There’s no better feeling than being out on the open water on a paddleboard. But once you experience your first ding or paddle board puncture, the thought of a paddle board repair can feel overwhelming.
Luckily, repairing your paddle board doesn’t have to be a scary feat. Today, I’ll go over the basics of SUP repair every paddler should know.
What to Do if You Have a Ding or Hole in Your Paddle Board
It is one of the most frustrating experiences – hitting a rough patch and dinging up your paddle board. Sometimes, you might not notice the ding until hours after it’s happened.
Whether you are on an inflatable or a hard shell SUP, it’s important to begin the repair immediately so that you stop any further damage to your board. Plus, the sooner you repair your SUP, the sooner you can get back on the water.
You’ve Found the Damage, Now What?
If you’re in the water, get out. You’ll need to inspect your paddle board to see how bad the ding or crack is. The sooner you catch it, the easier the repair will be.
Once you’ve inspected your SUP you’ll need to start the repair. Typically, when you repair a paddle board, you can expect for it to take up to 24 hours.
While the repair itself only takes a couple of minutes, you’ll need to do quite a bit of prep work beforehand and you’ll need to give your repair material plenty of time to cure before you take your board out again.
Use The Correct Repair Kit for Your Board
The type of paddle board you have will impact how you should repair it.
If you’re repairing an inflatable paddle board, you’ll likely be using some sort of PVC repair kit. These kits will often include supplies such as glue and material to patch the board up with.
These things will be of little use if you’re repairing a hard shell SUP. Instead, you’ll likely be using some sort of foam and epoxy resin repair kit, as well as a brush for application. Solid boards can be made of different materials – some are made from wood, other’s epoxy resin and fiberglass.
Cracked fiberglass is going to require fixing in a different way to a cracked wooden SUP board, so of course you should keep this in mind.
Repairing Solid Boards vs Inflatables
When an inflatable paddle board gets a ding, if the force is strong enough, it could puncture the surface of the paddle board causing air to leak out. This leaking air will weaken the integrity of the paddle board almost immediately.
Solid boards work a bit differently. If they get bumped or cracked, you won’t immediately feel the impact of your boards’ weakened integrity. In fact, it can often take a while for you to realize that the SUP has sustained a dent – so you will likely continue to get your board wet and leave it exposed to direct sunlight, or any of the other things that can weaken it’s structure if there is damage somewhere.
This is why it’s important to know how to fix your board – and the different styles of SUP repair.
How to Fix a Leak in an Inflatable Paddle Board
If you’ve gotten a ding on your inflatable paddle board, you’ll be able to tell immediately because of the leaking air. You might be able to hear a hiss or even see the repair.
Use the Proper Repair Kit
When you’re shopping for a kit for your inflatable paddle board, you want to make sure you use a kit that will work for your paddle boards material.
Most inflatable paddle boards are made out of some sort of flexible PVC that is layered with a nylon or polyester fabric. Read your paddle boards instruction manual, understand the material it’s made out of, and shop for a repair kit that will adhere to your boards material.
Prepare Your Inflatable SUP for the Repair
Once you have the proper repair kit, it’s time to start your repair. Beginning by cleaning the surface of the SUB where the hole is. Once you clean the surface, use 60 grit sandpaper to gently buff up the surface.
You’ll want to sand down both your inflatable paddle board and the patch that you will use to cover the hole. Sanding down the surface of the paddle board and repair material will allow the glue to better adhere to the patch.
Apply Your Patch
Next, wipe the surface of your SUP clean again using either acetone or rubbing alcohol. Use a bonding glue design for inflatable paddle boards (your repair kit often comes with glue).
A glue like Aquaseal will work great on a variety of Inflatable SUPs.
Apply the glue to the surface of your SUP and onto your patch. Next, place the patch directly over the puncture. Allow the patch to dry for at least 24 hours before you take your SUP back out on the water.
How to Fix a Foam Core Solid SUP
Foam-filled epoxy resin paddle boards are the most popular type of solid stand up paddle board. If you sustain a dent or crack, then the damage can be gradual. Over time, the foam core on the inside of the epoxy board will be exposed to the water and will begin to deteriorate. In extreme cases, if left unchecked, this deterioration can become so severe that the board cannot be fixed!
You can check out this step by step video for a detailed rundown on how to fix epoxy boards, but I’ve included my own quick fix guide below:
1. Use a Resin That Works for Your Board
If you’re repairing a ding that is rather small, no bigger than a quarter, then you’ll want to shop for an epoxy kit that has the epoxy already mixed up for you. This way, you simply need to push the epoxy into the boards and plug up the hole.
A paddle board repair kit like the Solarez UV Cure Epoxy Kit is the perfect solution to smaller sized dings. The pre-made epoxy solution is ready to use, making the repair process rather simple.
For bigger repairs, you may need to look for an SUP repair kit that allows you to mix the resin solution yourself. This will allow you to use an adequate amount of mixture to fully repair your board. A kit like the Ultimate Epoxy Ding Repair Kit is a good solution for larger dings and cracks that extend the length of your paddle board.
2. Prepare Your Board for the Repair
To prepare your SUP, you’ll first want to start by removing any water that may be trapped inside. A super easy way to do this is by using a hair dryer around the site of the damage. Make sure not to get the area too hot because you don’t want to damage the foam on the inside with the heat.
You could also leave your paddle board out to dry in the sun in order to allow the water to evaporate, but don’t leave it out for too long as this can weaken the board.
Once completely dry, it’s time to clean out your ding and remove any dirt and debris from inside the hole. For best results, use a cleaning solution to wipe clean the surface of the paddle board as well.
3. Sand The Surface and Apply The Resin
Next you’ll want to stand down the edges of the ding so that it is smooth and that there are no sharp corners. Sanding down the surface will allow the epoxy to adhere better.
Wearing gloves, use mixing sticks to mix the epoxy (or popsicle stick works just as well), ensuring that there are no air bubbles inside. Use the popsicle stick as a spatula to scoop up some resin and plug the hole (you could also do this using a brush). Apply a generous amount all over the ding and wait for the epoxy to cure under the sun to seal the damage.
After the epoxy has dried, it’s time to sand down the surface. Use 60 grit sandpaper then move up to 200 grit. Sanding down the surface will allow you to smooth the epoxy out so that it’s flush with the board. If you apply a second layer, be sure to repeat this process. Super easy!
Paddle Board Repair Doesn’t Need to Be Difficult
Dealing with ding repair for your paddle board is undoubtedly frustrating. Thankfully, with the right repair kit, most holes can be repaired all on your own.
I hope this article has given you the confidence to repair your SUP so that you can get back on the water sooner than later. Have you had to repair an SUP ding before? Be sure to share your experience and any tips you have in the comments section below!