When I first started paddle boarding about ten years ago, I made a lot of mistakes. And when I say mistakes, I don’t just mean in the water. I would leave my board on my rooftop, where it was exposed to the sun. I didn’t wash it properly after paddle boarding in the ocean.
Within six months, my first paddle board started developing air holes, and the seams started coming off. Initially, I was livid. I gave the manufacturer’s customer care an earful. But I also decided to talk to some of my more experienced paddle boarding friends.
Soon, I came to realize the error of my ways – my friends showed me the proper method of paddle board maintenance and care. I couldn’t salvage my first one, but I have followed those tips ever since, and I have only had to change my board once since then.
So today, I will share these secrets with all my friends out there who are searching for answers just like I was ten years ago.
How Do You Maintain a Paddle Board: 5 Things to Do
#1. Always Keep Your Paddle Board Away From Sunlight
You should try not to expose your paddle board to too much direct sunlight. Sunlight has harmful UV radiation, which can damage the material of the board. I know that most boards come with PU coating to protect them these days, but even then, sunlight can erode that coating over time.
The sun’s heat can also increase the temperature of the air inside the board, which will cause the air to expand. The air pressure inside will put the board’s material under pressure, and even though boards these days are very durable, consistent pressure over prolonged periods can cause fissures and cracks in the seam.
Another damage that sunlight can cause is loss of color. It can fade the pretty colors of your paddle board very quickly.
I can imagine many of my readers thinking: how can I avoid the sun while paddle boarding? I know it is difficult, but you follow these tips:
- If you plan to spend the entire day on the beach, try to choose a shaded place where your paddle will not expose to direct sunlight.
- Cover your paddle board with the help of a towel, especially when you are not using it.
- Use a protective spray on your paddle board, which will act as a protective layer. The spray will help in neutralizing the effect of direct sunlight.
#2. Clean Your Board
You need to clean your paddle board after each trip. Make sure to remove any dust, dirt, gravel, and other debris.
Saltwater has a high chance of corroding your board. So wash your board with water each time your paddle board in the sea. Even when you are not using your board, try to clean it with soap water once in a while.
#3. Store Your Board Properly
- Never keep your board on the roof or any place that faces direct sunlight. Look for a shaded place in the house.
- Don’t keep it near the water heater or on the deck of your house because the heat will damage your board quickly. Keep it in a cool place.
- Don’t store it on the floor. Try to get a rack so that the bottom edge of your board does not get affected by dirt, dust, and debris.
- Don’t put the board anywhere that it can get exposed to rain or water. Contact with water can lead to molds, fungi, and bacteria on your board. Store it in a dry place.
#4. Transport Your Paddle board Gently
If you have an inflated paddle board, it’s relatively easy for you to transport it. You can deflate the air and pack it in the bag.
But if you have a hardboard, you should make sure that there is ample space in your car or van to keep the board gently.
#5. Be Careful While Paddling in Shallow Water
Shallow water may have rocks and stones jutting out below the surface that can damage your fins or the bottom surface of your paddle board. Try not to paddle board in shallow waters.
It’s also important to select durable paddles. The paddle plays an essential role in maintaining the stability of your board on the water. Opt for carbon fiber paddles; they are usually very strong and last a long time.
While selecting the paddle, you need to check its height. The height of the paddle should be at least 6 inches higher than your own.
If and when an accident occurs, and there is any damage to your paddle board, you need to take your board to the surf shops to get it mended immediately. Don’t procrastinate; otherwise, you might end up losing your board.
Frequently Asked Questions. (FAQ)
#1. How Do You Clean a Paddle Board?
- Rinse your paddle board with fresh, clean water to remove the dust, dirt, and gravel that may have settled on it.
- Wash it with soap water. Choose a soap that does not have any harmful chemicals.
- Rinse your paddle board again with normal water.
#2. Do You Need to Clean Your Paddle Board After Each Use?
If you are paddle boarding in freshwater, you don’t have to rinse your board after each use. But if you are paddle boarding in seawater, you need to rinse your board after every use.
Rinsing will remove salt from your paddle board. Salts can potentially eat into the material of your board and weaken the seams. If you don’t rinse your paddle board after each use, it will quickly start developing fissures.
#3. Should You Wax Your Paddle Board?
Waxing helps in increasing the traction of your paddle board. A paddle boarder whose hardboard doesn’t have a traction pad should use wax on the board to protect himself from slipping. Wax will give you grip when paddle boarding.
But for boards that have inbuilt traction pads, inflatable PVC boards, or boards that have a yoga mat, you should not use wax.
#4. How Can You Apply Wax on Your Paddle Board?
- To wax your board, you need to first remove the old wax properly. You can remove wax from your paddle board by using a wax comb. Wax combs are easily available at all local stores. Scrape your board thoroughly using the comb to remove all wax.
- Now apply the new wax on your board by making a small circle, mainly on the two spots where you stand while paddle boarding. Do this methodically, first choose one section on your board, circle over there, and then move to the next area.
- The last step is to make large circles with the help of wax on those places where you have already made small circles. The two layers of wax will act as a protective layer on your board and prevent you from slipping.
#5. How Long Does an Inflatable Paddle Board Last?
An inflatable paddle board lasts for more than five years. However, you need to follow the tips for maintenance and care that I have shared.
#6. Do You Need Shoes for Board Paddling?
No, you don’t require shoes for board paddling. Paddle boards usually have a rubber grip which will keep your feet balanced while paddling on the water.
#7. What Is Needed for Paddle Boarding?
For paddle boarding, you need the following things:
- Paddle board
- Rescue whistle
- Personal flotation device
Paddle boarding is fast becoming a popular recreational sport. I see a lot of new faces every time I head out to the beach, riding their paddle boards.
As a newbie, you may spend a lot of money on buying a good paddle board. But if you don’t maintain it properly, then you will end up with a worthless board very quickly.
Learn from my mistakes, and follow the tips I have shared to keep your board safe.
Also, please share your suggestions and tips for keeping your paddle board safe. I would love to hear from you!