Many touring stand up paddle boards (SUPs) are 10 or 12 feet long (or longer) and weigh 20 pounds or more, making storage difficult. However, after investing in a high-quality board, it is worthwhile to make the effort to find a location that will protect it from damage.
This article examines the following topics to assist you in determining the best storage solution for your SUP:
- Where to store your SUP: Keeping it indoors provides the best protection, but this isn’t always possible. Outdoors is fine as long as the board is shielded from the sun, moisture, and heat.
- How to store your board: Learn how to position your SUP and what you can use to support it before storing it. Learn how to keep your SUP clean, avoid damage, and prevent theft.
Where to Store Your SUP
When considering where to store your board, keep in mind that a good location is one that limits exposure to the following three things:
Sunlight: Sunlight’s ultraviolet rays can discolour and damage the shell of your board.
Moisture: A wet environment can promote mould and mildew growth and potentially damage your board’s shell material.
Extreme heat: Excessive heat, whether from the sun or another heat source, can damage the core materials and potentially cause the board’s shell to delaminate.
You can store your paddle board either indoors or outdoors.
Indoor storage: If you have the space, keeping your SUP indoors, such as in a garage or shed, is often the simplest solution. Most indoor spaces protect SUPs from the sun, moisture, and heat. (If you like the look of your board, you can keep it in your living room, perhaps mounted to the wall as a piece of art.)
Outdoor storage: For many paddlers, keeping a massive board indoors is not an option. It is perfectly acceptable to store your SUP outside; however, you must take certain precautions to protect it from the elements. It’s a good idea to keep it under a deck, below the eaves of a roof, or under a strung-up tarp. Consider the following when looking for a suitable location for your SUP:
- Shade: Look for a shady spot outside to keep your SUP safe from UV rays and heat. If shade is scarce or non-existent, cover the entire board with a weather-resistant tarp at all times of day. It is preferable to suspend the tarp above the board rather than simply wrap it around it; direct contact with the hull can promote mould or fungal growth in wet environments.
- Moisture protection: Make sure that rain and snow do not collect directly on your board. If you’re hanging a tarp above the boat, make sure it doesn’t fill up and press down on the hull, which could damage the board.
How to Store Your SUP
There are several ways to store your board to protect it from damage:
- On a rack: Many paddlers store their boards on a rack system. Whether you make your own or purchase one designed specifically for holding a SUP, the rack should have padding or straps to gently cradle the board. Some racks support the board on its edge, while others run across the board’s body. Rack your SUP in the latter style, with the deck (top) of the board against the rack to protect the hull from damage.
- Suspended: Suspend your board from the ceiling to get it up and out of the way. You can buy a suspension system designed specifically for a SUP or make your own out of wide webbing straps. Hang your board so that the hull faces up toward the ceiling to best protect it.
- Leaning: Perhaps the most straightforward solution is to lean the board against a wall. You can do this by laying the SUP on its side or tail (never put a board down on its nose). To protect your SUP, place some padding between the board and the floor. Keep in mind that many SUPs are 10 feet or longer, so you’ll need high ceilings to lean your board on its tail. It’s also a good idea to secure the board with a strap or a wooden peg on each side so it doesn’t fall over unexpectedly.