Paddle boards have become travel companions to many adventurers from all over the world. Taking along an inflatable or hard SUP board with you on holiday allows you to surf, fish, and do a little bit of fitness.
If you’ve been wanting to jump on a plane or in your van to a great paddleboard location, then check out these paddleboarding hotspots from all around the world: https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/outdoors-and-adventure/photos/worlds-best-standup-paddleboarding. If any one of these stand-up paddleboarding spots are on your bucket list, then you need to invest some time into maintaining your board.
Just like a musician’s guitar, when you travel with your paddle board you need to take good care of it. Luckily, there are many different ways in which you can protect your travel companion. The easiest and most functional way is by investing in a decent SUP bag. This will ensure that your board is kept in pristine shape and that the epoxy color design keeps on shining.
Not convinced? Here are a few reasons why you need to invest in a SUP bag:
Transport Made Easy
In most cases, you’ll need to transport your board to the beach, lake, or dam. Even if you live near the waters, you might want to mix things up and paddleboard at another location. Transporting a board that isn’t in a bag can be quite tricky. Not only because it’s difficult to get a grip while carrying, but also because it can get damaged when left unprotected.
Inflatable boards can be compactly packed into a bag that can either be carried as a backpack or thrown in the back of the car’s trunk. This bag can store a small repair kit, pump, and the board itself, making transportation really easy.
Epoxy boards are usually transported on the roof of an SUV or car. If left unprotected, the sun will burn the material which will eventually crack the surface. Even worse, when you drive through hale or thunderstorms it will damage even further.
Because epoxy boards are much more susceptible to damage in extreme weather conditions, it’s strongly advised that you invest in SUP bags to keep it safe.
Once nestled in neatly in the bag it can be transported on the roof of your car without being damaged by the sun or harsh weather.
Typical epoxy bags have different carry straps. This allows you to carry your board without any hassles to your favorite spot on the beach.
The great thing about carrying your inflatable in a backpack is that you can check it in at the airport as luggage, no additional fees. Compared to a hard board that requires a special airline board fee ranging between $50-$150.
Storing Made Easy
Whenever you are not on the water, you need store your board in a dry space. This will ensure that it lasts longer. Whether you are storing it during SUP off-season or for a few days while at work, you need to make sure that it’s kept in a secure place.
There are many reasons why you shouldn’t store your board in the garage or in the cupboard without the protection of a bag. Without a decent bag, your board will accumulate loads of dirt and dust build up. When your board is filthy every time you want to take it out for a paddle, then you’re going to have to clean it too.
Most SUP bags have thick padding sewn into the material. This provides extra protection for when boards are roughly handled at the airport. It also provides an extra barrier against any hard objects that might fall on it, or when it tips over while in storage.
Having a bag to protect your board will prevent scratches on the paint job of your hard board and punctures in the material of an inflatable. It’s extremely important that you ensure your board is wiped clean and that it’s dry before storing it in its bag.
Sun and Weather Protection Made Easy
There will be intervals on the beach or next to the lake when you aren’t using it. It’s usually during this time that it will take a lot of hit from the sun’s rays. When it’s left on the sand, exposed to strong UV rays, it will damage quite easily. Not only will the epoxy color fade, but the surface might crack as well.
The best solution to protecting it, is by putting it in a protective bag whenever not in use.
Most high-quality protective bags are made from a heat-resistant material as well as air circulation vents. This will ensure that it doesn’t get damaged by the heat. Alternatively, you can consider getting a UV SUP sock for an inflatable unit.
Another plus point is, that you’ll be able to leave it in plane sight or right next to you, instead of finding a shaded spot somewhere far away.
To ensure your board has a long and happy life, it’s important that you take good care of it. Here are a few maintenance tips:
- Don’t leave it out in the sun without a bag or cover
- Always store it in the bag when dried off (avoiding a moldy smell)
- Use warm water to remove dirt, sand, and salt
- Wipe it down with a cloth to remove dust, water, and debris before storing
- Leave the bag partially unzipped to allow it to ventilate air, keeping it dry and smelling fresh
Read this for more tips on SUP maintenance
When choosing a bag, you can either consider a rounded nose general bag or a pulled-in nose touring bag. Racing SUPs might need bigger bags for transport. Look out for carry shoulder straps and handles to make it easier to carry around.
It’s advised that you purchase a bag that’s slightly bigger or longer than the length of your board. For socks, you can purchase one that is the same size or slightly shorter.
No matter which bag style you go for, it’s highly recommended that you purchase one to protect your paddle boarding buddy.