How To Care For Your Inflatable SUP

Caring for your inflatable stand up paddleboard is actually very simple. The majority of them are built tough and able to withstand a fair amount of abuse.

Therefore it is just a matter of doing three things correctly in order to make sure it stays strong and lasts for many years.

3 Steps To Care For Your Inflatable SUP

1. Protect The Material

There are two ways to protect the material on your board. The first thing you want to do is buy a 303-protectant spray.

303-protectant can be purchased on most retailers that sell inflatable kayaks, boards or boats.

Spray your entire board and follow the instructions on the bottle. Be sure to wipe off any excess or it can make the board slippery.

The 303-protectant will protect the material from damage from UV rays and exposure to the elements.

Exposure to the elements will weaken the material over time especially if you are using it often and the hot sun.

Think of the 303-protectant spray as sunscreen for your board. It simply protects it and keeps it strong.

The next way you are going to protect the material is to make sure it is completely dried off after use before you store it away.

Inflatable SUP’s are much easier to dry off than inflatable kayaks as the water truly just rolls off of them. There are no nooks and crannies for it to get stuck in.

However I always bring an old towel along and give it a quick wipe down so that any excess moisture is removed before storing it in its carry bag.

This prevents any mold and mildew from growing on the material when it is not in use.

2. Avoid Dragging

Although inflatable stand up paddleboards are extremely tough it still makes sense to protect it as much as possible.

One of the best ways to do this is to carry it to and from the water and avoid dragging it on rocks, gravel or over sharp debris when at all possible.

My boards to get the odd scrape on the bottom but I am very conscious of carrying the board when I can and avoiding sharp debris in the water.


3. Store It Away
It is important that when your board is not in use, that it is stored away in a dry and cool place.

If you must keep your board outside then it is recommended to cover it with a tarp in order to protect it from falling debris and exposure to the elements.

Also check the air pressure again before each use as the pressure can lesson over time when stored outside.

Most importantly is do not store it in direct sunlight as the UV rays will wear the material down.

Follow the above three steps and your board will last for many years to come.

Important Tip

One more important tip that I will point out is to remember that when your inflatable SUP is in extreme heat the air pressure will expand.

Therefore after several hours of paddling in extreme heat it may be necessary to pull up on shore and let out a tiny bit of air pressure.

Similarly in extreme cold the air pressure will diminish and you may need to add more after several hours.

View our inflatable SUP reviews to find the right board to suit your needs.

Comments

  1. Hi, great tips there and i love your site.
    I’ve been looking ways to protect my new purchase isup… newbie here.
    I have one thing to concern which is not covered in this article, i’m staying in condo which i do not have space for the isup or intent to carry up so i keep it in my car and travel from my condo to office basement parking, but i do go to lake with it every weekend. If my country is cool then is fine but it’s always hot in Malaysia which i’m start worry now days. So, does it ok to keep in the car? Thanks.

    • Hey Alex, yes the kayak will hold up for years in extreme heat. You shouldn’t have any problems. Make sure it’s dry when you store it in your car so it doesn’t grow any mold.

  2. I wonder if anyone has the sea eagle 114 sup but the older 4 inch thick model with the bungies front and back? I just ordered this one from sea eagle and wonder if there is much difference between this older model and the newer 114 sup that is 6 inchesa thick

    • Allison says:

      Hi Kathy, I have both the older 114 and the newer model. Performance wise I don’t notice a huge difference. The extra 2″ thickness on the new model makes it more stable and rigid for anyone over 160 lbs. in my opinion. The newer one is a little more versatile for a range of different people but I still think the older version is a great board.

  3. William says:

    I’m looking at the sea eagle 126 and have noticed on several sites that they have a very poor review. Is the quality of workmanship alot worse than that of the Red sups? Do you think that they are a good buy or is the Red that much better?

