Whether you just picked up a new board, new used, or have an oldie but goodie, taking the extra time to care for you board and other gear can dramatically extend its life span and ensure you get the most out of your investment.
First, and most important, is never, ever let your board sit out in the direct sun in hot locations. There is far too much risk for delamination with heat and repeated heating and cooling can effect the durability of the glass job over time. Even though reflective board bags can reduce heat, the same rule applies for no sun for extended time.
Also, if you are using a board bag, which is a great way to protect your board in travels and storage, I recommend a padded bag with vents. No vents? Don’t worry, just leave the zipper open a bit to vent. If you are driving, the wind will usually keep the board cool enough for the long hauls.
Next is Rail Tape, a thick clear mylar tape applied to the rail to mainly prevent scuffs from hitting the paddle and you can replace if needed down the road. Since leaning the board up on rail while at car or on the beach the tape will protect again those little scratches that can tend to appear from nowhere.
Rinsing your board off after each session quickly will accomplish a few things. First off the salt will be washed off for clean board and traction pad. Salt build up from not rinsing can make your deck pad feel crusty and stiff. During the wash down check to see if your board has any dings as the water flows over the curves of the board. Lastly but equally important is getting the dings fixed before your next session as water penetrating the ding will make the repair more challenging.
Next to your board the paddle you have is the other key piece of gear that needs a bit a special attention due to being made of carbon fiber. Carbon can get scratches and nicks that can weaken the paddle over time and impacts on the board can have an affect over time also. Paddle tape can be applied to the blade edge to help protect against this as for scratches and nicks you must pay attention when storing and transport to the beach. A blade cover or a full paddle bag are great ideas to help protect your paddle.
Your other accessories, leash, wetsuit, and booties will love a fresh water rinse off after each session and you will be surprised at how much longer they last. This is another great time to inspect for potential wear and tear, it’s nice to replace your leash before it breaks and your favorite board goes on the rocks! Remember to fully let all your SUP gear dry or funky surf bacteria will start to grow and give that smell only a surfer knows.
I hope this info helps you get those most out of your gear. I started taking this extra time years ago and can truly say it makes a big difference.
Stay stoked and until next topic “ Enjoy your Adventure”.