How to Keep Your Stand On Liquid PaddleBoard Watertight

It might seem ironic but the very reasons paddleboarding is so much fun, the sun, the open water, the challenge to go just a little bit farther are the very things that can do the most damage to your board. The worst enemy of your board is water. Keeping it watertight requires frequent inspections, a few minor repairs and a whole lot of common sense.

Let’s talk about the sun first. Your board will suffer the same way you will without sunscreen. The sun can darken your board and as a result, begin to heat the core. This causes the air in the core to expand outwards creating crack and splits.

That same increase in air pressure can occur getting to the water as well. If you are traveling through various air pressure changes, such as over a mountain or on a plane, these air pockets can expand as the outside pressure changes. Get a good reflective bag and inspect your board for any issues when you arrive at your destination. Catching problems early means you might be able to fix the problem yourself.

I should probably mention that the board should be completely dry, free of any saltwater as well as fresh water with a loosened vent plug before putting it in the bag. And when you get it home, hang it up, out of the bag, in a cool, dry place.

But you use your board. So dings and dents and even sometimes cracks happen. If you suspect any damage, get to it right away. A small crack or ding needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. If you can suck air out of the ding or crack, you can rest assured that water can get in. If the ding is small enough, using a clear ding tape like Puka Patch should do the trick. Let it completely dry before using the board again.

If the crack is a little bigger, you might need to resort to a marine epoxy. If the idea of doing this repair yourself seems daunting, get the help of a pro. And don’t be afraid to ask if you can watch. But sad to say, if the crack is large enough that you get air through it, your day is done.

Maybe you can fix it. Maybe you’re the type. Keep in mind, the fix might not be pretty. You might have to use both a marine epoxy and the ding tape. And it can make an epic mess. But in the hot sun, it does dry fast. And while pretty would be nice, getting back in the water is the goal. Keep a repair kit with you.

The vent plugs should be regularly inspected as well. The Gore-tex type of plug should be inspected for any sand or debris in the threads and of course, make sure it’s screwed on tight. Your vent may come with O-rings. If so, get into a habit of loosening the plug when the board is out of the water and tightening before you go back in. This is how your paddleboard’s air pressure is regulated. Failing to loosen will expand those air pockets in the core. Failing to tighten the plug let’s water in!

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