If warm temperatures haven’t come to you yet, don’t worry, they are on their way. When daydreaming about being out on the water isn’t cutting it anymore, it’s time to start planning.
Beyond planning outings and buying new gear, there are several things you can do to make sure your board is ready for all of your summer plans.
Treat Your Paddleboard With UV Protectant
UV rays don’t just damage your skin. They can also damage your board. This is especially true if you have an inflatable, but UV will also damage hardboards over time. I
f you have a hardboard, consult your manual or the manufacturer’s website to find out how to protect it. They may sell a product you can apply directly to the board or simply suggest that you store it indoors or covered.
For inflatable boards, you can use a spray-on UV protectant. Follow the directions on the bottle. Most of these products require you to spray them on, wait a specified period of time, then wipe them off gently.
Try to avoid getting the product on your deck and other foam pieces, as it is not intended for use on those surfaces.
Check Your Board
Look over your board for dings. If it’s inflatable, take the time to fill it with air to ensure it’s inflating properly and doesn’t have holes or other damage that you missed last fall.
Make sure you have your fins and all of the parts necessary to attach them to your board. Taking the time to test all of this now means that you’ll spend less time testing it when you’re trying to get out on the water.
Check Your Gear
Just like you checked your board, make sure your gear is still in good working order. First, make sure it’s all there. This can include the following:
- Flotation device
- Pump (for an inflatable board)
- Board bag
- Waterproof foot protection (booties, sandals, etc.)
- Water bottles
- Lip protectant
- Whatever you wear paddleboarding
- Rash guard (just in case)
- Dry bag or a second board bag
- Protection and flotation for your phone and other electronic devices
- Waterproof speaker
You don’t need all of these things to enjoy a day out on the water, but it’s likely you have your own kit and setup that you like to have.
Check each component to make sure that it is undamaged, working as it should, and doesn’t require any maintenance or updating to ensure that it will function well once you get it out there.
If you have an older flotation device, make sure that the foam hasn’t hardened or shrunk, or that the inflation mechanism is still good. Test your paddle to make sure it still floats and your pump to ensure all the seals are still good.
Charge your walkie-talkies and/or your speaker, so they are ready to go when you are. You may want to test and make sure that your phone case is still waterproof—preferably without your phone inside!
Clean Your Board
Sure, you’re a good paddleboard owner and you cleaned your board last fall, before you put it away for the winter (or you rode it all winter and kept it clean!). Still, it doesn’t hurt to spray it down before you go.
Even in a bag, your board can collect some dust. Wiping it down ensures that it is totally clean and ready for use. If you have a board-safe cleaning product that you like to use, now is the time to get your board clean.
Consider Board Transportation
You might be surprised at the number of people who think they have a way to transport their paddleboards, only to find out that the boards don’t fit.
Inflatable boards are easier to tote from one location to another, especially if you’re willing to deflate them and pack them up every time. If you have a hardboard or you don’t want to deflate your inflatable, though, test plan for board transportation before you go.
Most paddleboards will not fit inside most vehicles, and it can even be tricky to balance them or tie them down in a truck bed. The best way to move them from place to place is on a roof rack specially designed for boards, but those are expensive.
Regular old roof bars can do in a pinch, especially if you have a way to cover them so the board won’t rub on the metal. You’ll want to test different tie-down methods, though, to make sure the boards won’t shift during transit.
If you have any doubts, head to your local paddleboard shop and ask them for advice on getting your board from one place to another.
When warm temperatures hit, you’ll be ready to go. It won’t be long now until you’re on the water for a summer of fun.
If you have any questions or concerns, leave a comment below!