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How to Look After Your Paddle Board

Paddle boards are a lot of great fun, but they do require a financial investment, and a bit of tender love and care is required to protect that financial investment. If you don’t take care of your sup properly, you shouldn’t expect it to last long.

So, we’re going to go over the different precautions you need to take to keep your sup in tip-top shape for years to come.

1: Cleaning

After you come back in from a long day on the water, you must take a moment to properly clean your sup. Regardless of whether you use a laminated or inflatable model, salt from ocean water and debris from freshwater can cause your sup to degrade fairly quickly.

Simply rinsing it off with fresh water is more than enough to remove any contaminants. There’s no need for harsh chemicals or other products, and some of those products can seriously damage your board by removing the laminated layer or compromising the materials of inflatable sups.

2: Sunlight

Obviously, paddle boards are exposed to a lot of sunlight. It’s just part of paddle boarding. That does not mean that you want to lay your paddle board in the sand and leave it to bake. This can lead to delamination in solid boards, and it can eventually melt or severely compromise the integrity of inflatable boards. If your board is not in use, it is best to keep it in a cool, shaded environment out of prolonged direct sunlight.

A sup bag is perfect for this. It’ll cover your sup, protect it from dings, and most have reflective exteriors to ward off sunlight.

3: Environmental Hazards

Paddle boards can take a beating. However, they’re not indestructible. It’s important to look out for debris. Especially debris that is sharp or won’t break away before it causes irreparable damage. 

For laminated boards, you’ll likely experience dings and gouges that can eventually lead to the board snapping, and each little ding will affect the board’s performance. With inflatables, hitting sharp objects with enough force can slice them and leave them looking like a deflated Whoopie Cushion.

Keep an eye on your environment, and steer clear of water hazards the same way you would with a boat.

4: Use a Leash

A coiled leash will allow you to secure the sup to your ankle. This keeps you from losing your board if you fall off of it, and it will help you keep the board away from rocky shores if it floats away while you’re off of it.

5: Keep Metal Parts Lubricated

This is only a concern for laminated boards. Laminated boards often have metal attachment parts, and those can rust over time if you don’t lubricate them. A quick spray of WD-40 or similar lubricant once a year will get the job done.

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