NOTE FROM KATIE: I’m reposting this because it’s spring cleaning time, people! And, also, the weather is warming up and people are buying boards. If you sell boards, do everyone a favor and share this post!

Above: Huh, I think I could employ that technique in my garage. Then I can fit more boards in.

I sold two of my boards this week. One went to someone who has had boards before but one is the buyer’s first paddleboard. She was so excited she was jumping out of her skin. I was just happy that my baby was going to someone who would make it her baby.

In the middle of her fangirling over her the sleek new water rocket I looked her in the eye and said: I NEED TO TELL YOU SOME THINGS ABOUT HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THIS AND I NEED YOU TO LISTEN.

Because she was so excited I was afraid she would not actually hear me. I told her I would write this blog post. Nicki, this is for you!

How do you keep your baby shiny new and in good shape? Here’s how to take care of your paddleboards.


Don’t drop the board

That seems obvious, yes? However I’m pretty sure the first thing my friend Barbie did was drop her board. However that is why we got her something indestructible. When you drop your board you will likely crack it and then it will have to go to ding repair. If the board cracks, water can get in and the board will start to self-destruct from the inside-out in various ways.

Do not lean the board against things

Whenever possible, keep the board flat. NEVER EVER EVER lean it up against a car or wall without it being bungeed to the wall.

Related: Do not leave board on top of car without strapping it on

A gust of wind comes along and BANG the board is on the ground. With cracks. Needing ding repair. Always tie the straps, at least enough so that the board won’t fly off the car, before leaving it to do other things.

Related: Check the straps before you drive off

If you strapped the board on and then went away to do something else, check to make sure the board is still secure before you get in the car and drive off.

Keep the board cool

You might like to bake in the sun but your board does not. There are gasses in the board from the materials and the glazing. There is possibly water in the board. All of those things will expand when the board heats up and will push on the covering (epoxy, fiberglass, carbon) and it can explode or start peeling (which is called delaminating). Once a board starts to delaminate there is VERY LITTLE you can do to get it to stop. Keep the board in a reflective board bag if it is on your car. Open the vent plug if possible. Park out of the sun. Keep the board in the garage.

Set the board on the ground with the bottom up

The top is the pretty part that you look at but the bottom is where the board comes into contact with the water. If that surface gets scratched or dinged the board won’t go as fast. Also, setting the board bottom-down on the fin is not good for the fin or the fin box.

Don’t stack stuff on your board

The top picture is a good example of how NOT to treat your boards. Don’t pile them on each other and don’t pile things on them. They can get pressure dings from things sitting on them. Dings on the bottom = uneven surface = uneven water flow = not going fast.

Hose off the board after using it

Particularly if you paddle in saltwater because the salt will crust up and again keep you from going fast. I’ve had a fin screw rust before but that was probably because I used a crappy screw.

Don’t crank the straps down hard

If you’ve never strapped a board on your car, this might not make sense but if you have, what I am talking about is, when you pull the straps tight, don’t pull them so tight that you squeeze the life out of your board. That’s a good way to crack the rails (edges of the board) or put pressure dings in the bottom of the board (or the top).

Travel with the Fin first

Place the board on the car upside-down with the fin in the front. That way if the strap loosens and the board slides back the fin will catch it and keep it from totally falling off (hopefully). Putting it on the car upside-down will also keep it from getting pressure dings on the bottom from the racks (provided that you don’t crank the straps overly hard).