I know you’ve taken your paddleboard to places as far as the eye can see. You’ve skimmed through calm lakes. You’ve visited the most gorgeous of rivers. You’ve probably even battled the seas. Hey, you might’ve had your hand on nighttime paddling, too!
Of course, all those trips mean a lot more scuff and huff on your paddleboard. You might find your trusty board to be more beat up than normal. Signs of wear and tear. UV degeneration. Mysterious guck from the water and its creatures. Mud, sand, grime. You name it! I’ve seen my fair share of grungy boards and paddles.
So, it’s only natural that you ask yourself, “What IS the best way to clean my SUP?” As always, I got you covered with this post!
To find out the best ways (yes, plural!) to make your board spick and span and lengthen its lifetime, I’ll start with the history as an overview. This is to be followed by a step-by-step approach on how to clean it, important pointers on both cleaning and paddleboarding itself, and my recommended cleaning products! This is sure to satisfy the careful SUPer. Hopefully, this helps you out in maintaining your board.
Without further ado, let’s brush up on your history knowledge!
A Little History…
Yes, that is a big pun intended. I just had to! So, let’s put that aside and I’ll tell you all about SUP’s birth and birthplace, Hawaii. And how it branches out much further than that.
The truth is that it first sprang up in Peru. Way back 3000 BC, the Peruvians used reeds to create vessels known as Caballitos de Totora. These small boats and long bamboo sticks were used for fishing, making it quite an ancestor for SUP fishing!
Many, many years later, Captain James Cook discovered just how vital surfing is to Polynesian culture. It was actually essential in choosing their leader, as their Chiefs were always the best rides of all the land. And because of such prowess, they owned the best board and paddle combo! That’s pretty neat!
By the 1950s, Waikiki witnessed how surfing instructors, Duke Kahanamoku, Leroy, and Bobby Ah Cho, breathed new life into the sport. They need a new way to take photographs of their surfing students, and John “ Pops” Ah Choy suddenly came up with the answer. Well, unconsciously as he paddled on an oversized surfboard while standing.
But, that fell out of popularity after some time. So the 21st century saw a bigger revival of the sport. And we have to thank Dave Kalama and Laird Hamilton for surfing in Maui for this! And yes, they rode those waves with surfboards and paddles!
Since then, the demand for SUP skyrocketed compared to the previous decades. And you can do so much with your paddleboard!
Imagine all those times spent paddling and all the wave-beating the boards had to endure. So, of course, the correct cleaning techniques arrived hand-in-hand with the rising usage of the paddleboards.
I know I’ve always talked about how to purchase the best SUP for you. Remember the intensive buying guides over the past few posts? They better be sturdy and last for a long time, right? So, it’s only natural for me to talk about how to clean and maintain your board! Because you gotta make the most out of your investment. 🙂
Basic Steps For Cleaning Your Paddle Board
Always place your board on any surface that won’t scratch it when cleaning.
It’s pretty obvious that your paddleboard has to withstand a lot of elements, including mud, sand, and dirt. Of course, there are a lot of ways to get rid of those marks, but giving your board a quick spray from the garden hose every few uses can enhance its life and maintain its good condition.
Note that you should rinse it with fresh water after a paddling sesh in saltwater.
Use a high-pressure spray when cleaning your board and its rail sections. This can help you remove those stubborn marks and scuffs much more easily!
Clean the underside first! This is because the said area is less likely to attract more dirt compared to the deck pad.
Once you flip to the deck pad side, use a soft scrubbing brush to remove any residue left from your paddling sessions.
Check the air valve and vent plug for debris as this can cause air to leak out these openings. Using water and cotton swabs is enough for this job!
All done with the good wash? Leave your board for 10-20 minutes under the sun and it will dry completely. Leave it in the shade during very hot days.
To dry the board’s underside, use a soft towel to wipe it down.
From time to time, mix a solution of dishwashing soap and warm water to scrub your board using a very soft-bristled brush. Rinse with clean water thoroughly. Paddleboards’ need for full cleaning varies from environment to environment.
Use non-abrasive PVC cleaning products, such as mold remover, magic eraser, and baking soda, to remove stubborn marks.
Use soap, water, and a scrubbing brush or toothbrush when cleaning the deck pad. A soft towel can also be very useful for those stubborn marks.
Don’t worry if those marks don’t completely come off after a thorough cleaning and scrubbing sesh. Those will fade over time with exposure to sun and UV light.
In terms of storage, you should keep your board with moisture-absorbing dry packs during those chilly months. This ensures that all remaining water is gone by the time you’re ready to hit the water when summer comes around.
Apply UV protectant once a year to prevent it from losing its luster quickly.
DO NOT Skip This Part!
I repeat, don’t skip this part! This section of info is non-negotiable and you must know at all times!
DO NOT use abrasive cleaners in general as they can wear away the deck pad and PVC material of your board.
DO NOT scrub the board graphics with any type of cleaner! This can potentially damage the board’s finish and graphics. Washing these areas with water will do just fine!
DO NOT stand a rolled or folded board up on its end when prepping it for cleaning. Those folded edges are very much vulnerable to damage, especially when dragged. ALWAYS lay your board flatly when cleaning.
DO NOT place your board in a carry bag when wet, because that makes for a smelly and moldy board.
DO NOT apply UV protectant on your board and paddle more often than a yearly basis as it can damage your board.
Top Products to Keep Your Board in Tiptop Shape!
And we’re finally in the segment that may or may not give you the best cleaning products for your stand-up paddleboard! I’ll be including detailed descriptions of each product for your reference.
Star Brite Ultimate Paddlesports Cleaner & Protectant
First on our list is a well-known cleaner perfect for not just your paddleboard but also your kayaks and canoes! May that be Kevlar, fiberglass, or rotomolded SUPs, simply spray this on, and voila! You can start wiping all that grime and salt in no time! The best part? It also provides a non-slippery barrier for future stains and damaging UV rays! You can also this for your paddle!
Gear AID Care Kit with Revivex Pro Cleaner and Wash-in Water Repellent
Conscious about keeping your gear looking good? Then consider the cleaner that can do just that! This one can definitely remove all of that dirt, grime, and stains without having to worry about your SUP’s water repellent. Plus, that wash-in durable water repellent (DWR) can restore the waterproofing of both SUP gear and clothing. A nice package if you ask me.
Now that you’re done with all the washing, it’s time to deal with those stubborn scuff marks! With this magic eraser’s DURAFOAM cleaning performance, this scrubber is tough on dirt, grime, sand, mud that accumulated over your SUP trips! Plus, it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals which could damage certain areas of the paddleboard. Definitely handy since that extra elbow grease can be a hassle.
I did say that a simple solution of water and dishwashing liquid is enough to give your board a good wash. With this one’s 3x Grease Cleaning Power, this is definitely a match against all of the dirt! Plus, this soap’s free, clear, and has antibacterial properties.
Yes, we paddleboarders just can’t get enough of those pesky scuff marks! In between those deep cleans, these erasers can lift away all the grime, grease, and anything undesirable off your board. All you need to do is squeeze, activate, then wipe everything you want to go! Plus, these sponges do not contain bleach or other harsh chemicals that can harm the paddleboard surface.
After all the adventuring with your paddleboard out there in seas, lakes, or rivers, you don’t have to worry about keeping it clean anymore! You’re all set with its history and the basic steps and tips you gotta know. Don’t forget about what NOT to do, too! So, keeping it clean is gonna be easy for you now!
If you have more questions with the best ways to keep your SUP clean, join our community on my Facebook and Instagram. We’re happy to have you on board!
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