How To Clean A Stand Up Paddle Board

by Kyle
How To Clean A Stand Up Paddle Board

Stand up paddle boarding is a fantastic way to have a fun recreational activity while immersing yourself in the amazing scenery of nature. And like any other sport, paddle boarding requires specific equipment and gear to make the most of the experience. 

Now, some equipment doesn’t come cheap like the paddle board, so it requires proper care and maintenance. Maintaining them the right way also enables them to last longer. Considering that, below are some tips and tricks that you can do to keep your paddle board clean. 

When Should You Clean Your Board?

If you’re a typical paddle boarder, you need to clean your SUP every now and then. You can keep your board looking like new by simply spraying off your paddle board after each paddle boarding session. But you will still need to do a full deep clean of the board every once in awhile as well.

Especially if you’ve been in salty water, cleaning it after every use is the most recommended maintenance tip, whether you’re using an inflatable or a hardboard. The same applies if you’ve been in dirty or oily waters.

However, if you’re paddle boarding in freshwater, rinsing it after each use isn’t necessary. You may only need to ensure that no sand or dirt clogs in the valves, fin boxes, and the likes. 

What Are The Cleaning Supplies Needed?

When cleaning, you’ll need a source of freshwater or outdoor taps. In addition, you’ll also need the following supplies, which are affordable and available in most markets: 

Mild Soaps And Cleaners

You’ll need to use a mild soap and a soft brush to get rid of the sand and dirt on your board. You can also use the same soap and brush for cleaning the deck pad. This should be enough to remove the majority of the unwanted particles on your board. 

While you may get away with scrubbing the board roughly, you’ll need to be careful with the deck pad. This is because the EVA deck pad is a surf traction pad that’s made of rubber. And once brushed too hard, it may reduce its rubber. As a result, it may not work as well as before.

Magic Erasers

Magic erasers are heaven-sent for removing scuff marks from your board. It can remove even the most stubborn scuff mark; however, make sure not to use this on the EVA deck pad as it might damage it. 

When getting rid of scuff marks on the EVA deck pad, stick only with mild soap and soft brush. 


Once you’re done washing the board, of course, you‘d need something to dry it off. With such, you must keep a towel or a washcloth nearby. While you can try air drying the board, it’s still best to dry it with a washcloth first. That way, you can prevent mold or any weird smell growing on it. 

You can also use the washcloth to scrub the dirt away instead of using coarse brushes, as these might scratch the board and ruin the finish. If you want, you can also use it with a cleanser that’s specifically designed for cleaning paddle boards. 

Steps To Clean SUP Boards

Now that you have the supplies needed, you can now start cleaning your SUP boards with the following steps:

Step 1: Rinsing

The first step is to wash off your board with fresh water, especially if you’ve been paddling in salty water. As mentioned, doing so takes away dirt or sand residue.

Ensure to perform this step if you came from saltwater, as salt is abrasive to your board. Moreover, the salt buildup will eventually weaken your board which can decrease its lifespan.

Step 2: Cleaning 

Next is cleaning, which requires you to use biodegradable cleaners and soaps. You can also use the soap you already have at home, but make sure that it’s free from any harmful chemicals.

If you still cannot get rid of dirt, you may use blue goo. The blue goo can protect your board from harmful UV rays, apart from making your board clean.

Again, remember that you must be careful with scrubbing the traction pad. 

Step 3: Rinsing The Soap Off

Once you’re done washing the board with soap, it’s time to rinse it off again with fresh water. During this step, be sure to remove all the residual soap.

Step 4: Drying 

Once all the soap has been adequately removed, you can then proceed to dry your board by wiping it off with a towel. 

By keeping your board properly dried off, you can prevent moisture from leading to mold buildup. Once the board is dried off completely, you can deflate it and store it in your backpack.

Why Should You Clean Your Paddle Board?

Many paddlers wonder what even is the point of cleaning paddle boards if it constantly gets wet. Drying it on its own should be enough, right? Wrong. 

There are some excellent reasons why you must keep your board clean at all times, primarily if you use it regularly. One of which is to prevent a buildup of dirt and sand, which might damage your board, especially when you leave such for an extended period. 

On the other hand, keeping the board clean ensures that it can perform well as it was designed to, aside from making your board good-looking. Other reasons why you need to keep the board clean include:

1. Keep Track Of Damage

Routinely cleaning your board allows you to monitor your board for damage or dents. While they’ll inevitably get scratched or nicked in certain areas, these minor scratches and nicks may become bigger cracks if left unnoticed. Cracks that develop into holes may keep the water and moisture inside the board, which will ruin your board altogether. 

2. Monitor The Accumulation Of Moisture

Moisture often accumulates, especially in inflatable boards. As you may know, inflatable boards have valves where the air passes through during inflation and deflation. The valve is almost always sealed, but that doesn’t always prevent moisture from coming in. This commonly happens when paddling in rough waters. This is why frequently cleaning your board is crucial in keeping moisture out of the board.

3. Prevent Corrosion Of Saltwater

Saltwater is exceptionally abrasive to metal, which is why you must rinse your board after paddle boarding in saltwater. Not doing so might cause your metal components, such as the leash joint, to degrade. Once this is damaged, the performance and safety of the board will be compromised. 

4. Protect From Mildew Stain

As you use your board during the summer days, it’ll inevitably accumulate mildew, a type of fungus that grows in moist areas. Mold often grows if you paddle in freshwater lakes. And not cleaning your board will only result in a buildup of slime and scum. 

Other Maintenance Tip: Should You Keep Your Board Protected From The Sun?

The sun or its UVA and UVB rays can be as damaging to your board as it is on your skin. That’s because paddle boards are susceptible to UV rays. 

Although you may not completely protect your board from the sun, you can still control the duration in which your board is exposed to it. You can save your board from harmful UV rays by spraying a conditioning UV spray or a UV protectant on the stiff part of the board. This gives your board an extra layer of protection, not only from the sun, but also from saltwater. 

Another thing you can do to protect the board from the sun is to tweak the PSI level on extremely hot days. This is to make some space for additional air pressure that might increase because of the heat. 

It’s also important to know that leaving the board under the sun for long periods will cause the color on the board to fade. And extended sun exposure will open your board to cracks and fractures.

So, if you’re planning to rest in between paddling sessions, it’s best to leave your board under a shade and away from direct sunlight.

Clean Your Paddle Board

Cleaning it only requires four easy steps, so it’s recommended not to forego this after paddle boarding. By keeping your board clean, you can use it longer, making you save from buying another one. As long as you have your cleaning supplies at hand, you’re good to go. 

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