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One of the many benefits of owning an inflatable paddle board is their efficient and convenient pack down, making them far easier to store than their hardboard counterparts. However, that being said, storing them correctly for both long and short term is key to getting the most life out of your iSUP. Below we’ve outlined the key factors of how to correctly store an inflatable paddle board.

Rinse With Fresh Water

For both short and long term storage, rinsing off your board with fresh water will help to keep it in pristine condition for longer, as salt water over time can corrode the materials and weaken the seams. Even after paddling in fresh water, it’s important to give your board a quick rinse off to get rid of any algae, dirt, weeds or grit, especially around the valve. When you rinse your board after every session, it also means your board is always clean and ready to go for the next paddle adventure!

No Need To Over Clean

As with any sports equipment, you want to make sure you’re looking after it the best you can, but for the most part, just a fresh water rinse will suffice. Although, if you’ve had a particularly muddy paddle or are storing it away for a while, you may want to opt for a deeper clean. For the PVC material, any natural biodegradable soap will work well. It’s important to avoid soaps containing strong chemicals as this can damage the materials. You also want to ensure you’re not over scrubbing the material or using a brush that will cause abrasions, particularly on the traction pads. We recommend using a towel, cloth or sponge.

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Allow The Board To Dry Fully

Although paddle boards are designed for the water, storing them away when wet or damp doesn’t do them any good. The damp and wet promotes the growth of mold and other bacterias which eat away at the materials, glues and seams. Letting the board fully dry out will also eliminate the smell of damp.

Find The Perfect Storage Spot

As the pack down of inflatable paddle boards is so impressively small, finding a space shouldn’t be difficult, but you do want to make sure it’s a cool and dry space. As we mentioned above, any damp or moisture can damage your board. In addition to a dry space, the temperature also plays a key role in your boards condition. Extreme temperatures are to be avoided when storing, with the optimum temperature range between 40 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important that the temperature of your space remains relatively consistent. Along with high temperatures, direct sunlight is best avoided as it can damage the materials and melt the glue around the valves and seams.

Inflated Vs Deflated

For short term storage, leaving your board inflated is absolutely fine, permitting it’s in the perfect storage spot as we outlined above. All inflatable paddle boards will lose air pressure over time when left inflated, but it’s also key to remember that air pressure expands in extreme heat. If you’re storing the board somewhere particularly warm, it’s best to let out a little air to avoid any damage. These changes in temperature and pressure are why we recommend deflating your board for long term storage. This in turn means it can be packed down and stored away in a smaller space where it is less likely to get knocked or damaged.

Use The Storage Bag

For long term storage, the bag your inflatable SUP came in is the perfect cocoon to keep your board safe from any scratches, slashes or damage, whilst still allowing some air flow. If you’ve misplaced this bag or your board didn’t come with one, a suitcase or board bag will work as a protective layer just the same. Just make sure you remove the fins and any attachments from the board beforehand and when you roll the deflated board, roll it loosely so there is no strain or stretching on the seams.

And just like that, whether you’re storing your inflatable paddle board for the long winter months or just for the few days in between sessions, your board will be in tact and ready to go!

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a hockey fan, football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.

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