Soft Top on a Paddle Board Repair (Fix in These Easy Steps)

Chops or holes will need such sealants as the 3M Adhesive Sealant, Gorilla Glue, or Sikaflex 291. You can also use a glue gun with hot-melt glue. Cracks and tears require a special adhesive sealant such as The “Sponge Rez.” You can repair damages to the slick bottom as you would dings on a typical hard paddle board.

Soft tops on paddle boards can be a pain to fix and put back together- and sometimes, they’re even more of a pain if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fortunately, we’ve got all the info that you need for this repair in these easy steps. Follow our instructions carefully, and your soft top will be as good as new in no time.

But before we get into that, here are some tips

Don’t use a bodyboard repair kit for soft-top repair.

A bodyboard kit often doesn’t have repair materials designed for soft tops. For instance, products such as “The Blob” will eat away the soft top and damage it further.

Understand the type of damage before starting to repair

You have to know the extent of the damage before you begin, as some soft-top repairs will be easier than others. If there are deep holes or cracks in it, then your repair job is going to take a lot longer and require more work.

Be patient with perma-seal adhesive sealants.

These kinds of adhesives can be frustrating if they do not dry fast enough. If you are having issues, try putting the paddle board in direct sunlight or under a lamp to help speed up the process.

Prepare the surface

It’s important that you prepare your surface before applying anything on it- so make sure all surfaces have been cleaned and dried beforehand.

Now let’s get into how to fix this thing:

Easy Steps to Repair Soft Top on a Paddle Board

The severity of the damage on the paddleboard will determine the approach you will take. Here are a few common types of damages to the soft top of a paddleboard:

  1. Chops or holes

This type of damage includes punctures, pealed seams, de-lams, cuts, and gashes. For these, you will need such sealants as the 3M Adhesive Sealant, Gorilla Glue, or Sikaflex 291. You can also use a glue gun with hot-melt glue.

You can also use Epoxy Resin, but this should be applied to areas that are not in direct contact with the water.

2. Cracks and tears

These include gaps, rips, and splits in your soft top, which is normally caused by rocks or other hard objects banging up against it. These types of damages require a special adhesive sealant such as The “Sponge Rez” (for larger cracks) and Perma-Seal (for smaller cracks). Apply sparingly as you give the glue time to dry.

3. Damages to the slick bottom

You can repair such damages as you would dings on a typical hard paddle board. On the slick side, you can use products such as Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy or Dura Resin.

If the damaged area has a rough surface, use very fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand it. Ensure that the surface is clean, dry, and smooth before applying any epoxy resin.

Smooth the epoxy resin over any gaps or sections using a small piece of plastic to ensure that it dries properly. Remove as much of the extra resin as feasible from around the damaged region to avoid having to dig it out unnecessarily after it has cured. After it has cured, you’ll want to limit sanding. Please be advised that this solution responds rapidly, so you won’t have much time to lose.

4. Bubbled deck

This is another common type of damage that can happen to your soft top. If the bubbles are small, you may be able to smooth them out with a heat gun and an old credit card or something similar.

If you have larger gaps where there shouldn’t be any- then it’s probably best just to cut out those sections completely and patch up the area beneath with glue.

Start by laying out some plastic sheeting to protect your deck, and then mark up the areas you are going to cut with a marker pen or something similar. After that is done, use an Exacto-knife or scalpel and slice the deck a little so you can squeeze glue in there.

Leave this to cure for at least four hours before you try and do anything with the deck- preferably longer if possible.

Soft Top on a Paddle Board Repair


Is repairing the soft top of a paddle board hard?

No, it is not hard- it just requires a little bit of time and patience.

How long does a repair on the soft top of a paddle board last?

It will depend on how well you have done your job- but it should be able to withstand at least some wear and tear. A good sealant or epoxy resin can help keep that from happening as much, though.

How long does the glue take to dry?

It can vary depending on what kind of adhesive you use but generally, try leaving it under direct sunlight or under a lamp for faster results.

Which adhesives are best for repairing soft tops?

The best glues are usually Gorilla Glue, Perma-Seal, or the “Sponge Rez.” However, you can also use any other good-quality adhesive for this purpose.

Can I use a glue gun or hot-melt?

Yes, you can also do that as long as the paddle board is not in direct contact with water at any point. If it does come into contact with water, make sure to give it time to cure before taking your board out again (preferably overnight). You may need to re-apply if there are some areas where the bottom isn’t hugging properly onto the top of your board.

Final Thoughts

Repairing the soft top of a paddle board should not be difficult if you understand how to do it. The information provided in this article should go some way towards helping you repair your paddle board if ever needed. Be sure to practice common-sense safety precautions to avoid accidents.

Joseph Gambino

Paddle Board Enthusiast, Athlete and Blogger. Learn more about me here:

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