    • Allison says:

      I have the Needlenose 116 and my boyfriend has the 126. We both love them and have never had an issue with either of them. They get used a lot and although we are conscious of being careful with them, I would say they take a fair amount of abuse. I know that the Red boards are extremely well made and their price reflects that. I still however prefer my Needlenose over the majority of other boards that I’ve tried. I’m not sure in the long run which one would last longer but I can say that I find the quality of the Sea Eagle to be perfectly fine. In my opinion they’re a good buy. Hope that helps.

  4. Do you have any tips for storing your inflatable bored during the winter?

    • Make sure it’s totally dry, then roll it up and store it in it’s carry bag. I keep mine either in my crawlspace or my garage for part of the winter… as long as it’s stored in a dry, cool place, it’ll be fine. You just don’t want to leave it out exposed to the elements.

      • The storage directions on my isup was to not store it for long periods of time in the bag. That never made sense to me since that was where it was stored until I purchased it. It sounds like you know a lot about them and I just wanted to know what you thought about that? Thanks

  5. Dave Keegan says:

    Hi Allison,
    Love your site!
    We are considering these two isup’s boards. I can’t seem to find any info on them. Do you have any reviews or ratings on them?
    Aquaglide Cascade 10’6” and the Astro Blend 11’2? Fun – Starboard
    Thank You,
    Dave

    • Hi Dave, Unfortunately I haven’t tested either of those boards yet. I have no experience with the Aquaglide board however I have tried a few of the Starboard’s. Just from past experience with Starboard I would have no hesitation in purchasing the Astro Blend. Their boards are typically excellent with added features that really make them worth the price. I think the Astro Blend Fun is a great looking board. Sorry I couldn’t help you with the Aquaglide, I am hoping to review that one within this next year.

  6. Hi Allison,

    I paddle a 12.6 shubu raven. Have you tested any electric pumps for ISUPS?

    • Hi Steve, I’ve tried several electric pumps over the years. The two I found that actually worked well for ISUP’s are the BTP two-stage electric turbo pump and the Airhead high-pressure electric pump. The BTP pump is more expensive but I prefer it. It inflates the board faster and feels more solid to me. I feel like it will last longer than the Airhead pump. It also comes with a carry bag. The Airhead pump works great, it just takes a slight bit longer to inflate. It feels a little flimsier to me and there is no carry bag. However I’ve never had an issue with it and for the price I think it’s a good deal. Hope that helps. Your question made me realize that I never actually did a review on the BTP electric pump so that is now next on my to-do list 🙂

  7. Steve Taft says:

    Hi Allison,

    I am a newbie to the ISUP world with a 12′ Saturn inflatable. I was hoping to take it with me to CA but not sure if there are any extra precautions I should take before sending it with the luggage on the plane. Have you flown with one before and does the carry bag protect ok?

    Any suggestions?
    Thanks Steve

    • Hi Steve, I have flown with my ISUP before. The first couple times I checked it on the plane in the regular carry bag that the SUP came with. I taped the straps down so they wouldn’t get caught or torn. The board was totally fine but I did find after flying with it like that a couple of times the bag started to get marked up. It was actually one time in particular that it ended up with black marks all over it. So I then purchased one of those large rolling duffle bags and I put my SUP in there the next time I flew with it. It worked great. Another option is to put that plastic wrap around the carry bag to protect it a little and keep the straps tucked in. Just a little bit of that wrap around the body would help. That being said I know people who fly with their boards all the time and just check it as is in the regular carry bag… depends how cautious you want to be and how strong your SUP bag is… they tend to all differ.

  8. Hi Allison,

    Congratulations on the great job and information you provide through this blog.

    Regarding the application of the 303-Protectant, how often do you reckon i should apply it?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Thanks Jim! It is recommended to apply the 303 Protectant roughly every 45 days. However I think it really depends how often you are using your board. I actually only apply it about twice a year – although I should probably be doing it far more often.

  9. I bought an inflatable SUP this summer. We have extremely cold temperatures in MN (-50 below at times). How should I store my iSUP? Should I deflate it and put it in warm storage or leave it inflated and keep it in our non-heated shed? Thanks in advance for ur reply.

