Now that winter has come to an end and spring has almost sprung, it’s time to start counting down the days until you can bring out your YOLO Board and hit the open waters! During the offseason, it is very important to keep your paddle board in tip-top shape while also preventing any long-term damage that will negatively impact your paddling experience in the future.
As all owners know, SUPs are an investment, so it is crucial to protect your board from the frequent exposure to salt water, sunlight, and other elements of the outdoors that can significantly shorten its lifespan. If you are looking for proper ways to handle SUP care - here are some go-to tips and strategies to keep your board safe and sound during the off-season.
It’s important to wash off your board after use and give it a good scrub before putting it away for the season. Saltwater, sand, dirt and any other grime can severely damage your board as well as cause discoloration. Use warm, fresh water with a light detergent or mild soap for a go-to mixture.
WD-40 or a simple household oil can also be used after cleaning to lubricate metal pieces on the board, in order to prevent rust and corrosion. Use this once at the beginning of the season, and once at the end before storing.
UV & YOUR SUP
Direct exposure to intense sunlight over both short and long term periods can severely damage your board. The core of your SUP is composed of an expanded polystyrene (DPS) water-resistant foam. This foam holds gas and air that can overheat, expand, and put pressure on the fiberglass and epoxy skin, thus creating bubbles, cracks, and splits on the exterior of the board.
If you frequently leave your board out in the open, consider purchasing a board bag with a reflective front. These board bags are made of a special reflective and cooling material that will protect your sun when it is exposed to strong rays. Another option is an elastic-trimmed board cover that covers only one side and lets the other side breathe. UV protective spray can also be sprayed on your board one or twice a year to prevent any sun damage.
A good rule of thumb: when you’re not paddling in the rays, keep your SUP in the shade!
INDOOR VS. OUTDOOR SUP STORAGE
In an ideal situation, you would be able to store your SUP indoors during the off-season, free from the harsh elements of the outdoors. No matter the location, make sure your board is stored out of the sun, in an area where the temperature is between 40-110 degrees Fahrenheit.
A lot of surfers choose to put their SUPs on display during the offseason, showing off nice colors or design and using them as a work of art. Some even use display racks to show off their beloved SUP. However, when space is limited and you don’t necessarily have 10+ feet to spare, you’ll have to make do with an outdoor garage or shed.
Racks of all sizes can be purchased and secured to both doors and walls with screws and studs. If you’re not able to mount a rack, you can also try a strap-storage method for keeping your board safe and out of the way. A suspended storage rack in the garage is a great way to store your SUP if it is used frequently, and provides an easy way to transfer from storage to roof rack on your vehicle.
No matter the method, make sure there are no objects placed on top of, or around your board. Any extra pressure applied to the exterior of a board can cause pressure dents and concave indentations to occur on the outer shell.
When transporting your board by vehicle, it is very important that it is safely secured by means of a rack system. With all racks, make sure to place the board face downwards with the fin facing the front of the vehicle, supported by straps and pads. To securely store your paddle board you’ll need:
Crossbars (run across the roof of your vehicle)
Cam Straps (12 feet or longer to hold your SUP down)
Rack/Padding (these attach to the crossbars of your vehicle)
When strapping your SUP on the roof of a vehicle, make sure you do not tighten the straps to the point where they could potentially deform your board!
ESSENTIAL SUP TOOLS
If you are a frequent SUP user, you may notice more wear and tear on your board, and may find it helpful to have a small toolkit on hand to take care of any quick fixes. Here are a few essentials to start with:
Screwdriver (for any loose screws)
Fin key (to attach remove your board’s fin)
WD-40 (for any metal bits that are rusting)
Clear Packing Tape (for quick fixes)
Sand Paper (80-200 grit will be just fine)
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (great for removing scuff marks)
Hand Brush (for any loose sand or dirt)
Fiberglass/Epoxy kit (for exterior skin nicks and dings)
SUP CARE DO’s & DON'Ts
So, in summary, here’s a short list of important DO’s and DON’Ts for maintaining and preserving your SUP:
DO keep your board in an easily accessible location (grab and go!)
DON’T let your SUP sit in the sun for any period of time
DO wash your board with fresh water to remove any salt or dirt after use
DON’T keep your board in the plastic bubble wrap it came in (it adds no protection and only attracts unwanted heat!)
DO store your board in a safe space — for added protection, you can buy specialty locks designed specifically for SUPs
DON’T put any pressure on any points along your board when storing as this can cause cracks and deformities on the exterior
DO remove fins from your board for long-term storage so they do not become damaged
Simple maintenance and care are all that it takes to ensure that your SUP will live a long, healthy, happy life.