Why Store Your Inflatable Paddleboard/Kayak Inflated?
Whenever I go camping by a lake, I often leave my paddleboard inflated the entire trip. Doing this means I spend less time inflating and deflating my board, and it’s more accessible when I want to head out on the water. Storing a paddleboard or kayak inflated is fine and won’t do any damage to the board if it’s stored the right way.
Here are some tips for when you want to store your ISUP or inflatable kayak still inflated, following these suggestions will help keep your inflatable stand up paddleboard looking new and stop it from being damaged over time.
Keep it out of the sun.
The sun is fantastic, especially when you’re out on the water, but when you head to land and take your board with you, the sun becomes a factor that could potentially damage it. There are a few things the sun does to your paddleboard, the first, and most hazardous, is it warms the air inside and expands it. The expanded air raises the psi of the board causing more pressure on the seams. ISUP’s are made for high-pressure but leaving your board exposed for too long could cause it to burst a seam.
It also weakens the board over time, meaning you may not have a problem the day you leave it out, but it could be the reason for a leak later on. It’s okay to be inflated on the water because the cold water keeps the temperature of the air in the ISUP low. The sun rays heat it, while the water cools it off, keeping the psi stable, but without the water to regulate the temperature, your board is at risk.
The second thing the sun does is fade your inflatable stand up paddleboard or inflatable kayak. There are a lot of cool designs, and paddleboards aren’t cheap, you want your board looking fresh for as long as possible. Much like your skin, UV rays slowly damage everything over time. Storing your board in a shady area keeps the deck from getting unnecessary exposure and keeps it looking nice. It also helps keep the footpad from peeling.
Even if you’re going to be taking your ISUP or inflatable kayak out the next day, it’s good to wash it off after using it especially if you’ve been floating on salty water. Salt is very corrosive, and much like the sun can damage your board over time. Even if you’ve been on freshwater, sand and mud can rub against the surface scratching and/or discoloring it while storing it. Giving it a quick rinse or even taking some soapy water and a soft brush to your ISUP or inflatable kayak is always going to keep it looking nice and in good shape.
Also, don’t forget about the fins in your inflatable stand up paddleboard, they are made of rigid plastic that can become brittle and break easier if not cleaned and stored correctly, replacement fins can be spendy and hard to find, so you want to keep the original for as long as possible.
Release a little air
Most ISUP’s have a recommended inflation of 12-15 psi, this is so the board is at the optimal stiffness while not being overinflated and cause damage. If you leave your ISUP or kayak inflated while not in use it doesn’t necessarily need to be at the optimal psi. Opening the valve to release 3-5 psi is always a good idea to give the seams a break and keep your board safe in case it somehow gets left in the sun. When you want to use it again, all it takes is a few quick pumps, and it’s ready to go.
Keep it off the ground and dry
Moisture can cause damage over time when storing an inflatable stand up paddleboard or an inflatable kayak. It’s important to keep the board dry on both sides whether you are going to fold it up and pack it away or leave it inflated overnight. Setting the inflated board on wooden planks or buckets is an excellent way to dry both sides of the ISUP or inflatable kayak and keep it clean. If you want something more long term, there are freestanding paddleboard/kayak racks that can be placed almost anywhere, racks that mount to the wall for paddleboards and for kayaks, or even ceiling racks for paddleboards and kayaks. However you store it, a dry board will stay in better condition for much longer.
Keep it in a safe place
Where there’s water, there can be a lot of wind. Inflated boards are always at risk to be caught by the wind and blown away because of how light they are. Wind storms can hit suddenly and at night so make sure you store your board in a place where it will either be out of the wind or secured to something.
Whenever I leave my boards out overnight, I set them up on wooden planks, and use rope and stakes to secure them to the ground. When it comes to my paddleboards and the wind, I go the extra mile to keep them safe. If you are going to stake them to the ground make sure you have the right kind of stake so they won’t be pulled up, my choice is the Orange Screw. They work great in loose sand and hold tight against the wind.