You’ve got your inflatable paddle board, now where are you storing it?
In this guide, we go through what you need to do between the time you take your board out of the water and store it for winter. We show you exactly how to store an inflatable paddle board.
We give you options and paddle board storage ideas that can fit just about any living space and ensure your board is kept in good condition so you can get out in the water for longer.
Things You Must Do Before Storing an Inflatable SUP
Before you even think of storing a paddle board you have to take steps to properly maintain the materials and integrity of the board. After all who wants to open up their bag on the first paddling day of summer and find a moldy and smelly paddle board awaiting them?
We go into a lot more detail about this subject in our how to clean an inflatable paddle board article
Clean and Rinse
After each SUP excursion, I like to rinse my paddleboard. This is especially true after coming from salt water. If your launching station has a hose or running fresh water, use it! Otherwise, wait until you get home.
Rinse the board all over while it’s inflated and make sure to get all the grime and sand off all areas including the fin box.
Once the board is wet you use a towel to dry it off. You can also let the sun do its part but don’t keep it out too long. Especially in hotter climates like the desert SUPs can burst from the seams like the Cool Aid Man running through bricks. Simply reduce the PSI of the board and let it dry off if the temperature is too hot.
Every Once and a While Scrub
For winter storage or longer-term storage, you will want to use mild soap or inflatable boat cleaner that you can find on Amazon or your local marine store. From there, you want to use a sponge, towel, or cloth and try to get all the marks out. Mr. Clean Magic erasers also work great for this purpose.
Do You Keep the Board Inflated or Deflated?
This is a personal preference but we will walk you through both. I personally like to deflate the board because I don’t have a lot of room for storage where I live. But if you’ve got it, it can be beneficial to keep your board inflated. There are just a few things to keep in mind.
When and How to Store Your Inflatable Paddle Board Inflated
If you’ve got a garage or a shed that can fit an inflatable SUP then it’s preferential to keep the board inflated. There are some caveats though.
- Make sure there are no windows or long periods of time where the board will have direct sunlight on it. The UV rays from the sun can be harmful to PVC
- Ensure the SUP has different support points to elevate pressure on one area. Especially when suspended or lying flat
- Keep the board off the ground. You never know what critters get into your garage or shed. In an ideal world suspend the board from a rack. This will also protect it from colder temperatures that the floor provides.
- Reduce the PSI to about 5. This pressure reduces friction on the materials for a long period of time and will also protect the SUP from temperature increases and drops.
When and How to Store Your Inflatable Paddle Board Deflated
One of the reasons people buy inflatable paddle boards is so they have room to store the board. If you are like me, and you live in an apartment or condo. Having your board fully inflated won’t be an option unless you want to piss off your spouse with “new wall decor” that consists of a big inflatable board hanging over the couch.
“What I like to do is clean the board, dry it, and pack it back into its bag for storage. I like to keep a bit of a loose roll with my inflatable SUPs so that there is not so much pressure on the seams. I also don’t have too much of a choice in the matter as I have a lack of space available as well”– Editors Notes
When storing your board inside be sure to remember:
- Make sure the board is dry! You don’t want moisture to build up in the fold or in the bag!
- In an ideal world, keep the bag lying flat on its back or side. Standing the board up can cause some pressure on the sides.
- Don’t stack anything heavy over the bag. This will add more undue pressure you don’t need for your SUP. It’s tempting to save space but resist the temptation!
Storage Spot Ideas for Inflatable Paddle Boards
Below are some storage ideas for your inflatable SUP.
Indoor Inflatable Paddle Board Storage Ideas:
- Underneath bed
- Inside a tote or container
- In Locker storage
- Stood up in a garage
- In Bag
- Stood Up
- In bag
Outdoor Storage is usually something I would stay away from. But if you put a gun to my head and had no choice…
Outdoor Inflatable Paddle Board Ideas
- On a wall rack covered by a tarp
- On a racking system covered by a tarp
- Standing Up covered with a tarp
While you can store your inflatable board in its bag outside, most likely the bag will get wet and increase mold growth. Which in turn greatly decreases not only the lifespan of your board but also the bag.
The reason why we generally recommend that you stay away from outdoor storage is that there are a lot of outdoor elements that can significantly decrease or even blow up your board if you are not careful. Below are some things to be wary of.
