Is It OK to Leave an Inflatable SUP Inflated?

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You can leave your inflatable standup paddleboard, or SUP, inflated for short periods every few days. However, there are still precautions you should take so it won’t get damaged by the weather.

We have over 20 years of experience in water sports, so we are here to provide you some excellent insight into the question: Is it ok to leave a SUP inflated?

We’ll also delve into several topics on SUP maintenance, including:

  • The amount of time you can leave your paddleboard inflated
  • The risks of leaving your SUP inflated for prolonged periods
  • How to care for and store your SUP

Do I Need to Deflate My Inflatable Board After Every Use?

Although some paddleboarders might feel comfortable leaving their boards inflated after taking them out on the water, others prefer deflating them to preserve their performance. 

By deflating it after every use, you keep its material from deteriorating quickly.

The most common material you’ll find in inflatable SUPs is polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, plastics. When this material inflates, it builds pressure that causes wear and tear after extended use. To avoid puncturing the material and costly repairs or replacements, deflate it to release its internal pressure and keep it from overstretching.

Luckily, the deflation process is easy to follow. After removing its valve cap and setting the valve pin to open, you can release as much air as you want before sealing and storing it.

It’s usually best to deflate your board at a dry location (away from dead grass) and hose it off if the location has one. If it doesn’t fold the board up and hose it of at home. 

How Long Can I Leave My Paddle Board Inflated For?

If you don’t have time to deflate your board you may ask, “Is it ok to leave an inflatable SUP inflated for a few days?” 

The amount of time you can leave it in this state depends on the board. One aspect you should consider is the quality of your inflatable SUP’s material; not all SUPs have the same construction, so one brand may last longer when left inflated than others.

For example, some brands can be left inflated for several months. However, to help you preserve your paddleboard’s longevity, we recommend keeping it inflated for a few days. 

If you’re an avid paddleboarder and want to keep it inflated for more extended periods. It’s a good idea to deflate it after each use.

Believe me I know how convenient it is to just let it be!

To play it safe, we recommend leaving your board inflated for a few days, with one week being the highest limit. The same goes for cleaning, especially if it’s been in ocean water. 

When leaving your inflatable SUP inflated, you should avoid stacking heavy objects on it because it could dent the shape of your board. 

Although the board’s lightweight build can support your weight, it won’t fare well with prolonged pressure from other weighted objects.

Another factor you should consider when storing an inflated SUP is the environment’s temperature. An ideal range for a cool and dry location is between 40 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Any temperature colder or hotter than this range can damage your board, so it would be best to store it indoors to keep it in a consistent environment.

What are Some of the Consequences of Leaving My Board Inflated?

Suppose you don’t want to deflate your SUP after using it for a few hours. What happens then?

Risks of Leaving Your Paddle Board Outside

Although some people prefer leaving their paddle-boarding equipment outside for more convenient access, it’s not recommended for long-term placement. Especially if you have variable seasons like in the northern United States and Canada.

Exposure to outdoor elements is one of the major reasons why a paddleboard deteriorates quickly. Below are a few reasons for this. 

Sun Exposure

Sunlight can cause long-term damage to your inflatable SUP, even when its PVC surface has resistance against ultraviolet rays. Eventually, this exposure leads to cracks on its surface, making it unusable. 

Additionally, the sun’s heat can make your board expand, causing its seams and surface to rip or puncture, and fade your board’s colors.

Dampness

Leaving your inflatable SUP damp or in the rain makes it susceptible to wear and tear on its seams, even in models with double drop stitch layering. A damp board can also gather mildew or mold growth, damaging the board and making it unappealing.

When leaving your board in any area, consider finding a place with shelter from the elements to keep it as dry as possible

Other External Damage or Risks

Leaving your board outdoors opens it to several unpredictable types of damage. For instance, gusty winds can send stray tree branches flying, which can puncture your board with enough force. This damage is more likely to occur in SUPs with thinner layering or lower-quality materials.

Additionally, the wind can also knock heavier objects onto it, damaging its foundation.

Animals may also try eating your board if you leave it unprotected. Leaving your paddleboard outside also makes it easier for somebody to steal it. The best way to avoid these issues is to find a secure location with minimal damage risks. 

Garages that are temperate are a good place. If you live in an apartment, consider a closet, but make sure the SUP is dry!

Why is My Board Losing Air?

Like most inflatable things, your paddleboard will lose air over time. This rate changes depending on the changing environment. Unless you deflate it, expect more wear and tear that makes it lose more air.

Note: This Board was not loosing air, just for demonstraion purposes 🙂

When the seasons change, so do the environment’s temperature and air pressure levels.

For example, during the summer, warm air makes air pressure rise, air molecules take more space, which can make your inflatable SUP leak

Inversely, exposing it to frigid temperatures can cause internal damage. 

To counteract this, pay attention to your board’s air pressure with a PSI gauge. This can be done using a hand pump that came with your SUP or an electric SUP pump. To read the PSI. 

If you don’t wish to fold the board. Release any excessive air to lower it to its most stable levels. That way, you can relax its seams and keep the board from expanding uncontrollably. 

Things to Do to Prepare the Board for Storage

There are several ways you can keep your inflatable SUP in tip-top shape before storing it away for the week or the end of summer. When inflating and deflating your board, consider doing the following to ensure you avoid replacing it frequently.

Clean It

When leaving your SUP inflated, you must keep it as clean as possible. Giving your board a thorough wash can remove PVC-damaging dirt, grime, and salt build-ups when used outdoors.

Be sure to use clean it with fresh water when dealing with light dirt layers. Deeper stains may require soap that is compatible with your board’s materials. It would be best to avoid products containing harsh chemicals.

After rinsing off the soap residue on your inflatable SUP, be sure to dry it off with a soft-bristle brush or towel to get rid of the extra debris. Scrubbing too hard damages the surface, so consider using less pressure.

Store It in Its Own Bag

One convenience of using an inflatable SUP is its compact storage capabilities. Most models come with a compatible bag. Just keep the bag away from harsh outdoor elements.

Folded ISUP

After deflating the board, it’s best to roll it up before placing it in your bag. However, you should avoid rolling it too tight to avoid straining the seams and give it some breathability.

Be sure to check that your board is fully dry before placing it in the bag to prevent it from becoming damp and attracting bacteria or mold. 

Once placed in its bag, you can keep your board in your home until you’re ready to paddleboard again!

Keep It Elevated If You Keep it Inflated

If you want to keep your SUP inflated while storing it, you should store it on a rack or sawhorse to keep it away from the dirty ground. 

Additionally, laying it flat on a sawhorse evens out its air pressure in case you need to release some air to keep it stable.

Our Conclusion: It’s Okay, for Short Periods of a few days, but Over a Week is Stretching It

For those of you asking, “is it ok to leave an inflatable SUP inflated?” It’s ok to leave them inflated for short periods within a few days or a week at max.

When you want to store your board for a longer time. It’s best to deflate it and fold it away in its bag. Place it in an area with balanced temperatures, minimal exposure to the sun, and away from the elements.

Keeping your inflatable SUP in top condition may take some extra care and attention, but with a bit of practice and perseverance, you can extend your board’s lifespan and continue using it for many years.
Before deciding if you want to leave your board inflated, consider how often you want to use it. That way, you can save extra time cleaning it and enjoy your next water adventure!

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Author:
Hey, My name is Derek and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports. My new-found passion is learning about and testing SUP's. I love teaching people what to look for.

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