Stand up paddle (SUP) boarding is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying some pretty amazing scenery outdoors. Like any other sport, you'll need the proper gear in order to enjoy your time out on the water. After making the investment in all your SUP gear, you'll want to make sure that investment lasts by taking good care or your paddle boarding gear. The following tips will ensure your time out on the water is lasting and enjoyable.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) and Life Jackets:

A PFD is designed for flotation and to keep a conscious person’s head out of the water in calm conditions. A life jacket, on the other hand, is designed to turn an unconscious person from face down to face up in the water, allowing them to breathe. Lifejackets have more buoyancy than PFDs and most of the buoyancy material is in the front of the device. Despite the many differences, the way we care for these items will be quite similar. The following steps will show you how to clean life jackets and PFDs as well as remove any odors that may be present.

How to Clean Life Jackets and PFDs:

STEP 1: Rinse the life jacket or PFD with a hose or water.

STEP 2: Fill a bucket or container with 3 gallons of cold water. Add 1 oz. of a clean-rinsing detergent like ReviveX® Pro Cleaner.

STEP 3: Apply cleaner directly to heavily soiled areas and gently scrub with soft bristled brush. Try your best to avoid crushing or applying too much pressure to the life jacket or PFD while cleaning.

STEP 4: Dip the life jacket or PFD into the bucket. Clean the entire surface and straps with a sponge.

STEP 5: Rinse the life jacket or PFD in rinse water or with a hose.

STEP 6: Allow to air dry (NOTE: Do not hang in direct sunlight; a shady and well-ventilated outside area is best.).

STEP 7 (OPTIONAL): Once dry, apply UV Tech™ to the life jacket or PFD to protect it from sun damage and fading.

How to Remove Odors from Life Jackets and PFDs:

STEP 1: Fill a tub or bucket with approximately 5 gallons of cool water to submerge the life jacket or PFD.

STEP 2: Add 1 oz. of a microbe-based odor eliminator like MiraZyme™ to the 5 gallons of water. Stir to mix.

STEP 3: Submerge the life jacket or PFD in the MiraZyme solution and soak for 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Remove the life jacket or PFD from the MiraZyme solution and allow to air dry completely. Do not rinse the life jacket and do not apply heat. The microbes do much of their work while the item dries.

Important Considerations with Life Jackets and PFDs:

  • Never use any cleaning supplies or chemicals on the PFD or life jacket except for a clean-rinsing detergent.
  • Never press, flatten or kneel on the PFD or life jacket as it will damage the flotation material.
  • Make sure to rinse with cold water after every use, particularly if you are using the life jacket or PFD in salt water.
  • Inspect and test your life jacket and PFD at the beginning of every aquatic season.
  • Make sure your PFD or life jacket is equipped with an emergency whistle.
  • For evening paddlers, adding a strip of Reflective Tape to the PFD, like Tenacious Tape™ Reflective, ensures you stay visible.

Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) Boards:  

There are a number of different types of SUP boards for surfing, racing, cruising, white water paddling, fitness and more. Depending on the use, each type of board utilizes different shapes, designs and materials that are best suited for the specific type of SUP discipline. Despite these differences, the way that we care for these different types of boards will be quite similar. The following steps will show you how to clean, store and repair a stand up paddle board.

How to Clean a Stand-Up Paddle Board:

STEP 1: Rinse the SUP board with fresh water. Pay extra attention to the fin boxes, slider nut and screw, as well as the deck pad.

STEP 2: Use a mild detergent like ReviveX® Pro Cleaner periodically to help remove salts and to prevent bacteria and mildew from growing on your deck pad. Mix a ½ oz. of Pro Cleaner with 1.5 gallons of cold water and clean the board with a soft cloth. Be careful not to rub too much and shred the deck pad, especially on a diamond deck pad.

STEP 3: Thoroughly rinse the board with fresh water.

Stand Up Paddle Board Repair (SUP Ding Repair):

STEP 1: Clean and dry the damaged area to ensure no wax is present. We recommend a mild solvent like isopropyl alcohol.

STEP 2: Allow the board to dry overnight to ensure any trapped moisture has an opportunity to evaporate.

STEP 3: Apply a clear ding tape over the damaged area. Tenacious Tape Max Flex Patches seal up small dings, cracks, and punctures. Simply apply over the ding, smooth out any bubbles and ensure the edges lay flat. The adhesive will reach full strength after 24 hours.

