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December 01, 2021 10 min read

Paddle Board Storage Tips

Inflatable paddle boards on a wooden rack

Buying a stand up paddle board might be the best thing you do all year. SUPs are phenomenal fun, whether you want to enjoy them on the local lake or take them to the beach.

As much as we’d like to be out paddle boarding or surfing with our SUPs all the time – it’s also important to know how to store your board the right way so it lasts for a long time and is easy to access when you’re ready to take it out for a spin.

This detailed guide will tell you everything you need to know about storing your SUP, including the best ways to store paddle boards indoors and outdoors.

Where to Store Your SUP

There are plenty of suitable locations for keeping your paddle board when you’re not out on the water. Whether you choose to store your SUP inside or outside, any location will need to include a few major factors:

  • Limited exposure to sunlight, as UV radiation can cause damages to your stand up paddle board’s shell and color
  • Resistance to moisture, to prevent mold and mildew from forming on your SUP’s surface
  • Protection against extreme heat or cold, which will prevent your paddle board’s shell from deteriorating

The next two sections will go into more detail so you know how to store your SUP in both indoor and outdoor spots.

How to Store a Stand Up Paddle Board Inside

Paddle board stored inside

Whether you have a hard or an inflatable SUP, it’s best to store paddle boards inside if at all possible. Indoor storage areas protect your board against all of the above potential threats and make your board easy to access. Note, however, that “indoors” doesn’t necessarily mean inside your house; sheds or garages are also ideal options suitable for long-term storage.

Alternatively, paddle boards can be conveniently stored inside if you mount them on the wall. This option saves floor space, whilst also displaying your pride and joy as a stylish conversation piece. We recommend the StoreYourBoard SUP Wall Rack, which is easy to mount and sturdy enough to hold even heavier stand-up paddle boards.

How Do You Store a Paddle Board in a Garage?

Lots of people have plenty of space inside their garages, with spots that are easy to access. When it comes to SUP storage, using a garage straddles a good middle ground between storing your board outside and keeping it in the house.

However, garages can get pretty cold, particularly during the winter. Be sure to elevate paddle boards off the floor using a wall rack, shelf, or SUP roof rack to prevent moisture from accumulating, and to stop direct contact with cold concrete floor from damaging your board.

Outside Paddle Board Storage

Paddle board stored on a rack outside

In general, storing your SUP board outside should be your last option, as there’s a greater likelihood of it being exposed to the elements, extreme temperatures and UV radiation.

However, you can keep paddle boards outside safely if you follow these guidelines:

  • Use a weather-resistant tarp to protect against moisture. If you fail to do this, rain and snow can gradually seep into your paddle board's shell, ruining its color or even degrading its structural integrity. This is doubly true for inflatable paddle boards.
  • Keep paddle boards out of direct sun, wind, or heat. Shaded areas are best, such as on a back porch or patio.
  • As with storing SUP boards in a garage, you can keep paddle boards outside if you use wall racks to keep them off the ground, which can become hot or cold depending on the weather.
  • Consider using board bags to keep accessories handy near your board for easy access. Two good choices include the GILI Rolling Inflatable SUP Backpack or the Abahub Premium Foam Padded SUP Cover Case.

One more thing – if you’ve got an inflatable board, don’t keep it deflated in its carry bag for too long. Periodically reinflate your board to prevent any creases from becoming permanent.

How Do You Store a Paddle Board for the Winter?

If you live in an area with long, cold winters, you’ll likely need to put your SUP away for several months out of the year. In that case, be sure to pick a location that’s suitable for a long time, not just for a few weeks until your next paddle boarding vacation.

An indoor paddle board storage method is ideal to protect your board from the harm of extreme winter temperature. This will limit its exposure to any damaging elements.

How to Store Paddle Boards

Inflatable paddle board suspended at yacht roof

After figuring out where you want to keep your stand up paddle board, you’ll need to know how to stow it safely. There are three major ways to store hard or inflated stand up paddle board, and some great products to help streamline your storage solutions:

On a SUP Wall Rack

Racks are popular paddle board storage choices. You can purchase racks that feature straps and padding materials that will hold your board securely, without damaging its exterior or design.

