When you’re not using your inflatable paddle board, you might be tempted to leave it blown up on a rack or leaning up against a wall. This is definitely not the proper way to store your iSUP, even if it’s only for a short period of time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re putting it away for the off-season, or just waiting for the next weekend to roll around, properly storing that inflatable paddle board is the best way to extend it’s useful life.
We’ve got a few guidelines for you to follow so that you can avoid improper paddle board storage, for both long-term and short-term iSUP storage.
10 Tips For Proper (and Safe) Inflatable SUP Storage
To extend the life of your inflatable paddle board, we suggest taking the following measures whenever you’re putting the board away for any period of time.
1. Always Clean It Before Storing It
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people put away their iSUPs with sand and other debris still on the board. You should always rinse the board with fresh water after you’ve used it.
Give it a good spray down with a garden hose or the showers at the beach to make sure you get all of that grime off the board’s surface. Inspect the area around the valve to make sure you haven’t left any grime build up in that area.
2. Don’t Scrub It
I know that can be tempted to scrub away some of that grime buildup, especially if it’s mud, but do not do this! You don’t know how abrasive the grime is, and it can damage your inflatable paddle board.
The spray and your hands should be enough to dislodge any build up – just do so carefully.
And remember, the paddle board shouldn’t look brand new all the time! You use it outside, so it’s going to get dingy looking.
3. Soap It Up Every Now And Then
For long-term storage, you should use a mild board-friendly cleaner on it. Something like a marine soap or even a castile soap should do the trick.
You can check with the board’s manufacturer for recommended cleaners.
4. Let It Dry Completely
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is putting away an inflatable stand up paddle board before it is completely dry.
After you have rinsed and cleaned the iSUP, you need to let it dry. This can be done via air drying or by using a quality shammy or towel to soak up the moisture.
5. Remove The Fins
Don’t forget to remove the fins from your inflatable stand up paddle board as you prepare it for storage.
In fact, you may have to re-clean your board if you left the fins on when you rinsed it. Make sure there’s no grime or debris around the fin box.
If you do try to store a deflated iSUP with the fins on, then you will likely damage the board as you roll it up.
6. Deflate It & Roll It Up
Some people say that you can store your iSUP fully inflated, but we recommend that you store it deflated. Why? Because it will take up less space, and if you want to travel with it, then it will be ready for transport.
If your iSUP came with a stuff sack or backpack, then that is a great way to store it when you’re not using it.
7. Leave The Valve Open
Once you’ve deflated the board and are ready to prepare it for storage, make sure to check that valve.
You should leave the valve open when you’re putting the inflatable stand up paddle board away for storage.
8. You Need Climate Control
One thing that people don’t think about is that the temperature where you store your inflatable SUP is very important. You already know that you cannot leave it in the sun, but what you may not know is that it should be stored somewhere that’s room temperature.
You don’t want to store it anywhere that gets really cold, or that gets really hot. And you don’t want a storage spot with lots of moisture or high humidity because you’ll end up with a mold and mildew problem on your board.
As you might expect, a closet in your home is the ideal location.
9. Don’t Store With Stuff On Top
If you’re low on storage space, then you might be tempted to stack other things on top of your iSUP while it’s not in use.
Do not do this!
Even if it’s something that you think is lightweight – any extra weight stored on the iSUP (deflated or inflated) will cause damage to the board.
10. Give It Some Space
Whether you’re storing that inflatable SUP deflated or inflated, it’s a good idea to give it some space. You don’t want to have it super tightly rolled up and you don’t have to have it crammed into a small space.
Instead, leave a bit of space around it in the storage area to ensure that it stays free from harm. And make sure that is it only loosely rolled up.