answer is YES! If you keep it inflated make sure to store it in a cool area (not in direct sun). If you are leaving it inflated in hot weather let out a little air pressure to allow the board room to expand. The board will lose air pressure over time, check pressure before your next paddle and it off appropriately.
To limit damage to your board make sure it is floating when you get on and off of it. It can damage the board if you run your board up onto the sand. You never know what rocks and sharp shells may be hidden from sight. Also, be aware of where you are lying your board down when you are rinsing it. Rocks in parking lots can damage a board as well.
If you feel your board has a leak follow the manufacturer’s directions in the repair kit. It is best to wait 24 hours for any glue to dry before re-inflating and using your board again.
Check all of your gear including paddles, fins and leashes. If one piece of gear malfunctions it can ruin you day on the water. It is worth the time and effort. The better care you take with your board and gear the longer it will last. Protect your investment for years of fun on the water.