Table of contents
1. Factors that determine the longevity of an inflatable SUP
1.1. Build quality
1.3. Board construction
1.4. Inflatable SUP Maintanence
2. How to properly maintain your paddleboard
3. How to repair a SUP board puncture
How Long do Inflatable Paddleboards Last
The longevity of an inflatable SUP board depends on a few different factors.
If an inflatable SUP board is of good quality and maintained properly, it will easily last 3-5 years if used frequently. If you only use it once or twice a week, it should be able to last more than five years with no problem.
If a board is not maintained properly, the longevity will be significantly shorter, about 3 years or less.
Factors that determine how long an inflatable SUP can last
How long your inflatable SUP can last depends mostly on three of the following factors:
●How well your board is maintained
Build quality and materials are probably two of the most important factors that determines how long an inflatable SUP can last. But it’s not easy to judge a board’s build quality from behind a keyboard.
You need to get your hands on the board both in the inflated and deflated states. Look at all the connection points and glue lines, see if there’s any obvious defects. But if you are buying online, check out those user reviews and see if there’s any flaws in the board that’s unacceptable to you.
The materials are also an important factor that can decide the longevity of a SUP board. The thickness of the materials not only affects the overall rigidity of the board but also its longevity.
Inflatable SUP boards are built using drop-stitch construction at the core and a layer or more of PVC material. Different manufacturer will use materials of different quality and different technology to build the board.
a. Number of layers
The number of layers is a major factor that determines a SUP board’s longevity. Boards made using multiple layers of PVC will have a longer lifespan than those of single-layer boards.
The quality of the layers and the technology that goes into making the board will also have a major effect on the longevity of the board. Boards built with two high-quality PVC layers will be stronger and last longer than those made using more layers of low-quality PVC layers. Also, machine-laminated PVC layers will be stronger and lighter than those of glued PVC layers.
Goosehill has its own SCE technology which has two high quality layers of PVC materials laminated into one layer. It makes for a board that’s stiff as well as durable.
b. Seam style
One of the most common complaints customers have of their board is the seams opening up during usage. Problems like this usually appear after the board’s been used for two years or more. As time goes, the seam glue will weaken gradually and eventually split open.
c. UV protection
UV rays can not only make the color of your board fade but also the material deteriorate over time. A high-quality inflatable paddle board should have a UV coating to protect it from UV ray damage.
Inflatable SUP maintenance
All inflatable paddle boards need to be carefully maintained. An inflatable SUP’s lifespan will be significantly shorter if it’s not properly maintained.
One advantage that inflatable SUPs have over hard boards is that it can take heavy use and abuse and tackle much tougher conditions like whitewater paddling. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need maintanence. If an inflatable SUP is treated poorly, the materials will degrade faster and it will not last as long as you’d want it to be.
So it’s important to know how to maintain your inflatable paddle board and make it last longer. There are things you should do and shouldn’t do when it comes to maintaining your inflatable SUP board. Below are some tips on how to take good care of your inflatable stand up paddle board.
Tip 1. Clean your board after usage
Wash your paddleboard with fresh water after each SUP session, especially if you paddle in the ocean. Be sure to rinse off all the salt, sand and other debris. Salt can corrode the material and weaken the seams over time. Rinsing your board after using it each time will help prolong the lifespan of your board.
Tip 2. Let your board dry completely
After cleaning your board or after paddling out, you should let your board dry competely before you store it. Wait for the board to dry or if you are in a hurry, towel dry it, roll it up properly and put it back in the storage bag.
Note: when rolling up the board, avoid rolling it too tightly. It’s better for the seams if the board is rolled loosely.
Tip 3. Never leave your board under direct sunlight
As is mentioned earlier, the sun can really degrade the board’s material. So if you are not using the board, avoid leaving it under direct sunlight.
Can I store the board inflated?
Yes, you can store the board inflated. But we would suggest that you release a little pressure before storing in case the air inside expand when temperatures rise. This is important if your board is fully inflated before you pack it away.
If you store a fully inflated board without letting a little air out, the air inside will expand and cause the seams to be under expreme pressure. This will weaken the seams and even cause a poorly-made board to burst.
If you won’t be using your board for a long time, it’s recommended that you deflate it for storage.
Tip 4. Avoid dragging your board
Inflatable paddle boards are very durable. Most boards can even survive being ran over by a car. But that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. There are a list of things you should avoid doing and dragging your inflatable board is on the top of the list.
Dragging your board will quickly wear it out. If the board is being dragged over a sharp object, it could leave some unrepairable damage on the board and render it unusable.
Tip 5. Fix your SUP ASAP
If your inflatable SUP is damaged, fix it as soon as possible instead of waiting until they get worse. Most of the damages can be fixed easily with the repair kit that comes with the board.
If there’s a leak on your board, here’s a few steps to guide you through the repair process.
- Apply fresh water on your board to find the location of the leak. If you see bubbles, that means air is leaking.
- Deflate the board and clean the area round the leak.
- Let it dry completely.
- Apply glue from your repair kit evenly to the leak.
- Wait 20 minutes and apply another layer of glue.
- Wait another 20 minutes and then apply a third layer of glue.
- Make a circular patch out of the PVC fabric in your repair kit. The patch should be at least 3 inches from the leak in every direction.
- Use a pencil to mark out the position of the leak.
- Apply glue to the patch and press it down over the leak.
- Roll out the patch with a glass bottle or something that could apply pressure on the patch evenly.
- Wait at least 24 hours for the glue to dry before inflating the board again.
An inflatable paddle board can last 3-5 years and even longer, depending on the quality of the board and how well it’s maintained. It’s always safer to opt for a board from a reputable brand. And if you want to use a board for years, you need to take good care of it.