How to Properly Clean and Store Your SUP

How to Properly Clean and Store Your SUP

Whether you're gearing up for paddling season or maintaining your gear throughout the summer, keeping your stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) clean is crucial for longevity and performance. Here’s a comprehensive cleaning guide for cleaning and maintaining your paddleboards, including specific tips for both inflatable as well as traditional hard models.

Cleaning the bottom of your SUP first is usually best so you don't attract more dirt or debris when cleaning the deck pad. Let the bottom dry for about 10 minutes before flipping to clean the top. You can also set your SUP on a [SUSPENZ STAND] large towel, rather than directly on the grass or dirt. 

Gather Materials:

  1. Soft sponge or cloth
  2. Mild soap (non-detergent, Dawn works great!)
  3. Hose or bucket of freshwater - a gentle pressure washer can work wonders as well
  4. UV protectant spray (optional, specific sprays for iSUPs) 

Cleaning Hard Stand-Up Paddleboards (SUPs)

  1. Rinse: Begin by rinsing your board with water to remove salt, dirt, and debris.
  2. Wash: Using a soft sponge and mild dish soap, gently scrub the surface. Pay special attention to areas where dirt tends to accumulate.
  3. Rinse Again: Thoroughly rinse off all soap.
  4. Dry: Use a soft towel to dry your board or let it air dry completely.
  5. Protect: Apply a UV protectant to shield the board from sun damage (optional, but recommended if you store your board in the sun).

Cleaning Inflatable SUPs

  1. Inflate the SUP: Partially inflate your board to make it easier to clean.
  2. Wash and Rinse: Clean with a soft sponge, mild soap, and water. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the material.
  3. Dry: After rinsing, dry thoroughly to prevent mildew.
  4. UV Protection: Once dry, apply a UV protectant designed for inflatable boards.
    • Avoid Abrasive Cleaners: Do not use abrasive cleaners or pads on your boards. These can erode the deck pad and PVC material, leading to premature wear and potential leaks.

    • Handle Graphics with Care: Be gentle around the graphics, logos, and board finish. Do not use cleaners on these decorated areas; instead, use only water and a soft cloth to avoid damaging the designs.

    • Proper Handling of Inflatable Boards: Never stand a rolled or folded inflatable board on its end, especially when wet. The folded edges are particularly susceptible to wear and tear. Always place the board flat on the ground when cleaning to avoid stress and potential damage.

    Why Clean Your SUP in Spring?

    Spring cleaning your stand up paddleboard not only helps in maintaining its aesthetics and structural integrity but also ensures safety. Dirt, grime, and salts can degrade materials, affecting buoyancy and performance. A clean boat also provides a better paddling experience, ensuring smooth and efficient movement in the water. It's also a great time to inspect for any damage or wear that may need repair, setting you up for a great season ahead.

    Cleaning Your iSUP Bag

    Regularly cleaning your iSUP bag is crucial for several reasons. It prevents abrasion from sand and dirt, which can wear down the fabric. It enhances the longevity of the bag by preventing the buildup of grime that can degrade materials. It also prevents mold and mildew growth in damp environments. 

    Here's how to ensure your bag remains in the best condition to protect your iSUP:

    Materials Needed:

    • Hose or vacuum
    • Mild detergent
    • Soft brush or cloth
    • Fresh water


    1. Empty the Bag: Remove all items from your bag. Shake it out thoroughly to dislodge any loose sand or dirt.

    2. Vacuum: For the best results, use a vacuum to clean the interior, especially if it has accumulated sand and dirt. This step is crucial for removing particles that can scratch or wear down the fabric.

    3. Spot Clean: Check for any stains or spots. Use a mild detergent with a soft brush or cloth to gently clean these areas. Avoid using harsh cleaners as they can damage the material of the bag.

    4. Rinse: If your bag is designed to be water-resistant, you can rinse it gently with a hose. For bags that aren't, use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior and interior.

