How to Properly Care for Your Paddleboard: Maintenance Tips

silhouette photo of people riding on paddle boards

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just dipping your toes into the world of SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboarding), one thing remains constant: taking care of your board is essential for maximising its lifespan and ensuring countless hours of paddling enjoyment. Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of paddleboard maintenance, covering everything from pre-paddleboard care rituals to long-term maintenance strategies.

Pre-Paddleboard Care

Storage: The first step in caring for your paddleboard begins before you even hit the water: proper storage. When not in use, store your board in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If possible, opt for a board rack or storage bag to protect it from accidental bumps and scratches. Avoid leaning your board against hard surfaces or leaving it on the ground, as this can lead to dings and dents over time.

Transportation: Whether you’re driving to your favourite paddle spot or embarking on a road trip adventure, safely transporting your board is crucial. Invest in quality roof racks or straps designed specifically for paddleboards to secure your board during transit. Before hitting the road, double-check that your board is securely fastened and won’t shift or slide while driving. Trust us, arriving at your destination with a pristine board is worth the extra effort!

Checking Equipment: Before each paddling session, take a few moments to inspect your equipment. Check that your paddle is free from any cracks or damage, and ensure that the blade and shaft are securely attached. Examine your fins for any signs of wear or looseness, tightening them if necessary. By performing these quick pre-paddle checks, you’ll minimise the risk of equipment failure while out on the water. Don’t forget to learn how to inflate a paddle board correctly so you don’t cause any damage.

Post-Paddleboard Care

Cleaning: After a refreshing day on the water, it’s essential to give your paddleboard some TLC. Start by rinsing it thoroughly with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or debris. Use a mild soap or paddleboard-specific cleaner and a soft sponge or brush to gently scrub the surface, paying extra attention to areas with stubborn dirt or stains. Rinse your board again with clean water to remove any soap residue, and voila – you’re one step closer to a sparkling clean board!

Drying: Once your board is clean, it’s time to dry it thoroughly to prevent mould and mildew growth. Prop your board up in a well-ventilated area, preferably out of direct sunlight, and allow it to air dry completely. Avoid storing your board while it’s still damp, as this can create the perfect breeding ground for unwanted mould and odours. Patience is key here – trust us, your board will thank you for it!

Inspection: Before stowing away your paddleboard until your next adventure, take a few moments to inspect it for any signs of damage or wear. Run your hands along the surface, checking for any dings, dents, or delamination. Pay close attention to the rails and bottom of the board, as these areas are most susceptible to damage from rocks, sand, and other hazards. If you spot any issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage and ensure your board stays in tip-top shape.

Is a Buoyancy Aid Jacket Really Necessary for Paddle Boarding?

If it’s the summer, you can be excited to put on your swimsuit and hit the water on your paddleboard. The last thing on your mind can be wearing a buoyancy aid jacket. However, this is one of the most recommended accessories you need for paddleboarding. Let’s take a look at when it’s necessary.

Recommended for Beginners

If you’re new to paddleboarding, getting used to standing up on the water can take a while. Most people will fall in a few times as they get used to moving around and balancing. You might find this prospect scary or not be prepared, which can leave you under the water. It’s best to wear a buoyancy aid jacket so you return to the surface as a beginner. This can be just what you need when you’re getting started, allowing you to focus on building your skills rather than what will happen when you fall in.

Necessary for Non-Swimmers

If you can’t swim, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy paddle boarding. Instead, you need to adapt the experience so you feel safe. In particular, something as simple as wearing a buoyancy aid jacket will help you, ensuring you stay above the water if you fall in. For those who aren’t strong swimmers, wearing this jacket can make you feel more secure if something happens. This can be the confidence boost you need to be bold on your paddle board and try new environments. 

Suitable for Moving Waters

Perhaps you’re going out on calm waters on your paddle board and you feel confident. However, things can change if you’re exploring changing conditions and suddenly, when the water is moving faster, it can make paddle boarding more challenging. You always want to ensure you feel safe and confident, and wearing a buoyancy aid jacket helps with this. In particular, it’s recommended for moving water or where the conditions could change with the weather.

Preferred for Younger Ages

If you’re taking the children out on paddle boards, it’s recommended that they always wear a buoyancy aid jacket. This allows you to relax as a parent and know that they’ll be safe if they fall into the water. You can’t keep an eye on them all the time, so you need peace of mind when they’re out of sight.

Conclusion

And there you have it – a comprehensive guide to properly caring for your paddleboard! By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you’ll not only preserve the integrity and performance of your board but also ensure countless hours of paddling enjoyment for years to come. Remember, regular maintenance is the key to keeping your paddleboard in top condition, so don’t skimp on the TLC your board deserves.