There are several things you need to know to care for your inflatable SUP. Whatever the board, these simple tips will allow you to get the best performance out of your board and keep using it for many years.
1) To what pressure should I inflate my paddle board?
The required pressure is written on the valve of any SUP board. This is the maximum pressure we are talking about. Maximum doesn’t mean you must reach this pressure though. You can perfectly use your paddle board below this pressure. Most SUPs now have 6 inches in thickness (15 cm), which makes them quite stiff, even at lower pressures. Key West paddle boards have a maximum pressure of 15 PSI but can be used at 12-13 PSI.
High-end brands such as Red Paddle or Starboard make race boards which can be blown up to 22 PSI. Be careful not to overinflate your paddle board!
2) Don’t leave your SUP out in the sun
This is one of the most common mistakes beginners make. You should never leave your board out in the sun for prolonged periods. The heat and UV rays will damage it. You have three options:
– You can leave the board in the shade and deflate it a bit if it’s really hot.
– If there’s no shade in sight, you can leave the SUP in the water as it will prevent the air inside from gtting too hot. You can secure your paddle board thanks to one of the d-rings
– There’s no shade or water around, in that case you can deflate the SUP a bit (2-3 PSI) to limit the negative effects of heat
– Heat will increase the pressure inside your board which can make it explode.
– UV rays will fade the colours on your SUP
3) Storing your board
Ideally, an inflatable SUP board should be stored dry in a ventilated place. You can roll up your board to store it, but not too tight. If you’ve got some space, the best option is to keep your SUP inflated (8-10 psi) and to store it in a free space.
Storage when inflated
Deflate your board just a bit and store it flat on the floor or upright against a wall. Be careful it is not twisted out and do not put any heavy object on it as this may cause the board to distort irreparably.
Storage when rolled-up
You can roll up your board with a bit of air left inside. Be careful not to roll it up too tightly.
> Tips on how to roll up your board
In order to easily get the air out of your board and pack it into its bag, simply roll it up and put the cap back on the valve!
Try not to roll up your SUP in the sand, which could damage it. If you notice some sand on your board after use, you want to wipe it off with a cloth or a brush. The best place to roll up your SUP is a dry neat grass or inside your home.
> Careful with the fin
Many SUP boards have fixed plastic fins which can be twisted out of shape when the board is packed in its bag. It is advised to protect the fins with foam blocks or inflatable arm bands the fins often come with foam blocks).
4) Clean up your board
It is very important to rinse off your inflatable SUP board for three reasons:
– Take off dirt and salt which can fade the colours and damage your SUP
– Check after use if everything is OK (leaks, rips…)
– Avoid bad smell
If you don’t have time to thoroughly clean up your board, there is however ONE part you MUST rinse: the valve pin.
The pin is the spring-loaded mechanism that is located inside the valve. This spring is key to properly inflate/deflate your board, so take good care of it.