How to Store a Stand-Up Paddle Board:

STEP 1: Clean and dry board. Allow 24 hours to completely dry.

STEP 2: Remove fins from board.

STEP 3: Open any air vents or vent plugs.

STEP 4: Place dry board into a reflective storage bag.

STEP 5: Store bag in a cool, dry area out of direct sunlight.

STEP 6: Use padding to protect the rails when storing on hard surfaces like wood floors or concrete.

Important Considerations:

  • If you can see the foam core, you should not get the board wet.
  • Always keep boards out of direct sunlight. At high temperatures the EPS foam core can become unstable which can lead to serious damage to your board.
  • Never place a wet or damp board into a storage bag.
  • Add rail guard tape to prevent damage and abrasion to the rail. Tenacious Tape Max Flex Patches feature a clear TPU material which is nearly invisible and safe from UV damage.
  • For evening paddlers, adding a strip of Reflective Tape to the SUP board, like Tenacious Tape™ Reflective, ensures you stay visible.

Wetsuits and Drysuits:

In colder environments, wetsuits and drysuits become an essential piece of stand up paddle board gear. Wetsuits are typically made of neoprene. This thick, spongy material contains thousands of tiny bubbles of nitrogen. The heat from your body warms the trapped gas, which acts like a buffer between you and the cold water outside the suit. Wetsuits allow water to enter, however. Drysuits, on the other hand, provide a waterproof barrier to keep you dry. By keeping you dry, a drysuit allows you to conserve your body heat. But inside a drysuit, you also wear insulating clothing. This traps air, which is warmed by your body heat. Despite the many differences, the way that we care for these items will be quite similar.

How to Clean Wetsuits and Drysuits:

STEP 1: Find a large tub or container to submerge the suit in water.

STEP 2: Mix 2 oz. of Wetsuit and Drysuit Shampoo by M Essentials™ with 4 gallons of water in the tub or container.

STEP 3: Apply cleaner directly to heavily soiled areas.

STEP 4: Allow to soak in tub or container for 10 minutes. Wash wetsuit or drysuit by hand with a kneading motion.

STEP 5: Rinse thoroughly with fresh water.

STEP 6: Air dry completely.

STEP 7 (OPTIONAL): Once dry, apply UV Tech™ to the wetsuit or drysuit to protect it from sun damage and fading. UV Tech is also great for conditioning seals and gaskets on drysuits.

How to Deodorize Wetsuits and Drysuits:

STEP 1: Fill a tub or container with approximately 5 gallons of cool water to submerge the wetsuit or drysuit.

STEP 2: Add 1 oz. of a microbe-based odor eliminator like MiraZyme™ to the 5 gallons of water. Stir to mix.

STEP 3: Submerge the wetsuit or drysuit in the MiraZyme solution and soak for 5 minutes.

STEP 4: Remove the wetsuit or drysuit from the MiraZyme solution and allow to air dry completely. Do not rinse the suit and do not apply heat. The microbes do much of their work while the item dries.

How to Repair a Wetsuit or Drysuit:

STEP 1: Thoroughly clean the repair area with isopropyl alcohol to remove any dirt, residues or body oils which may interfere with a good bond.

STEP 2: For holes larger than the size of a pencil eraser, apply a removable tape backing (i.e., Scotch tape) on the opposite side of the repair to prevent the adhesive from leaking through the hole.

STEP 3: Apply a thin layer of Aquaseal® repair adhesive over the rip, tear or hole.

STEP 4: Allow the adhesive to cure flat and untouched for 12 hours.

Important Considerations:

  • Always rinse suits after salt water use.
  • Once the outward part of your suit is dry, flip it inside out again to dry the other side.
  • Store wetsuits and drysuits flat or on a flexible, padded wetsuit hanger.
  • Store in a cool, dry and protected place out of direct sunlight.
  • Spraying the inside of your suit with Silicone Spray will make getting in and out of the suit much easier.

Paddles:

There are a number of different types of paddles, from plastic blades and aluminum shafts to fiberglass or carbon fiber. Luckily, other than being careful with their handling, paddles do not require much maintenance. The following tips will help ensure your paddle remains in great shape:

  • Rinse paddles with fresh water after each use.
  • Secure your paddle while traveling so it can’t bounce around.
  • Store paddle indoors and out of direct sunlight.

Take care of your SUP gear and your time on the water will be much more enjoyable.

Originally Published: Sep 2, 2015

Products from this article

Comments