Can I Leave my Paddle Board Inflated?
So you've just received your new inflatable SUP board and you have fully inflated it with the manual pump that came with it and have now decided that was just a little bit more exertion than you were interested in. A common question that is asked is whether you can keep your inflatable stand up paddle board fully inflated. We'll probe the pros and cons of this question in the following article.
Benefits of leaving inflatable paddle board inflated
If you have the space, it is clearly more convenient to leave your inflatable paddle board inflated once you've gone to the effort to inflate it rather than deflating it and putting it in the storage bag. You will also want to make sure that you have a vehicle that can transport your inflated paddle board.
Because most inflatable paddle boards are made of multi-layers of durable, PVC material, keeping your paddle boards inflated is typically not a problem, especially if you follow the tips outlined in this article.
One other benefit of keeping your inflatable SUP board inflated is that it will hold it's shape and rigidity which will give you better performance on the water.
Risks of keeping an inflatable SUP board inflated
There are risks in keeping your inflatable stand up paddle board inflated if you don't store it properly. If you keep the board out in the sun while it's fully inflated, you could create a few problems for yourself, for instance.
Be careful with the air pressure on inflatable paddle boards
If the air pressure is too high, the extreme heat from the sun will increase that air pressure by causing the air inside the inflatable SUP to expand and that could really put strain on the main pressure points of the paddle board: the seams and the drop stitch material that holds the top level of the board to the bottom level.
A best practice is to release a little air if your board is to be left inflated especially if you are experiencing very hot weather in your area as that high air temperature will significantly decrease the life of your paddle board by expanding the air inside the board.
Your inflatable paddle board is UV resistant to a point
Even though the PVC material that makes up the outside of the board is UV resistant, if you leave the board inflated in the direct sunlight for long periods, it will degrade the PVC material as well as cause it to fade.
Even if your board isn't in direct sunlight and absorbing the UV rays, it's a good idea to add UV protection like "Sunguard" which you can find on Amazon as it will keep your board in good shape over the long run.
Extra precautions to take when storing your board inflated
It's a great idea to wash your inflatable paddle board with fresh water and a light detergent before storing it. Make sure to completely dry the entire board after you have washed it to prevent mold growth which can weaken the PVC on the board.
Once your paddle board is fully dry, find a storage area that is free of any sharp or abrasive objects that could puncture the paddle board while you store it. Properly secure your paddle board so it doesn't tip over while you store it. This is especially important if you store your paddle board with the fin in as fin boxes can be easily damaged if your board falls over.
Other tips for paddle board storage
Other tips would be to never drag a fully inflated inflatable SUP board as many paddlers do. Investing in a board bag for a fully inflated paddle board can also be your best bet to protect it in storage.
Make sure you keep your board dry when you store your paddle board by making sure that it won't be exposed to the elements. A dry, cool, protected storage space is ideal for the longevity of your paddle board.
How long can my paddle board stay inflated?
The length of time an inflatable paddle board can stay inflated depends on a few factors, such as the quality of the materials and the conditions in which it is stored. Generally, high-quality inflatable paddle boards can stay inflated for weeks or even months, as long as they are stored properly in a cool, dry place with a consistent temperature and you protect them from sun damage.
It is recommended to check the board's pressure regularly and release air as necessary to prevent overinflation. With proper care and maintenance, an inflatable paddle board can stay inflated for an extended period of time, but regular check-ups and proper storage are key to ensuring the board remains in good condition.
In summary, it is perfectly fine to store your inflatable SUP while it's left inflated. Just make sure that you don't leave your stand up paddle boards fully inflated or in the direct heat of the sun or the elements in general. If you clean and completely dry the paddle board and store it in an area where you can secure it and make sure there are no sharp objects that could cause a puncture, you can plan on storing your inflatable stand up paddle boards for weeks or months. Or if you don't have the storage room and don't want the hassle of a manual pump, invest in an electric pump.