6 Ways to Store a Paddle Board Safely

During the Spring and the Summer, my paddle board has been very happily living in the boot of my car, but once we start heading into the cold seasons, I will be properly storing my paddle board equipment away till next year. The way your stand up paddle (SUP) board is stored depends on whether or not you would like it to be indoors or outdoors, and whether it is inflatable or solid.

How to store a paddleboard safely? Your Paddleboard can be safely stared Indoors or outdoors, as long as you make sure you:

  • Wash and dry it first
  • Remove any internal moisture (for inflatables)
  • Keep it out of direct sunlight
  • Keep the SUP away from heat
  • Keep them off the ground

Of course, the storage of your paddle board will also depend on what type of board you have. A hard or Inflatable paddleboard can be stored in very different ways. I have just washed and dried my paddleboard and rolled it up and put it back in its bag and put it under the stairs for the winter.

But hard Paddleboards don’t compact so well and may need a little more creativity to store them. You may want to elevate them away or wish to have yours as a feature in your home. This article will give you great ideas and suggestions of just how you can going about living with a paddleboard over the down season.

How to Hang a Paddle Board in The Garage

A garage is one of the best places to store your paddle board, no matter the material (foam, wood, fiberglass, or plastic). Here, your board is entirely protected from the elements and harsh weather. Although temperatures can get quite warm in some garage environments, the board will likely do better here than outdoors, as temperatures will not get as extreme as they would outside.

There are three main ways to store your paddle board in a garage:

1. On a Rack

Racks can be mounted from the walls or ceiling of your garage. Some racks are designed to store one board, while others are made for storage of multiple boards (Click here to see the one shown below on Amazon). The perk of this storage option is that you’re not required to remove the fins (As long as they are positioned in a way that avoids damage to yourself or other boards, of course).

One thing to keep in mind is that, with rack storage, your board will be subjected to the pressure of its weight against the bars or whatever parts are used for suspension. There are alternatives to metal or other hard materials: you can suspend your board by straps.

By using straps, you may alleviate any pressure your board may be exposed to with other materials. However, it’s not ideal to hang especially heavy boards this way, as straps may be unable to support the weight.

2. In the Rafters

For those who wish to store their boards in the ceiling, but have no assistance in lifting it up there, there are specialized storage sets equipped with pulley systems. (Click to see the SUP Ceiling Storage Hoist below on Amazon)

This is essentially the same as using a rack to store your board, but this one is the free alternative.

A benefit of storing your board in the rafters is that, because the weight is essentially guaranteed to be distributed evenly, any potential damages associated with pressure on the shell are virtually eliminated.

For this storage method, it is advised that you do remove the fins. It may be more difficult to maneuver your board into the rafters than a standard rack, so you want to get rid of any chance of damaging the fins this way.

If choosing this option, consider the weight and length of the board for the repeated lifting of the board into and out of the rafters to determine if this option is safest for you.

3. Standing Upright

Because a standing storage option for your board does not require removal of the fins or repetitive lifting, this is possibly the safest and most secure option for storage, and most convenient. This rack can be found on Amazon.

Unfortunately, as it takes up floor space, this option does not lend itself to those looking to conserve space.

There are minimalist designs to upright storage, to keep your board in place while standing. It is not recommended to simply lean your board on the wall from the floor, as the abrasive surface of the floor can damage your board over time. There is also the risk of your SUP slipping and falling without being secured by a physical structure.

Storing Your Stand Up Paddle Board in the House

For off-season storage, a popular method of packing away your board is as a decorative piece in the home. This is more typical with solid boards than inflatable boards, as these lend themselves more to customization and the aesthetics worthy of being proudly displayed in the home.

Amazon has these Premium Wooden SUP and Surfboard Racks at a great price.

4. Wall-Mounted as Home Décor

Storing your stand up paddle board in your home does not offer the same breadth of options that the garage does, however, it does lend itself to some very aesthetically-pleasing set-ups.

Again, you will need to pay special attention to the weight and length of your board to determine the most appropriate location for storage. It is not recommended to choose an upright option for storage in the home, considering the amount of foot traffic indoors. There is much greater potential for the board to be knocked over and damaged when stored this way, versus horizontally mounted.

