Stand up paddle boards are a fun and unique way to enjoy being on the water while also working out. But with the average paddle board being over 10 feet in length and costing upwards of $2000, storage and care for your board become a real concern. Here are a few tips on some of the most efficient ways to store your board and keep it in great condition so you can enjoy it for years.
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Before rushing out to buy the latest paddle board rack, it will be useful to think about a few key factors such as the space you intend to use for storage, the number of boards you own, the frequency you’ll be using your board, and your budget.
Whether you have an entire unused shed, a small corner of a garage, or just an empty spot on your wall there are many options for storing a 10-foot paddle board. Racks are designed to fit into any nook or cranny of your space and conveniently hold one, or several, boards. In general, you’ll need either a long, tall, or wide space as boards are quite large. Vertical storage is great for tall spaces while laying boards horizontally is an option if you don’t have enough vertical height.
Storage racks vary in price from under $100 to several times more. Having a set budget in mind will help you narrow down your storage options, so you can focus on other features. If you’re interested in showing off your board as a display piece, you can forgo expensive locks and latches and go with a more budget friendly rack that will simply bring attention to your board.
While a rack capable of storing multiple boards under your budget may seem like the best option, don’t forget that you’ll need to move these boards every time you want to go paddle boarding. Accessibility is an important feature and one you should think about before buying a rack. Some racks allow for quick and easy access to boards while others may take several minutes to unload. Vertical racks are usually easiest to access while horizontal racks require you lift the board and turn it sideways. This could be a difficult task if the rack is over your head.
Now that we understand the space, cost, and accessibility requirements of paddle board storage we can get into the details of racks. Storage racks generally fall into one of three categories: ceiling mounted racks, wall racks, or stand-alone racks.
Ceiling racks are one of the best ways to store paddle boards without taking up valuable living or walking room. Ceiling racks come in a variety of styles, but most only store a single board. They are great for quick mounting and unmounting of your board, but be sure that you’re able to reach it depending on your ceiling height. Ceiling racks are also a great way to display your board as you can see the entire surface even when mounted. Be sure to store fins facing up, or remove fins altogether, to avoid potential injuries.
Wall racks are a popular storage option as they come in almost any style you could imagine and all you need is an empty wall. Wall mounts make great display pieces and can often hold multiple boards stacked onto one another. When buying a wall rack, make sure you have enough horizontal space so that your board will not get stuck
If you’re not interested in drilling holes or hanging boards from your walls, stand-alone racks are a great option. These racks can vary in size to fit large or small spaces and can hold multiple boards. The main convenience of stand-alone racks is that you can move them without having to damage or modify anything in your storage space. The main downside of these racks is that they typically take up more space and have larger frames than the small wall or ceiling racks which are usually mounted directly on your building.
A new and popular trend in the stand-up paddle world is inflatable boards. These lightweight boards are just as strong as solid core boards while having the added benefits of being super easy to transport and store. Inflatable boards can often be deflated and rolled up. You can then easily pack the board into a bag and throw it into the trunk of your car. No more lifting, securing and checking on your board as you drive to the water.
Storage for inflatable boards is very simple and much more flexible than traditional paddle board racks. Once deflated, you only need a space large enough for a regular suitcase or duffel bag and you’re good to go. Although storing inflatable paddle boards takes up less space, there are some considerations how to pack and store your inflatable board to keep it in the best condition possible.
Just like regular paddle boards, you’ll want to make sure your inflatable is dry before storage. Rolling up a wet board into a bag can lead to mold and other water damage problems. The valves that allow you to fill and deflate your board should also be checked to make sure no debris is blocking them. Fins can be left on the board or removed for storage. Some recommend removing fins to reduce the chance of tears, cuts, or damaging the fins. A great tip for rolling up your board is to start rolling from the side opposite of your valve. This allows air to escape easily instead of getting stuck while you roll.
The vast majority of boards will come with removable fins and a center fin box. These are usually a set standard, but you may find the odd shaped fin out there. It is important to tighten the screws on each fin until they’re snug, but do not over tighten them as this could cause damage. Periodically checking and cleaning the fin box of debris will also extend the lifespan of your board. It is perfectly fine to transport and store boards with the fins still attached, but make sure they are stored facing in a direction that will avoid most contact with people. Fins can be sharp and can potentially cut people or objects nearby.
While proper board storage will keep your board safe and out of the way until your next trip, knowing a few helpful maintenance tips will extend the life of your board.
Sun and heat damage are two of the biggest factors that will wear down your board. UV rays will break down the polymers or wax on the surface of your board, eventually causing colors to dull and possible delamination. Leaving your board in a hot car will have similar results. Keeping your board out of the sun will greatly extend its life. Board bags are great, but storing boards inside instead of leaving them on the floor will also keep them in great condition.
Drying your board is just as important as keeping it out of the sun. A wet board stored for a long period of time can cause mold and other bacteria growth. Water can also penetrate the materials of your board which will weaken its structural integrity. While you may not have the time to go the extra steps to wash and rinse your board after each use, simply allowing your board to dry before storage is a great idea.
Vent plugs allow air to escape your soft core board. These plugs are designed so that water cannot enter, but air can pass through. This will help prevent delamination and other water damage. Vent plugs are generally maintenance-free, as long as they’ve been installed correctly and snug, but it is useful to check them every once and a while to remove any debris or blockages.
Fins are generally narrow, sharp, and pointed so dragging them across the ground is a big no, no. Some people remove their fins, but this can be a hassle every time you go out. Simply being aware and not banging your fins into things will extend their life spans. Be careful riding in shallow water and avoid running your board onto land.
Repairs can be as easy as gluing a patch onto an inflatable or a larger job that requires expert attention. Keeping on top of your repairs will add to the life of your board as small problems won’t have time to grow into something worse. Checking over your equipment after each session will help you spot those little dings, so you can fix your board right away.
A solid board rack will keep your board safe and not clutter your living space. With proper storage and maintenance your paddle board can easily last you years on the water.