Stand-up paddleboarding has become increasingly popular over the years, offering a fun and engaging activity for people of all ages. Inflatable paddle boards, also called iSUPs, have seen a surge in popularity due to their portability and convenience. They are compact, easy to transport and provide a softer landing for falls than hard boards do. But one question that often arises among inflatable paddle board owners is: Is it OK to keep an inflatable paddle board inflated all the time? Let's dive into this.
Setting Up Your Inflatable Paddle Board
Inflatable paddle boards are easy to set up. All you need is a pump (usually included with your board), and you're good to go. Inflate the board until it's rigid - most boards will specify the optimal PSI on the surface or in the user manual. Once inflated, they are sturdy and buoyant, thanks to the high-end drop stitch material and military-grade PVC used in the construction of most iSUPs.
Caring for Your Inflatable Paddle Board: To Deflate or Not to Deflate?
Now, onto the main question: should you keep your inflatable paddle board inflated all the time? While it might seem convenient to leave it inflated, especially if you paddle frequently, it's not recommended.
Keeping the board inflated all the time, especially under high pressure and in hot conditions, can potentially damage the board over time. The pressure can cause the seams to weaken and eventually lead to leaks. The material comes under mechanical stress, which can cause it to stretch or sag over time. Additionally, prolonged inflation can weaken the board's airtightness, allowing moisture to seep in and potentially cause mold or mildew to form.
Additionally, if the board is stored inflated in a hot area, the air inside the board could expand and increase the internal pressure, which could also lead to damage. So, while your inflatable paddle board is durable, it's best to deflate it when not in use to prolong its lifespan.
Maximizing Your Paddle Board's Lifespan: Storage, Cleaning, and Maintenance
To get the most out of your inflatable paddle board, proper storage, cleaning, and general maintenance are essential.
Storage: Store your deflated paddle board in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. UV rays can degrade the material over time. Also, make sure it's clean and dry before storing to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Cleaning: After each use, rinse your board with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or other debris. This will prevent abrasion and keep your board looking new. Use mild soap and a soft brush for a thorough clean occasionally.
Maintenance: Regularly check your board for any signs of wear and tear. Pay attention to the seams, as these are the most likely areas to develop leaks. A repair kit usually comes with your board for minor repairs.
While inflatable paddle boards are known for their durability and convenience, proper care and maintenance are key to ensuring your board lasts for many seasons. Remember, it's best to deflate your board when not in use and follow good storage, cleaning, and maintenance practices.