    5. Air Dry: Hang the bag in a well-ventilated area or outdoors but away from direct sunlight to air dry. Ensure it’s completely dry before storing anything inside to prevent mildew or odors.

    6. Inspect and Repair: As you clean, inspect your bag for any tears or damage. Early detection of wear can help you repair before it becomes a bigger problem.

    Cleaning and Maintaining Your Paddle

    Regular maintenance of your paddle is crucial for several reasons. Not only does it prevent damage from harmful residues and corrosion that can be caused by saltwater, but it also enhances performance by ensuring tight connections that prevent slippage during use.

    Here’s how you can clean your paddle effectively: 

    Materials Needed:

    • Fresh water
    • Soft cloth or sponge
    • Towel for drying
    • Screwdriver
    • Optional: Thread locker (e.g., Loctite)


    • Disassemble: If you have a three-piece paddle, take it apart to access all areas.
    • Rinse Thoroughly: Use fresh water to rinse each piece of your paddle, paying special attention to the metal components which can corrode from saltwater. This will remove salt, microorganisms, and other debris.
    • Dry: Use a towel to dry all parts completely after rinsing.

    Maintain Your Paddle by Tightening the Screws

    • Inspect Screws: Check all screws for looseness. Loose screws can lead to inefficiency and wear.

    • Tighten Appropriately: Use a screwdriver to tighten any loose screws. Ensure they're snug but not overly tight, which can strip the threads.

    • Apply Thread Locker: If screws seem to loosen frequently, applying a small amount of thread locker can help maintain the tightness over time.

      Storing Your SUP

      Proper storage of your SUPs is key to prolonging their lifespan and maintaining their condition. Whether you have a hard board or an inflatable, the way you store your equipment can significantly impact its longevity and performance.

      Indoor Storage: The best place to store your SUP is indoors, such as in a garage or closet, where it is protected from the elements. This controlled environment shields the board from extreme temperatures and moisture, which can degrade materials over time.

      Outdoor Storage: If indoor space isn’t available, outdoor storage can work, but it requires careful management. Use weatherproof covers and ensure consistent UV protection to protect your board from sun, rain, or snow damage.

      Storage Racks: Utilize wall racks [SUSPENZ SUP RACK], ceiling racks, or freestanding racks to keep your SUP off the ground. This not only saves space but also prevents damage from moisture or accidental impacts.

      Ideal Storage Conditions for Inflatable SUPs:

      • Temperature Control: Store your inflatable SUP in an area with stable temperatures, ideally between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius, to prevent material degradation.
      • Avoid Direct Sunlight: UV rays can weaken and fade your board. Always store inflatables in a shaded spot or under a UV-resistant cover.
      • Dry Conditions: Before storing, ensure your board is completely dry to fend off mold and mildew. A ventilated area is ideal for keeping it dry.
      • Elevation: Keep your board elevated to protect it from pests and moisture.
      • Avoid Sharp Objects: Ensure there are no sharp objects that could puncture the inflatable material in the storage area.
      • Proper Folding: When deflating your board, fold it loosely rather than tightly rolling. This will put less strain on the seams, which can lead to leaks over time.
      • Ventilation: Good airflow in your storage area can prevent moisture buildup, especially important in humid climates or during stormy seasons.

      In Conclusion

      Properly maintaining and storing your stand-up paddleboards is essential for ensuring their longevity and performance. From cleaning techniques tailored to different types of boards, to detailed care for your paddle and bags, each step plays a crucial role in preserving your equipment. By following the recommended practices for both hard and inflatable models, you can prevent damage, enhance performance, and avoid the spread of invasive species. Remember to store your SUPs in appropriate conditions, utilizing indoor spaces or properly managed outdoor areas to protect them from the elements. With the right care, your paddleboards will be ready for countless adventures on the water, providing you with enjoyment and reliable service season after season.

      If you ever have any doubts about how to properly clean or store your SUP, don't hesitate to call us or send a message. We're always here to help! Whether you need advice on the best cleaning products, recommendations for UV covers, or any other maintenance tips. Your paddling success is our top priority!

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