Let’s face it: buying a stand up paddle board is a big investment. So caring for your new board should be a priority, especially here in South Florida. Between our inviting ocean and our boat-friendly intercostal waterways and rivers, your sup’s protective finish can really take a beating. Follow these 3 tips, and you’ll keep your new paddle board looking good for years to come.
Keep your SUP clean
Fort Lauderdale has 300+ miles of navigable canals and miles of fantastic shoreline. Although canals like the New River provide flat water, which is ideal for paddleboarding, they are brackish and contain salt (along with traces of boat fuel and grime washed in with the incoming tide). And Florida’s beautiful beaches, a paddle boarder and paddle surfer’s dream, feature that salty ocean that can be corrosive (and a little stinky if left on a board).
Tip #1 – It doesn’t matter which waterways you use, the best way to care for your board after a good paddle is to rinse it thoroughly with fresh water.
Bonus Tip – Every couple of months, use a cleaner on your paddleboard and pad. We love ‘On It Pro’s Blue Goo’, a cleaner made specifically for your boards. You can also use a mild cleaner such as Dawn dish soap (especially helpful if you’ve paddled through areas with heavy boat traffic – it’s great at removing oil/petroleum products) and a non-abrasive cloth or sponge.
Fun in the Sun –Not so Much for Paddle Boards
Water is a natural radiator, and it keeps your board cool even during hot days. South Florida’s sun is powerful, and it can quickly heat your new board up above 95, when the greatest risk of delamination (separation of the glass and foam) occurs.
Tip #2 – I know, it’s a board meant for daytime (or nighttime) sup fun, but you shouldn’t store it in the sun. Keep your board out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time when it’s not being used in the water.
Bonus Tip – It’s South Florida, and with our gorgeous beaches, you’ll probably take your stand up paddle board along for a day at the beach. In this situation, I’d encourage you to bring a board bag or a board sock along. Bags typically have a reflective side, meant to minimize the sun’s heating.
If your board is wet, don’t seal it in the bag – the moisture can turn it into a small sauna, opening up the pores in the epoxy and creating miniature bubbles just below the surface. That can be corrected with minor surgery, but it’s not fun to see or to pay for…
Even Paddle Boards Have ‘Sensitive Spots’
Your board is the weakest where the glass and resin is thinnest – on the curved and pointed surfaces (the nose, rails, and tail) making them the most vulnerable to damage.
Tip #3 – Rail guard tape and nose/tail guards, although not the prettiest solution, will do an excellent job of minimizing bruises and damage to your paddle board.
Bonus Tip – Storage-related concerns, such as concrete floors, shelves, or cargo elevators can be particularly problematic for boards. Use padding (like pool noodles or even a yoga mat) to protect the rails.
Following these relatively inexpensive solutions can go a long way to minimize future repair costs. A well-cared for paddle board holds its value and should last you for many years.
What are some other care tips you use to make sure your board stays in “showroom shape?”
See you in the shop – or on the water.
- SUP Dude
South Florida’s Stand up Paddle Board Specialty Shop
3305 N Ocean Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308