Things to Be Aware of When Storing an Inflatable Paddle Board
Most of the dangers that can happen to your paddle board come from environmental factors. The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to find an indoor dry area with little direct sun exposure to your board.
UV rays and PVC are an overall bad combination. Especially in hot desolate areas. To show this we have a Reddit quote that really exemplifies the damage that extreme sun exposure can have on an ISUP.
“You can leave iSUPs inflated for long periods of time. The thing you need to worry about is heat and pressure changes throughout the day.
Lets say you fill your board when you get there to it’s recommended 15PSI (for example) at 4 in the afternoon. You use the board that afternoon and store it. The next morning you check the pressure and it reads 8-10PSI, so you top it off before going out in the morning. You stop for lunch and leave the board on the deck. About 30 minutes later you hear a loud “BOOM!” – you just exploded your board. Even if you don’t top off your board in the morning, leaving it out in the heat can increase the internal pressure and cause an explosive decompression. A blown seam is (9 times out of 10) not a repair, its a replacement.”– Mcarneybsa (Reddit)
Keep in mind, folks who live in hot climates like the desert need to be more mindful of how they store their SUP when they are not using it due to heat expanding the pressure in your board.
To avoid such a catastrophe store your SUP in the shade when you are not using it. I would even go as far as letting some air out if it will be outside the whole day. Storing it in its bag deflated is also an excellent way to protect it from direct UV exposure.
Both extreme humidity and cold can cause a lot of damage to an exposed paddle board. The best way to combat this is by storing your board inside your apartment, house, storage unit, shed, or garage. The inside should be in the temperature range of between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 – 32 Celsius.
When storing your board you want to avoid areas that are damp. As stated above I discourage outdoor storage for inflatable paddle boards specifically for this reason.
Over time moisture buildup can lead to mold build-up and bacterial growth which makes your paddle board have dark black spots on it. Not ideal at all. See video below.
Leaving Your Board on the Ground
There are two frames of mind when it comes to this. Leaving the board on the floor of the garage and leaving it on the ground in an outdoor setting.
While leaving the board on the ground in the garage may seem harmless the board is more exposed to extreme temperatures from the concrete foundation. Think about if for a second. Do you willingly walk in your garage in bare feet? Instead either put the board in its bag and store it lying down or keep it stored on a rack to protect it from these extreme temperature changes.
In an outdoor setting, the risk to your board is greatly heightened when you leave it on the ground. Your SUP can be exposed to dirt, grime, and sand which over time deteriorates the PVC and glue of your board. On top of that, there are those little rodents and creepy crawlies that like to take nibbles out of plastic material which can end up destroying your board before you even have a chance to paddle during the summer months.
How to Store an inflatable Paddle Board FAQ’s
Below are some common storage FAQs that I get asked when dealing with inflatable SUPs.
How Do You Store A Paddle Board For Winter?
Keep your inflatable paddle board in a cool dry indoor place away from any outer elements like rain, sunlight, moisture, and dirt. I personally like to keep my boards in their bag for the winter months in a storage locker.
Should You Roll Or Fold An Inflatable SUP?
You should fold the paddle board. Rolling the board in a circular motion will put more pressure on the fin box which can cause some internal damage to your inflatable board. Depending on where the valve is located I usually like to start folding with the fin box.
Can You Store An Inflatable Paddle Board In A Hot Garage?
The garage should be within the temperature range of between 40 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 – 32 Celsius. A hot garage with lots of humidity causes more stress on the materials and can decrease the lifespan of your board.
Can You Transport An Inflatable SUP Inflated?
Yes, you can indeed transport your inflatable SUP inflated using a roof rack. Make sure that the board has multiple tie-down points to avoid any unnecessary pressure on one specific area. Also, keep it snug but don’t overdo it.
Leaving an inflatable paddle board inflated is best for short trips in between but not recommended in between longer bouts unless the board is burped to 5 PSI and stored in a dry indoor spot like a shed or garage.
How Often Do I Need To Clean An Inflatable SUP?
At the very least rinse the board after every SUP excursion to increase the life span. Especially when it comes to saltwater exposure.
Before winter I like to use mild soap, a sponge, and Mr clean Magic eraser to get out those stubborn stains. It’s a good idea to do this periodically throughout the year if you use your paddle board often.