Easy tips for getting the most out of your SUP

One of the most critical factors in being a sustainable paddler is extending the life of your gear. I’ve been test-driving NSP’s sustainable Cocomat series and while I’m stoked that they’re made from innovative and natural materials, energy and greenhouse gases are still emitted through the manufacturing process. In order to keep my footprint as small as possible, it’s crucial to make my stuff last as long as possible. Here, I’ve rounded up five simple ways to make your boards stay in your quiver for a long time to come.

  1. Use a board bag.Wear and tear is inevitable. It comes with the territory. Although some damage is sure to occur, a lot of it is preventable. Getting a good board bag is one of the simplest and best things you can do for your SUP. Besides being a useful tool for transporting your board, a bag will help protect your sled from dings, scratches, and sunlight in between sessions. For extra brownie points find yourself a good board bag made from recycled materials (they’re out there!).
  2. Rinse and repeat.Saltwater may be fine and dandy for the fish but it will do a number on your gear. Saltwater is corrosive by nature and will slowly eat away at your board, shortening its lifespan. Be sure to do a freshwater rinse between every session. No exceptions. Do yourself a solid and rinse your wetsuit and paddle as well.

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    The essential post paddle rinse. Photo: Jonathan Kemnitz

  3. Store out of direct sunlight.There’s a reason surf shops have roofs—to protect all their shiny new boards from the sun’s harmful rays. Leaving your SUP out in the sun or in a hot car can cause the resin to de-laminate. To protect your board, store it in the garage, in the house, or build a surf shed in the yard. If you’re at the beach for long periods of time, keep your board under a shaded tree or throw a towel over it to protect it from direct sunlight.
  4. Patch it up.Like we said before, getting a ding is inevitable. You can try to prevent it but eventually it will happen. When it does, be sure and patch it as soon as possible. If you leave a ding unattended to, your board will fill with saltwater that will eat away at the foam interior. Swing by your local surf shop and pick up a ding repair kit or take your board to a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.
  5. Wax on, wax off.Luckily, a lot of SUP’s come with deck pads so there’s no need for a wax job. But for those that don’t, it’s important to strip your wax at least once a season. Removing wax will help you discover minor dings or cracks that may need attending to. Plus, it never hurts to have a fresh coat of wax.
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Rebecca Parsons

Rebecca is a seasoned writer and longtime ocean lover. A resident of Orange County, CA, she can be seen paddling and surfing at many of Southern California’s most scenic coastal locations. Rebecca is interested in sustainability and environmentally friendly initiatives and heads up “Keep it Green”, our column on the environment.