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Complete Care For a Paddleboard [ Wax, Clean & More ]

So you just got a new paddle board and want to know what do you clean them with? Well, we have the answers! In this blog post, we will cover how to clean your paddle boards with wax, polish, cleaning and more. We also provide some helpful tips on paddling gear care for the best experience in your water sports adventures, so what do you clean paddle boards with?

While it may seem silly to not clean your paddle board it actually happens quite a lot for many owners. They have to travel home and then once back they just put it away to “do it this weekend” which we all knows is just a way to allow us to skip it.

Overall Paddle Board Maintenance

When you purchase your first paddle board you need to take the time to understand how to maintain it and make sure that you don’t break the bank by neglecting to take care of your board.

Now depending on the type of paddle board you purchase you may have steps specific to your board to do to keep them clean and to extend their overall life.

Today I will cover everything from whether or not to wax your board, to cleaning traction or deck pads, and which cleaners work the best to lengthen your investment in a quality paddle board.

Afterwards we can dive into specific types of boards and any care that those need that differs from just overall general care.

How to Clean a Paddle Board After Use

For blanket cleaning, after each use, you need to rinse off any sand or salt with fresh water as soon as possible along with scrub the surface of the paddle board with a soft brush using warm soapy water using dish soap.

Rinse well again to remove that soapy water and then allow to dry fully before storing away for another day out on the waves.

When paddling near rocks remove all grit from around them carefully because they can scratch up your paddleboard’s surface. Rocks are usually found at river mouths where currents push them onto shorelines.

Cleaning the paddle board as soon as you get it ready to transport will ensure that it is clean and ready for its next adventure.

Should You Wax Your Paddle Board?

One thing that frequently is asked by anyone with their first paddle board is whether or not they should wax it. The answer is yes you want to wax the paddle board after cleaning it!

A good time to starting dong this would be after you are finished with cleaning your paddle board after your first few uses, as long as there are no noticeable scratches on the surface of the board and if a light coat has already been applied in previous care.

Waxing your paddleboard helps with protecting its finish from UV rays that cause discoloration over time along with keeping water spots at bay longer than without any protection.

It’s important to remember though that this can only work because all other paddling gear have been cleaned thoroughly beforehand, especially if you wear shoes, which helps to remove the natural oils and dirt from their surfaces while paddling.

While waxing your board will take more time than just scrubbing them down with soap and water, it does offer greater protection against things such as salt and sand from getting ground into surfaces while paddling out during rough conditions or damaging waves crashing over into it while coming back in.

How Do I Clean my Paddle Board Deck Pad?

Additional care must be paid to your deck pad, also known as a traction pad, as it is the contact surface between your board and feet and you want to keep tactile control and the bond.

When you are paddling, this is where your feet will be so it’s important to make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned and dried after each use.

If not you may give algae the chance it needs to start forming on top of the deck pad which can lead to other problems such as a slippery surface while paddling.

Should You Wax the Bottom of a Paddle Board?

After a hard ride it is smart to make sure the bottom of your board is waxed to avoid any potential long term damage it could encounter.

Waxing a paddle board can help with traction and prolong its lifespan by preventing wear caused from friction in saltwater environments, or when taking sharp turns while riding waves. Plus, if done correctly, this may give some extra buoyancy to the board which could come in handy.

It’s important that you rub down the entire surface of your board to ensure you get enough coverage. It also makes then to check and ensure there are no areas where wax has been scraped off during a ride (which can happen!).

If anything should happen after applying wax such as sand getting stuck underfoot again or damaging waves crashing over into it while coming then you would want to go over the board again to make sure it is clean and clear.

You might also find some sand or dirt in your board’s grooves which you can remove with warm water, dish soap and an old toothbrush. If you’re going to clean out the grooves make sure they are thoroughly rinsed off afterwards because any residue could adversely affect how well wax sticks when applied next time around.

At times people may feel that their paddle board doesn’t look as shiny after using it enough – just like anything else there is a process of wear-and-tear which means these boards need more care.

