Our first tip? Don’t do it. Stand up paddle-boarding is something you can enjoy in British Columbia through all four seasons. Some even prefer it, as the beaches and waterways are far less crowded than in the spring and summer months. Better yet, on a calm and crisp autumn morning, you can even see your mirrored reflection dance upon the glassy surface of the inland sea.
But we digress. We absolutely understand that not everyone is up for paddle-boarding when water and air temperatures hover in the 7°C to 9°C range. And if located anywhere east of BC you may need a pair of skates to navigate over local lakes instead. So allow us to step down off of our soapbox (err…SUP) to answer your question. Below are the best practices for storing your inflatable stand up paddle-board (ISUP) for the season.
6 Practical Tips to Storing Your Inflatable Stand Up Paddle-Board for the Autumn and Winter in Canada
1. Remove All Accessories
Strip your ISUP down to its bare bones, to the way you received it “out of the box” after purchase. This doesn’t mean unscrewing tie-downs or anything that came already installed, but it does require that you remove fins from the fin box, camera mounts, and any other bells and whistles that you’ve attached to it over the spring and summer.
2. Give it a Bath
Before you deflate and roll up your ISUP for storage, give it a bath. And no, your last summer session on the lake doesn’t count. Waterways, beaches, grassy knolls, along with automobile rooftops and trunk spaces all transfer bacteria to the surface and nooks/crannies of your board. You don’t want these microscopic troublemakers getting packed away for the season unless you enjoy the unmistakable smelly funk that comes along with it. This is of added concern for those who regularly use their ISUP on the ocean, or those who live near waterways that frequently receive water quality warnings.
To clean your board we recommend using a SUP specific cleaning kit like ON-IT products that include not only a PVC cleaner but also a deck pad cleaner and a UV conditioner. Reach for a soft microfiber cloth and definitely stay away from magic erasers which will eat away any protective coating on the PVC and probably also the artwork.
Allow it to dry in front of a fan overnight, and when the last drop has evaporated you can move on to the next phase.
3. Deflate your iSUP for Long Term Storage
With traditional ISUPs, you could spend the better part of an hour rolling and unrolling the “board” until the air is squeezed out, but with SeaGods Dual Action Inflation/Deflation pump it’s a breeze. Here is a great video of the best way to pack up your inflatable paddle board into its carry bag. Some riders cannot stand the thought of packing away their favourite iSUP and would rather leave inflated, ready to go. No problem, just drop the PSI down to about 10 PSI to prevent any overinflation due to ambient temperature changes. This is a fine way to keep a beautiful thing in the limelight it deserves. A beautiful board with independent artwork from a local artist can be beautifully displayed hung securely from the ceiling or walls.
4. Place it Within its Designated Carrier
This sounds obvious, but people often forget where they put the sheath that their ISUP initially came in. If this is your situation, resist the urge to wrap a bungee cord around it and stuff it in a box (etc.) as this will not afford your ISUP with adequate protection. If you have lost the cover, look online for the nearest replacement. If shopping for a UV-protective backpack bag like this a nice oversize one makes it easy to pack up and wheels are a definite plus. That said, if you invest in a SeaGods ISUP, you will have a premium wheeled backpack bag that is tailor-made to safely store and transport your board.
5. Don’t Cram it in the Attic or Storage Shed
Store your board in the bag, fin box up, with all the accessories situated on top, in a laying position. This puts less stress on the side seam and avoids having a pump-shaped divot in the board after laying on it all winter. Do not store anything on top. Keep away from rodents and insects. Believe it or not, mice will chew through your iSUP, so don’t store it in the grain shed or anywhere that mice will access it. If you invest in a top-shelf board, then keep it … on the top shelf.
6. Store It Safe and Warm
Premium ISUPs are sturdy beasts and can take pretty much anything that Mother Nature throws their way on the water. The same is not true when your ISUP rests under a stack of boxes and other gear in your garage, basement, or storage locker in the icy winter months. Frozen boards are much less durable, as freezing temperatures can cause PVC and Plastic to become brittle. Avoid dropping or having an impact on boards that are frozen. It is fine to store boards in unheated areas, but bring them up to room temperature before unfolding.
Sea Gods offers a Lifetime warranty on iSUPs, but most manufacturers only offer one or maybe two years. A good paddle board can be a large investment, and it is worth your time to take care of your board so it can be enjoyed for years to come.
If you have any questions about how to store your Sea Gods inflatable stand up paddle-board feel free to contact us anytime.