    • Normally I would say deflate it and store it in the shed but in your case I would probably bring it inside to room temperature. -50 is extremely cold… I’m not 100% sure of the effects of temperature that cold on an inflatable SUP. I’d say deflate it and store it somewhere warmer to be safe.

  10. This is a great resource!

    What do you think I should do if I am a little late in reading all of this (i.e. already have some discoloring (mildew/mold?) on my isup?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hey Joe, Try a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. Scrub it with the mixture then rinse. You may have to repeat a few times depending on how bad it is. The vinegar should kill the mold. I’ve heard it can sometimes help to just spray some vinegar on it and leave it for a bit first, then scrub with the mixture. Avoid any harsh cleaners that are too abrasive. Hope that helps!

  11. Hi there – I’m wondering if it’s OK to leave my SUP inflated and store it under my deck over the summer – I don’t really have any space indoors and am getting sick of inflating it every time I want to go for a paddle. Any advice would be appreciated!

    • It will lose some air pressure over time if left inflated over the whole summer. How fast it loses air seems to depend on the board. However you can definitely leave it inflated – especially if it is stored out of the elements. Just do a quick pressure check before going out as you may need to top it up with a couple pumps of air.

  12. I’m making hammock like hook with pulley on my garage ceiling to store my isup. Away from windows. Mesh Any suggestions?
    I live in PA. So ga rage is dry usually 50-85 degrees
    Ps grear site..

    • Thanks Joan! That sounds like a great idea. I always store my ISUP’s deflated and in their carry bag so I have never attempted to make anything like that. However I don’t see any issue with it as long as it is kept out of the elements. They’re not heavy so mesh is probably just fine. Or else you could even just use two or three straps attached to the hooks.

  13. Hi!

    I just purchased an inflatable sup. I would like to know Is ti bad to constantly inflate and deflate the board? I find when I travel its easier to take from place to place. However I imagine this creates alot of wear and tear on the board. What are your thoughts?

    • Hi Jordan, Definitely no problem constantly inflating and deflating your board. I deflate mine after every use and it gets used often. They are designed to withstand it. The most important thing is just making sure you towel dry it before rolling it back up when deflated.. and store it in a dry cool place.

  14. Hi Allison, thanks for these tips. I’ll be getting my first board in a few days. I also got the 303 protectant. How often do you apply it? Btw I went with a the Ten Toes Globetrotter instead of the Jetsetter which I mentioned on your Weekender board review page.

    • Awesome! The Globetrotter looks like a great board! I only apply the 303 protectant like once a year. However we don’t get a whole lot of hot sun here so if you live in a warmer climate I would definitely suggest applying it more often.

      • Hi Allison I got the board today. Really excited to try it out. I’m on the opposite coast of you in Halifax ( you’re in BC right?) so it doesn’t get too warm here either. That’s actually one of the reasons i’m not too worried about my new black/red board. Thanks again for the reply, info and your very informative website!

  15. Hi,
    Thanks for the tips but I’m still wondering if I can apply side tapes on an hinchable Sup?
    I spot that, after a day teaching sup to a friend that the paddle made fue scratches on the sides :/

  16. Donna Harland says:

    I just got an ISUP for Christmas. I have a regular SUP but my car is too small to carry it on the top so I don’t use it much. The inflatable is perfect to take it to different places inland on canals when the wind is blowing and the ocean is too choppy. I will have to deflate it each time I go somewhere in order for it to fit in the car. My question is, should I take it out of the bag and partially re-inflate when I get home where I will store it in my house? Most of these posts sound like people keep their boards inflated all the time. The purpose of mine is flexibility in where I use it and I don’t have to give up my sports car. But what is the best way to store it if it may be a month between uses?

    • Hey Donna, sorry I’m a little late answering your comment. I deflate mine after each use. Just dry it off well with a towel before storing it away in the bag and keep it in a dry cool place. Mine stays that way most of the winter and it is always fine.

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