There are a number of reasons why stand-up paddle boards should be maintained. Primarily, their performance and reliability are built upon upkeep. Boards that are neglected will gradually decline in quality, making them less comfortable to ride and offering less maneuverability when out on the water. Additionally, boards and accessories that are not maintained will need to more quickly be replaced, leading to greater costs over time.
Those who do endeavour to take care of their boards and equipment will find their purchases lasting much longer and offering much better performance when out on the water. To support this, we’re sharing some of the best practices and tips from watersport experts.
Clean Your Board
It might seem rather obvious, but a surprising number of boarders fail to make cleaning their board and equipment a habit. It can be easy to overlook, especially when a board has just been removed from a lake or ocean. However, water, sand, and other blemishes can collect and, if not treated and removed, they can quickly degrade a board over time, even causing mold if placed in storage.
When cleaning a board down, be sure not to use seawater. Salt can collect on a board and equipment, causing materials, especially anything made of metal, to wear down more quickly over time. Freshwater, with a little soap, is the most ideal.
Store And Carry
Placing your board and equipment in a case is, where appropriate, ideal. This will ensure that accessories are protected from the elements, with waterproof bags helping to keep valuables, especially mobile phones, dry should they fall into the water.
Investing in a paddleboard case will also help you to transport and store a paddleboard, preventing bad habits, such as dragging equipment across the sand, from forming. While sand may seem harmless, it can easily conceal rocks or glass, both of which can very quickly damage or even puncture an inflatable paddle board.
Keep Out Of Sunlight
It may seem counterintuitive to have to keep an asset that is most often enjoyed outdoors and in the sunshine shaded when not in use, however, UV light can have detrimental effects on a paddle board over time. In addition to significant changes in temperature, those associated with sunlight, affecting the aesthetics and glue bonds of a board, sunlight can also fade designs and even compromise the foam inside solid boards.
Dry Your Wetsuit
Ensuring your paddleboard and its accessories are dry before being stored is important, but it is important not to forget your clothing too. Wetsuits allow water to pass through their design and, as such, can become very damp, taking a long time to fully dry.
If the process is rushed, wetsuits can retain moisture, leading to mould growing across the neoprene material, being very difficult to remove. Additionally, if wetsuits aren’t washed and air-dried properly, they can also develop unpleasant smells, making it difficult for you, and others nearby, to be comfortable when out on the water!