If the paddle board rack runs along your board’s entire length, be sure to rest your board on the rack face-down to prevent damage to its hull. In our experience, the GILI Minimalist Paddle Board Wall Rack is the ultimate option when it comes to easy access wall rack solutions. You can check out our SUP Storage Racks Guide for more information on this piece, as well as some other storage solutions.

Alternatively, you can use a freestanding horizontal SUP rack. This style allows you to stack two or more paddle boards, depending on their sizes and weight differences. If you only store one board, make sure that the board is properly centered to avoid undue strain and pressure being placed on your walls. Try to balance multiple boards if you stack them simultaneously, by keeping the heavier board on the bottom.

Minimalist Paddle Board Wall Rack

This is our best pick and for good reason. The GILI Minimalist Paddle Board Wall Rack is discreet, effective, and looks great effortlessly supporting your board.

Soft padded minimalist wall rack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Materials: Aluminum
  • How many boards can it carry? 1 board
  • Fixture: Wall

What we love:

  • Super minimalist, space-efficient, and discreet design.
  • Aluminum brackets will not rust.
  • Fully felt-padded brackets to avoid damage to your board.
  • Eco-friendly packaging.

What we don't love:

  • Would be really awesome if they came in more colors!

The Minimalist Paddle Board Wall Rack is discreet. The bracket only extends 11” from the wall and has a 4.5” high front lip making it practically invisible.

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Suspended

You can also suspend your paddle board from ceiling SUP racks, hanging it from the ceiling in your garage or as a stylish bit of décor in your home. However, remember that this paddle board storage method means you’ll have slightly less convenient access to the board when you want to take it out for a paddle.

With this method, you’ll want to make sure you suspend your SUP with the bottom of the board facing the ceiling. Your best bet to do this safely is to purchase a suspension system designed specifically for SUPs, which will include the straps and bolts you need to secure everything tightly. Be sure to use multiple straps evenly along your SUP’s body to minimize the risk of it ever falling.

Need a sturdy and attractive suspended ceiling rack? Check out GILI's Ceiling Storage Rack to stow your SUP up high in style.

Adjustable Overhead Multi SUP & Surfboard Ceiling Rack

This Adjustable Overhead Multi SUP & Surfboard Ceiling Rack is a great storage solution for those with a larger quiver and suitable space that allows for it. If you’ve got a decent-sized garage, why not hang your boards overhead?

Adjustable Overhead Ceiling rack

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Materials: Heavy-duty Steel
  • How many boards can it carry? 4 board
  • Fixture: Ceiling

What we love:

  • A super heavy-duty rack that can hold up to 150 lbs (75 lbs on each side).
  • Adjustable height on the center column from 10” to 18”, allowing you to adjust to your board's thickness.
  • Has two size choices: large with 25” arms, or extra-large with 30” arms.
  • Eco-friendly packaging.

What we don't love:

  • You have to take the paddle boards off to adjust the height of the rack.

Just be aware and extra cautious if you have more than one board on each side of this SUP rack. That being said, the Adjustable Overhead Multi SUP & Surfboard Ceiling Rack is the best that money can buy and is our top recommendation for an overhead storage rack.

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Leaning

If you’re on a budget, you can also lean your paddle board against a wall. This is a simple and cheap way to store your board in plenty of easy to access places.

To do this, prop your SUP on its tail or lay it down on its side. Never lean paddle boards on their nose part, as this can damage the finishing material and cause them to tip over easily.

To keep boards in place, use some sort of padding between the floor and your SUP. Alternatively, you can further reduce the risk of boards slipping or tipping over by sticking a traction pad to the floor and the wall where you’ll be leaning your board.

Extra Tips on How to Store an Inflatable SUP

Have an inflatable stand up paddle board? Keep these tips in mind to store your paddle board inflated, both safely and securely:

  • Always distribute weight evenly, particularly if you suspend or lean the board against something, otherwise your inflatable board may become deformed with its weight resting unevenly on pressure points.
  • Don’t tighten any straps too tightly, as heat and pressure can also cause deformation.
  • Leave a little wiggle room for movement to prevent degradation as well.

To save on space, you also have the option to fully deflate paddle boards for shorter-term storage. This can be particularly advantageous if you need to stow it in a crowded garage or a room in your house. Just be sure to take it out and inflate it periodically to prevent permanent creases.

