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Inflatable SUP Care – 10 Easy Steps Clean a Paddle Board

Updated December 1st, 2023

Inflatable SUP Care

Is your stand up paddleboard starting to look a little dull and dirty? Would you like it to have that shiny new board look again when you go paddle boarding? Let’s talk about inflatable SUP care and paddle board maintenance. Keeping a paddle board clean is easy and only takes a little effort after each use and some occasional cleaning. Here is how to clean a paddle board to help keep it shiny, bright, and looking like new.

Inflatable SUP care and cleaning

Cleaning a paddleboard is easy. It is the same process for both an inflatable board and a rigid board. All you need is some cleaner, a sponge or soft brush, freshwater, and towels. If you’ve got some scuff marks you might want a magic eraser also. Don’t forget to give your SUP paddle some love while you’re cleaning the board. Let’s get started.

1 – When to clean a paddle board

You should give your paddle board a thorough cleaning every few uses if you are using it regularly. If you use your inflatable SUP board or hard board in salt water you should rinse it with fresh water after every use. If you use it in dirty or oily water you should also rinse it after every use. If you are using it in relatively clean freshwater you don’t need to rinse it after every use. You should make sure the fin boxes, valves, and vents are clear and free of sand and dirt.

2 – Rinse with freshwater

Set your board out on the grass or other surface that won’t scratch the board. Concrete or gravel can scratch the board if you bang or drag it across the ground. If you have an inflatable stand up paddleboard you need to inflate it first. You only need to inflate it until it feels firm. You don’t need to go to full air pressure. If you have an epoxy board, you are set to go.

Get a hose or bucket and rinse off the board. Rinse off any salt or oil residue. Pay some attention to the fin box, any metal fittings, and any action mounts or D-Rings where dirt can collect and corrosion can occurr. Make sure you get all the salt and gunk out of those spots.

3 – Use a mild cleaner

Use a mild soap to clean off your board. Use a soft brush or sponge to clean the board with. You use this for both the board and the EVA deck pad. This should take care of most dirt and marks on the board. You can scrub hard on the board but you need to be gentle with the EVA pad. Below is a list of several good cleaners that work well for cleaning both an epoxy hard board and an inflatable paddle board. If you are in a pinch, you can use dish detergent too.

We really like ONITPRO Blue Goo and it’s what we used to clean our inflatable SUPs and other water toys.

Recommended Gear

ONITPRO Blue Goo, Surfboard, SUP, OC, Inflatable Cleaner
Blue Goo product image

4 – Scuff Marks need a little more elbow grease.

If you’ve got some stubborn scuff marks on your board you will need to use a little extra elbow greece along with some mild cleaner. Do not use an abrasive cleaner such as a Mr Clean Magic Eraser or Softscrub. They will do damage to the surface of your board.

5 – Check the air valve for debris

Check the air valve, vent plug for any debris. Dirt stuck in them can cause the board to leak air out the valves and plugs. You don’t need to use soap inside these but you should rinse out any accumulated dirt or salt. If you can’t get the dirt out by hand, you can use cotton swabs. Opening the air valve when the board is fully inflated can clear out any sand and dirt too.

6 – Rinse again with freshwater

After cleaning the board, it’s time to rinse it off again. Rinse off any soap residue and remaining dirt. Make sure you get the fin boxes and valves good and clear.

7 – Dry off with a towel

When your done cleaning the board, dry it off with a towel. If you’ve got some time you can let it air dry for a while. You don’t want to put your board away in a wet or it can get moldy and smell.

8 – Don’t put your board in a bag wet

Never put your board away in a carry bag wet. This is a great way to get a wet smelly moldy board. Dry your standup paddleboard off before putting it in the paddle board bag to go home. If you don’t have time, remember to take it out when you get home and let the board and bag dry off.

9 – UV Protectant Once a Year

Your paddleboard will get damaged by UV rays. It will lose it’s luster and shine if you leave it out in direct sunlight for too long. A good way to prevent this is to use a UV protectant spray. You should apply UP protectant once a year. You should not use it more often as the spray can damage your board if used too much. 303 Aerospace UV Protectant Spray is a really good product for this. Remember to protect your SUP paddle too.

10 – Store your board in a clean dry place

A really good way to keep your board clean is to keep it in a clean dry space. No board will look good if you leave it sitting outside under some trees where it accumulates tree sap and gunk. If you’ve got an inflatable paddleboard this is easy. Just find a nice spot in the closet somewhere. If you have a rigid board this is a little harder. You have to find a clean, dry space, covered from the sun for storing your board.

Below is a video with some tips on cleaning a paddle board.

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Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Doug Ryan
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.