To help you store an inflatable kayak or stand up paddle board (SUP) we have put together a list of top tips. Whether you are looking to store for a few days or weeks these tips will help protect your craft so it’s ready for future paddles.
1. Check, clean and dry your inflatable kayak or paddle board
Firstly, you will want to check your inflatable kayak or paddle board for any living organisms or plant material that may have been picked up from a recent paddle. For multi-layer inflatable kayaks make sure to thoroughly check between all the layers.
Now you will want to make sure you have removed all the salt, grime, grit or sand before storing. To do this…
- Rinse using fresh water if storing your paddle board or kayak for a short period.
- Or, if you are looking to store for a long period, say during winter, then you will want to use a mild natural soap or a marine friendly cleaner. Also, it’s probably a good idea to do this once every now and again even when storing for a short period. Just don’t forget to check the manufacturer’s recommendations before applying any cleaning products.
- Top tip! When cleaning, make sure to closely check the area around any valves to make sure they are clear. Also, remove any removable fins to give their box, plug or socket a good clean.
Next, you will want to ensure your paddle board or kayak is completely dry. Do not leave to dry in direct sunlight as this may damage the seams and graphics. Instead, use a good quality microfiber towel to dry. Failing to completely dry will provide good conditions for mould to grow. You may even discover a nasty damp smell too.
- Top tip! If you have a multi-layer inflatable kayak make sure you dry between all layers and chambers. These areas are ideal environments for mould and mildew to thrive.
Finally, you may wish to protect your board from salt residues and UV damage with a conditioning/protective treatment. Again, just check the manufacturer’s recommendations before applying any UV treatment.
2. Let a little air out if storing inflated
It’s okay to store your inflatable kayak or paddle board inflated. However, you may wish a little air out to protect against the possibility of your inflatable expanding beyond its recommended PSI. If storing for a prolonged period then letting a little air out can help prevent the seams from weakening.
3. Or loosely roll if storing deflated
When storing your inflatable kayak or paddle board for a long time it’s a good idea to store loosely rolled. Don’t forget to leave the the valve left open. This will help protect against creases and holes forming along the seams.
4. Use the backpack or a cover to provide extra protection
It’s a good idea to place your loosely rolled inflatable kayak or paddle board into its backpack as this will help keep it from gathering dirt and dust. If it’s a tight fit then you might wish to take the pump and paddle out of the bag to give your inflatable more room. Tightly compressing your inflatable to get it in the bag will cause damage when storing over a long period.
If leaving the inflatable inflated then you will want to make sure it’s well wrapped. A plastic tarp will do the trick though if you want something that will be a better fit then can get a board bag or kayak cover.
5. Find a safe space to store
We would recommend storing your inflatable kayak or paddle board inside to protect against the elements and creepy crawlies. When storing inside try to find a cool and dry location as this will help protect the board from the damage caused by moisture or heat. The best places are sheds, garages, bedroom wardrobes and under the bed.
If you aren’t able to store your inflatable kayak or paddleboard inside whilst inflated then it is okay to leave outside. Just remember to:
- Cover using a water resistant tarp
- Out of direct sunlight
- Slightly off the ground
- Secure using a good quality lock
- Regularly check
- Top tip! If storing your paddle board inflated please avoid standing it up on it’s nose. Either stand up using its tail or lean your board on its side against the wall.
So there you have it, our top tips for storing an inflatable kayak or paddle board. When you are ready to get back out on the water don’t forget to read our #DustOffYourInflatable blog.