Of course, it is an option to store your board on the ceiling inside the house, however, this sort of defeats the purpose of it playing into aesthetics and style. No one wants to have to stare at the ceiling to see all of your beautiful art and photos, why should they have to do so to see your board?

Wall mounts for indoor storage can either follow a minimalist design to really let your board shine or serve as an extension of the decoration like wooden wall mounts to match an earth-toned board. Check out this inexpensive simple wall-mount set on Amazon.

Even though it will be stored indoors, you will still want to be aware of the placement of your board. Storing it directly across from a window in the hottest part of the house still exposes it to heat and sunlight. Because of this, it can still be subject to discolouration.

Best Ways to Store a Paddle Board Outside

When choosing to store your board outside, be aware of all the risks associated with doing so. Direct exposure to the sun’s UV rays could result in severe discolouration, cracking, and warping of your board and/or its shell.

Even solid boards, specifically those made of foam, can be deformed by exposure to heat. This is caused by the foam, much like the air in an inflatable paddle board, expands when subjected to high temperatures, resulting in a misshapen board. This reduces the board’s integrity and creates a liability in future use.

If the board is subjected to rainfall when stored outside, this can create an environment that invites rust, bacterial growth, and the development of mould or mildew. These things can damage both the shell and seams of your board.

If you must store your board outdoors, make sure that it is somehow protected from the elements by either storing it underneath some type of cover, such as a shade structure of a patio or shed. You can also store the board inside of a board bag, which would serve to protect it from direct contact with the elements.

With this option, you would still need to store the board underneath the cover, to prevent any moisture from getting through the crevices or openings of the bag’s closure.

5. Freestanding Paddle Board Racks

To make outdoor storage a bit easier by eliminating the need for an attachment post, wall, or ceiling, there is the option of a freestanding rack. These, too, are made with single or multiple board storage options.

When storing your board outside, it is even more important to make sure that the board has absolutely no direct contact with the ground. Exposure to abrasive surfaces and dirt will damage the finish and shell of your board.

Because of this, you do not want to use the leaning method when storing your board outdoors. Check out the freestanding Insight Floor SUP Floor Rack on Amazon

When storing only one or two boards, perhaps the safest way to use a freestanding rack for your board would be to choose one that is relatively close to the ground, to avoid any potential damage from a top-heavy storage option.

Freestanding racks will almost always require that your board be stored horizontally, so pay special attention to the weight distribution:

  • With one board, double-check that it is properly centered on the rack.
  • With two, ensure that you do not store the boards on a slant or incline to decrease any chance of the rack falling over, especially if there are significant weight differences between the boards.
  • For more than two, store the boards such that the heaviest board is stored on the bottom and the weight decreases as they get closer to the top of the rack.

6. Car Rack

Clearly, this is not an option meant for long-term storage. Yet, if you are someone who uses your paddle board frequently, this is a viable option for you.

A major point to be aware of with this storage option is the type of roof rack you’ve chosen to secure your board. If you have one which requires straps that tighten around the board itself, then these need to be loosened before leaving the board for more than a day. Leaving your board strapped down will almost certainly result in it warping.

Check out my review for 2 great car transport options for paddle boards if you don’t have a roof rack. Here’s the nice premium padded option shown below as well.

Car storage deserves the same considerations as any outdoor storage method, but there is extra security in choosing a rack which is used along with storage bags. You would do well to park under a carport, if possible, to further enhance your board’s protection from the elements. Keep in mind the possibility of strong winds as well, as this is another element that could possibly make you lose your board entirely.

Another major concern is protection against theft. Storing your board outside on top of your vehicle is convenient for ease of preparation for your next trip, but it also lends itself to ease of access for anyone with sticky fingers.

Can I Leave My Paddle Board Inflated in Storage?

Inflatable stand up paddle boards (iSUPs) are made of PVC layers connected by fibers woven to connect the top and bottom layers. These boards are comparable to the rigidity of solid boards once inflated; however, they require slightly different care.

It is advised that iSUPs be deflated when stored and protected from the elements and direct sunlight. This is because it aids in maintaining the longevity of the material of the board. However, as long as the board is kept away from direct sunlight and harsh temperatures, it can remain inflated without any problems.