How to Choose Paddle Board Cleaner

When you want to clean your paddle board you may wonder what kind of cleaner to use. There are a few factors you’ll want to take into account before choosing the right product for your paddle board cleaner:

  • What is it made of? Some cleaners work better on certain materials, like plastics or fiberglass. You may need more than one type if your board has both types of material.
  • How much board do you have? If your board is large, you’ll need a bigger bottle of cleaner or a concentrate that you can dilute.
  • What kind of dirt do you have on it? Some cleaners work better with heavy dirt or mildew than others. You may also want to use different cleaners for after the initial cleaning depending on what type of stains and grime are left behind.

What do you clean paddle boards with will depend on the questions above, so make sure to have a list of what you’ll need before heading out to the store!

How To Care for an Inflatable Paddle Board

Proper care for an inflatable paddle board will help keep it in good shape no matter how you use or store your board. Below I listed out some overall tips to help you care for your inflatable paddle board.

  • Rinse Off and Clean Outside – Air can dry out the inside of an inflatable, so make sure to thoroughly rinse and then, if needed, apply a sealant that contains moisture content such as 303 Protectant for fabric boats.
  • Deflate Before Storage – For proper storage, deflate the side tubes by removing air until all air has been emptied. Store your inflatable boards face down on their inflation valve to prevent the valve from being punctured.
  • Store Properly – Store your board in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight and away from corrosive chemicals such as gasoline or fertilizers.
  • Wax Outside Of Board For Protection And A Clean Look – Use wax after you clean off dirt and before applying sealant; make sure you wipe down the whole area including rails and valves. Waxing also makes boards look nicer!

If you follow these simple steps you can keep your paddle board looking like new and have it ready for the next time you want to go out on the water!

How Do You Clean an Inflatable Paddle Board?

For an inflatable paddle board you have some specific cleaning tasks. First, you should keep the board in a cool dry place when it’s not being used for long periods of time to prevent mold from growing on your inflatable paddle board hull or getting trapped inside and making its way through onto your deck surface if inflated.

Clean Your Board With A Mild Soap – Cleaning with soap is one of the best ways to clean an inflatable paddle board as detergents often leave behind a residue that can damage the material over time.

Use cold water first to rinse away any dirt before adding some mild dish soap (like Dawn Dishwashing Liquid) into hot water and soak your board for about 15 minutes, then use towels/sponges and soapy water to scrub off any caked-on dirt, tar, gunk, or sand.

Wet A Towel With Hot Water & Lather It Up – After cleaning the paddle board with soap and water, you may want to use a towel that has been soaked in hot-hot water (not boiling) and topped off with dishwashing liquid or detergent mixed in it as this will provide more suds for better scrubbing power.

Rinse The Board Again To Remove Residual Soap Residue – Use cold water first to rinse away any residue from the soap and wash to leave the board clean and prepped for storing.

Best Inflatable SUP Cleaner

There are a few cleaners which are specific to inflatable paddle boards, we will list out a few of them for you to consider:

Best Budget Cleaner

Star brite Ultimate Paddlesports Cleaner & Protectant

22 oz. spray bottle

For all fiberglass, Kevlar, rotomolded and inflatable kayaks – stand up paddle boards and canoes.

Product Benefits:
  • Spray on, wipe off to remove grime and salt deposits
  • PTEF Polymers leave a non-slippery protective coating to help repel damaging UV rays and dirt

Best Environmentally Friendly Cleaner

ONIT Pro Inflatable Paddleboard Cleaner

8 oz. bottle included with pump sprayer

Deck Pad Cleaner will not damage the water you paddle in as it is 100% eco friendly and safe.

Product Benefits:
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • All Natural

Final Thoughts on Paddle Board Care

The first step to maintaining your paddle board is understanding what type of cleaning it needs. Waxing and polishing are the most common types of maintenance, but there are other options out there for you to keep your board clean too.

If you’re not sure how much time or effort you want to put into caring for your boards, we recommend waxing and polishing them at a minimum every 6 months or so (depending on frequency of use).

Once they dry, store them in a cool place away from direct sunlight with its nose pointed upward – this will help prevent water damage while preserving their shape.

If you are just starting to look into paddleboarding we have a wide selection of guides to help assist you in finding the best option to suit your needs, check them out here!

What do YOU hate about doing when it comes to maintaining your paddleboard? Share below!