How to Clean and Store your Inflatable SUP

How to Clean and Store your iSUP

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If you live in a flat or an apartment it can be challenging to clean and store your inflatable SUP for winter especially if you don’t have an outdoor area or a hose.  Here are our top tips to clean your inflatable SUP and prepare it to store for the winter.

Clean your Stand Up Paddleboard by sweeping any dirt or dry leaves and grass off
  1. If you can, plan your last SUP of the season in freshwater instead of sea/salt water.  Salt water can damage your board over time so by doing your final paddle in freshwater you will give your board a pre-rinse.
  2. Once you’ve finished your session, remove the fins and leg rope in shallow and calm water.
  3. Take a hand held brush with you and dip it in the water after your paddle then brush down both the deck and the underneath paying special attention to the fin insertions.
  4. Find a grassy spot on the shore to place your board and then dry it down with a towel.
  5. Allow the board some time to air dry if you have a spare 10 minutes or so.
  6. Meanwhile rinse off the fins and paddle and towel dry them too.
  7. Roll up and pack your board away.

Getting a portable shower head can be a great way of rinsing your board down both at home or by the water. If the latter a source of fresh water is preferred. simply get a bucket full of clean water and immerse the pump into the water. Use the shower head to rinse your board down.

We purchased one of these showers for our camper van but it works equally as well to rinse off our SUPs. Click on the image above or here to find out where to purchase and current price.

Keep the Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard rolled up to wash down using a shower

Cleaning your Stand Up Paddleboard at home

If you can it pays to give your board another clean at home especially if your last SUP of the season was in salt water or to ensure that the fabric handles don’t end up smelling if the water quality was a little below par.

Unravel the rolled up Stand Up Paddleboard in the shower to ensure all surfaces are rinsed
  1. If you have a balcony or small outdoor area you can inflate the board and use a hand held brush and a watering can or a bucket to pour water onto your board.
  2. Failing this you can do a rather awkward but fairly thorough job in the shower!  Ensure that the valve is closed and place the board in the shower on it’s side while it is still rolled or folded up.
  3. Keep your board rolled up but allow it to unravel slightly so that there is a gap between all surfaces.
  4. Turn the shower on, I recommend using cold water so it won’t heat up the material, even though inflatable boards are pretty strong it is worth using caution.
  5. If you have a detachable shower head you can really give the board a good rinse ensuring you focus on the fin inserts and the fabric handles.
  6. Disconnect your paddle and give it a good rinse along with your leg rope and fins.
  7. Allow the board to drip dry in the shower for 1-2 hours or leave it over night.
  8. Remove from the shower and inflate enough that the board is rigid somewhere that it won’t be in your way.  Here’s where it pays to live in a flat with high ceilings!!  One of the flats we lived in had 10 foot ceilings so it was great for inside drying.  Another good place for your board to dry is in your hall way if you have one.
  9. Try to leave your board inflated to dry properly for a couple of days.  The areas you really want to make sure that are dry are the fin inserts and especially the handles.
  10. Roll or fold your board as per the manufacturers recommendations and store as per usual in a dry place.
Using a hand brush a bath is a great place to rinse fins paddle and leg ropes as well as your stand up paddleboard

Cleaning products for your SUP

You may like to use a very mild detergent if you have been paddling in dirty/oily water and have hard to move oily residue on your board. We found that our boards were particularly dirty after paddling in canals.  There are a couple of products on the market designed specifically for inflatable craft so you don’t need to worry about it compromising the material your board is made out of. You may wish to just use it for the final clean. Be sure to follow the manufacturers recommendations.  

You can check the price by clicking here or either of the pictures below.

Inflatable Boat Cleaner – Ideal for Stand Up Paddleboards

If you are using detergent make sure you do so away from natural waterways where the soapy water can drain away safely. If you have a bath you can use that instead.

Keeping your inflatable stand up Paddleboard rolled up you can rinse it in the bath
  1. Rinse off fins, paddle and leg rope and brush over the fin inserts after dipping your brush in the water
  2. Place your board rolled up on end and use a large container pour water over focusing on all of the places where sand can accumulate
  3. Lay your board down and roll it over until you are satisfied that it is thoroughly rinsed. You will want to ensure that you have 10-15cm depth of water.  For a video click here
  4. Stand the board on end again and drain the water from the bath.  Allow to drip dry for a couple of hours
  5. Inflate and allow to dry properly for a couple of days before rolling up and storing in it’s bag until next season.

Ensure your Stand Up Paddleboard is dry before storing for winter

SUP Chick

As mentioned above the fabric handles can take a couple of days to properly dry. It is really important that you ensure that there is no moisture present on your board before rolling it up for the winter. Not only can it damage the fabric but also can cause mould and make the board smell.

So there you have it, our top tips for ensuring your inflatable is cleaned properly and stored for the winter, ready for your next adventure in the following spring or summer.


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4 thoughts on “How to Clean and Store your Inflatable SUP

  1. Pingback: How to Clean and Store your Inflatable SUP – SUP Chick

  2. Peter says:

    But what do you do if you are out on the SUP say once a week in the season and live in a small apartment? Do you bring it to the shower in the apartment to wash it off and dry each time? Or is it OK to wipe it off with a towel and put it in the bag for a week?

    • SUP Chick says:

      It depends on what water you are paddle boarding in and if you are changing locations. Most manufacturers recommend cleaning after each SUP session especially if you are paddling in brackish or salt water as the material the paddle board is made out of can deteriorate. Also if you are paddle boarding in water contaminated by blue green algae it is highly recommended to wash thoroughly before paddle boarding in a different location. It’s also good to ensure the fabric handles are dry before storing to avoid deterioration and odors.
      It’s best to check the recommendation of your board’s manufacturer as they will be able to give you specific advice for your board depending on the grade of material it is made from.
      As a general rule we don’t always rinse ours off if they have just been in fresh clean uncontaminated water, only after being in salt water or if they get dirty/muddy as we’ve noticed that can stain.
      Have fun out there!

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