Keep in mind that leaving the board inflated will also result in air pressure being lost daily. If you know that the temperature of the storage area could rise to potentially harmful levels, again, it is advised that the board be deflated. If that is not an option, the board needs to be at least partially deflated, as air will expand in high temperatures.

Neglecting to expel a small amount of air from the board could lead to damage to your SUP.

Before you deflate and roll up your inflatable paddle board, there are a few more tasks to check off the list. These steps are essential to the safe storage and the overall longevity of your board and are not unique to inflatable boards, in that your solid boards need to be regularly cleaned as well.

Care Instructions for Your Paddle Board Before Storage

Before storing your paddle board, you should always give it a thorough cleaning. This will help keep your paddle board in good condition for many years to come.

1. Rinse

You’ll need to rinse your inflatable paddle board before storing it. This is integral to the maintenance of your board, as it removes any sand, dirt, or other debris that can damage the material over time.

It is not necessary to rinse your board after every trip to a freshwater body, but it is certainly not a step to be skipped after a dip in the harsh saltwater of the ocean. Not only can the abrasion of beach sand and salt particles damage the board over time, but the salt can corrode and weaken the material and seams.

Pay special attention to the fin box, attachment points, handles, and deck pad area when rinsing.

2. Clean

This is important for the same reason as rinsing; however, the use of a cleaner ensures the removal of stubborn debris that was not removed with the initial rinse. It is suggested to use a natural biodegradable cleaner. This prevents any potential damage to your board from any harsh chemicals.

You will want to avoid scrubbing too hard on the entire board, but be especially gentle on the traction pad to prevent accidental damage.

3. Rinse… Again

Of course, you will want to remove whatever cleaner you used to scrub the board to avoid build-up on your board. Be sure to remove all residue.

4. Dry

The board needs to be dried completely before storage. You can either towel dry or air dry, but do keep in mind the potential effects of keeping the inflated board outdoors or in the sun, as mentioned above.

If you are going to use your board relatively soon, a thorough drying is less of a concern as compared to if you are going to leave your board in storage for a long period. It is vital that a board that is going to be stored for long periods to be dry to avoid bacterial growth or emergence of rust, which can ultimately damage the board’s integrity.

5. Deflate (For iSUPs, Of Course)

Again, it is imperative to deflate your iSUP to prevent any expansion of air due to high temperatures, stressing the material of the board due to inflation over an excessive amount of time, or gradual loss of inflation between uses.

Deflating and folding your iSUP is the best, most secure way to store your inflatable paddle board. Placing your folded iSUP in a storage bag will further protect it from the elements and ensure a long life for your board. Read more at Should you Leave a Paddle Board Inflated?

How to Choose a Storage Method

When choosing a storage method, consider the purpose of the storage: will the board be stored over a long period or only for a short time? Are you looking to conserve space, or would you like to see your board as decoration in the home off-season?

Boards that are going to be stored over long periods need to have the fins removed, regardless of storage choice. This is because screws that remain tightened over a long period can result in cracking or splintering in the board’s material. Also, the resin that builds up around the screw holes can cause issues with removal and replacement of the fins and screws themselves.

Consider the weight of your board: a particularly heavy board would probably not be best stored suspended from the ceiling. A heavier board may respond differently to the pressure of suspension on metal racks (i.e., become deformed or warped due to too much pressure on the shell).

Final thoughts

Ultimately, none of the storage types will break your board. It is simply a matter of what you desire in storage convenience and aesthetics, and the space you have available. Choose one of the above methods knowing that your board will be safe and ready to go when the next season rolls around. And when it does, get out there, stay safe and have fun!


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Carlo Raffa

Carlo Raffa is a blogger, stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, water lover and local to Brighton city in the South of England. Paddle boarding is my escape and this is only the starting point. Being a larger guy at 260lbs I am finding it very good exercise as well, especially for building core muscles. This is something that believe it or not cycling 16 miles a day at 6 miles per hour doesn't seem to be doing. Paddle Boarding allows me to just grab my board and walk right through the busy bar filled beachfront between the two piers in Brighton and head straight out of shore. It's not long before the shouting and cheering of our buzzing beach fade into just the lapping waves and the people to just small dots of the Brighton shoreline.

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