If you plan to deflate your SUP during the winter or for other reasons, follow these pointers:

  • Be sure to fully clean and thoroughly dry the entire surface.
  • Open the valve to let all the air out before lightly rolling up the board and packing it into its bag.
  • Avoid crushing or compressing it too tightly for extended periods.
  • Keep it in a cool, dry place indoors for best results.

How to Clean Your Paddle Board Before Storage

Man holding two inflatable paddle boards

Cleaning SUP boards before storage is incredibly important. Failing to do so could lead to stains forming, paint wearing down over time, or even hull damage. Here’s how you can clean your SUP thoroughly before storing it:

Rinse

Start by rinsing your stand up paddle board with clean, fresh water (saltwater can corrode the hull). This will remove any debris, salt, sand and dirt, preparing the board for the rest of the cleaning.

Clean

Next, wash your SUP board with a mild soap product mixed with tap water. This can get rid of any embedded stains or grime without harming the board. Always avoid strong chemicals or solvent products.

Rinse Again

Rinse your SUP board with clean, fresh water again to get rid of any soap suds and the last dirt particles.

Dry Thoroughly

Finally, dry the board thoroughly before storage. Leaving water on your paddle board could lead to mildew formation. And don’t let paddle boards dry in the sun - seeing as UV rays can damage the shell and color of your board.

How to Choose a Storage Method

Not sure which of the above storage solutions you should choose? Here are a few ways to pick:

  1. Consider Storage Time - Consider how long you’ll be storing your paddle board for. If you have to put it away for more than a few weeks, place it in a cool, dry spot protected from the elements, such as in the garage or a room in your house. If you only need short-term storage, you can be a little more flexible and should prioritize easy access.
  2. Think About Decoration - Keep in mind that beautifully designed paddle boards can be excellent home décor pieces that people love to display. On the flip side, if you don't have a lot of space, storing your iSUP in the garage might be a better choice.
  3. Consider the Weight of the Board - Lastly, consider how heavy your paddle boards are. Heavier boards are usually bad matches for suspended methods, but they might be a better pick for rack storage products.

General Storage Tips

Paddle board hang on a wall rack

We aren’t done yet! Here’s some more general storage advice to make sure you store your SUP the right way:

  • Always remove the fins from your board to prevent them from being bent or damaged while they are stored.
  • If you have an inflatable paddle board case, consider storing your board there for convenience.
  • Try to keep paddle boards off the floor and free from dirt.
  • When suspending or racking your board, avoid getting a dent or scratch by distributing its weight evenly.
  • Use UV protection, like a tarp or overhanging shed if storing paddle boards outside.
  • Remember that you’ll want to retrieve your paddle board to use it, so keep ease of access in mind when choosing a storage solution.

And finally, if you’re storing your board outside your home, take some additional precautions to prevent theft. If you’re on the road, a lockable car rack is a worthwhile investment. Car racks and lockable ties are great ways to secure your unattended board, and you can also take photos of your board and write down its serial number in case it is stolen and you need to access your proof of ownership.

Conclusion

All in all, figuring out how to store your stand up paddle board for the first time can be time-consuming and a little tricky. Once you narrow down the best method and location for your board, you’ll be able to store it regularly time after time with easy access and minimum fuss.

FAQ’S

🏆 How long can I leave my SUP inflated?

Technically, your iSUP can be left inflated indefinitely, provided it isn’t stored in direct sunlight. If you want to improve the lifespan of your inflatable paddle board, it helps to reduce the air pressure during long storage periods. For the best results, partially deflate your board every few weeks to a month to protect its material.


👍 Should I store my paddle board inside a bag?

If it comes with one, sure! The carry bag that your board came with is likely perfectly sized, and can protect your board from dust and UV rays regardless of where you put it.


🏝️ Will my paddle board mold in storage?

Only if it’s left in a wet, cold area. Be sure to dry your paddle board after cleaning it to avoid mold formation.


❓ Should I leave on my removable fins while storing?

No. Removable fins can break or bend in storage, so you should take these off and stash them with the rest of your accessories.


📦 Can I store my paddle board under my deck?

No. If you do this, your paddle board may be exposed to direct sunlight for several hours during the day, not to mention exposed to the elements.

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

Chief Paddler - Jay has been surfing and paddling for over 5 years. When he's not dreaming up new stuff at GILI, he's writing articles about paddling, out paddling, or often traveling.


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