How to Repair a Puncture or Worn Down Spot on Your iSUP
How to repair a puncture hole or worn down spot on your stand up paddle board
At Glide, our inflatable paddle boards are made to the highest standard of durability. No board is indestructible however and certain underwater hazards or transportation mishaps will on rare occasions puncture your board.
That's why all of our inflatable paddle boards come with a patch kit that has all of the tools you will need to fix a puncture hole.
Repairing a SUP is surprisingly easy and you can do it at home without any special tools.
The first thing that you will need to do is find the puncture hole. If the hole is obvious then you can skip this step but if your board is leaking air and you are having trouble finding the puncture spot then here is what I recommend.
First, with the board inflated, listen for the sound of air leaking out of the board and move your hand along the board to feel for where the air is coming out. If you still can’t find the hole, make a mix of soapy water and spread it over suspected areas. Where the air is leaking out, you will notice that small bubbles start to form in the soapy water. Once you find the hole, mark it with a pencil so that you don’t lose track of it.
If you find that the air is leaking from your valve, see our video here about how to repair a leaky valve. Valves can sometimes get a bit loose during shipping and will need to be tightened every couple years as part of your normal board maintenance.
If any water has leaked into your board, you will want to remove it before applying your patch. You can do this by unscrewing your valve all the way (make sure that you don’t lose track of the socket inside of the board) and draining out any water through the hole that is cut in the board to house the valve.
Once you have found the puncture, it’s time to deflate your paddle board and get the repair kit that came with your inflatable SUP. Cut your PVC patch into an oval shape, this will help keep the edges from pulling up while it is curing. Clean your patch and the area around the hole with rubbing alcohol or water and let them both completely dry.
You may also choose to use sandpaper to gently abrase the area to create a stronger bond but this is not necessary. Place the patch in your repair kit over the puncture and draw an outline with a pen or pencil so that you know where to apply the glue. Spread a coat of glue over that area on the board and over the matte side of your patch. The glossy side of your patch will face outwards after application.
Wait 3-5 minutes for the glue to be a bit tacky and apply the patch to the board. Use the back of the tube of glue or another tool to get the bubbles out from under the patch and cover the patch with masking tape.
Let your board sit for 24 hours to allow the glue to cure before inflating your board to test the patch. You can use the soapy water trick again at this point to make sure that your patch is air tight.
How to prevent damage to you stand up paddle board
Knowing how to patch your board is a must but you still want to do everything you can to avoid being in that situation in the first place. Here are some tips to keep your board out of danger of getting punctured or developing a worn down spot.
How you store your board can be a big factor in preventing damage. First, keep your board out of direct sunlight when you are not using it. Over time, the UV rays can cause long term damage by degrading certain materials in your board. Second, if you store your board vertically make sure that it is secured so that a heavy wind won’t blow it over. In general, strong winds can be enough to pick up an inflatable paddle board and carry it a great distance. If this happens it could hit something with enough force to cause damage.
If you are moving your board a short distance, make sure to carry it instead of dragging it. This will be a lot easier to do if your board is either rolled up and stored in its carrying bag or inflated to a high enough pressure to hold its shape. A board that is dragged a long distance, particularly over pavement or rocks, could eventually wear down enough to develop a weak spot or a hole.
Some people (myself included) like to transport pre-inflated paddle boards strapped on the top of their car. If you are planning to do this yourself, orient your board with the fin at the front of your car. This way if the straps fail at all, the fin can catch on the straps and you could have a chance to notice that the board is falling off and pull over to fix it. When strapping the board to your car, make sure that the straps are tight enough to hold the board firmly in place without deforming the board at all.
When you’re paddling in a shallow area, its important to avoid anything that is sticking out of the water. Even in flowing rivers, it can be hard to tell whether a log you see poking out of the water is just floating along or if it is embedded in the floor below. Anything sticking out of the water could potentially cause damage to your paddle board even if it just looks like a little stick on the surface so make sure to avoid these types of hazards.
These PVC patches provide a great solution to punctures in your inflatable paddle board and should hold for years after application.
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