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Your new or used SUP is loosing air? There can be a number of reasons for this - in many cases it’s something you can solve yourself, in the others you’ll need some help from a specialist store or a repair centre.
How to check where it’s coming from? If the board’s wet the air leak should cause bubbles to form on the surface where the air is coming out of the SUP. And yes, we’ve had someone telling us that his board is now dry… well - get it wet! Ideally spray some soapy water on the board and you’ll quickly find the culprit.
The most common is a leak coming from a valve. Valves in SUP boards are a serviceable part and as such you can take them out to either clean them out, add sealant or to replace them. Sometimes they might come loose and release a bit of air. Noticed that round orange container that came with your board? There’s a small tool inside - that’s the valve key. All you have to do is tighten the valve up by screwing it in and that should solve the problem.
The leak can also happen on the rails. This is where a decently made boards make a massive difference. Typically, boards that are better built will be made out much stronger materials and at least double layers. Ideally fused together to form a stronger bond than cheaply glued boards. This makes them much more robust against abrasions but also less likely to develop leak at the seems.
If that happens though, have a look in your orange box and you’ll find pieces of PVC material along with glue. Cut out a patch - best practice is to round off the corners - to match cover the hole and then some to seal around it. Make sure to clean the part you’re trying to patch up with alcohol wipes to take off all the dirt and salt, then add some glue making sure it’s evenly distributed on the patch, and press down. Leave the board overnight with something fairly flat and heavy pressing down on the patch and let it cure.
If it’s a bigger rip you might need to see a specialist. Rule of thumb are places that repair RIB boats - they’ve got the right tools to put your board back on the water safely. In most cases rip occur when the board is folded and you accidentally drag it on the floor. Most decent SUP’s, especially in more premium construction are very robust when inflated, however sharp or abrasive objects don’t mix well with materials that make up our boards.
How to keep your board in top notch condition?
- - Don't leave it in a direct sunlight or in a hot car for a prolonged time - especially when inflated.
- - If you've been paddle boarding in the sea make sure to wash the board down - salt isn't good for you kit!
- - When folded avoid dragging your board - it will create rips that are hard to fix. Same goes for waking with inflated board - make sure you have enough clearance off the ground not to put any scuffs on it.
- - Don't over or under inflate the board - keep to the manufacturers guidelines.
If you have any questions about SUP boards, maintenance or you have some issues with your board - give us a shout or come by the store, we’re always happy to help!