SUP Newbie Chronicles- 5 Ways to Store Your BoardYour stand-up pad­dle board is built to with­stand the rig­ors of pad­dling in the heat of a bright sum­mer day and in the midst of rough waters. What it’s not made for is being stored dur­ing the off sea­son in any­thing even close­ly resem­bling those con­di­tions. Whether you live in a tem­per­ate, trop­i­cal or polar cli­mate, you’ve got to store your board prop­er­ly to ensure that it stays in tip-top con­di­tion. In order to do so, you’ll want to keep your board out of direct sun­light, away from water and out of the way. Here are some tips and rec­om­men­da­tions for stor­ing your board so it’s good to go for years to come.

If you have a garage or stor­age unit
If you’ve already got a roof under which your stand-up pad­dle board can rest, use it! Sim­ply invest in an insu­lat­ed board bag, remove the fin from your ful­ly-dried board and ensure that it’s secured in such a way that it won’t fall down and get dinged. The most impor­tant rule for stor­ing your SUP is to keep it away from heat, wind and water.

If you love the way your board looks
So you think your board’s the pret­ti­est thing on the block; store it in your home. Real­ly, if you’ve got the space in your house or apart­ment, this is the ide­al spot to store it because the tem­per­a­ture is reg­u­lat­ed. Some com­pa­nies make dis­play racks for SUP boards, many of which are beau­ti­ful in their own right. Invest in a wood or met­al dis­play rack and place your SUP in a loca­tion that makes sense, like an already-ocean-themed guest room.

If you want easy stor­age and accessibility
If you want easy storage and accessibilityWhether you’re stor­ing one or mul­ti­ple boards, a ceil­ing rack will pro­vide good cov­er. It’ll also get your board up and out of the way, with easy access if you’ll be stor­ing it there full time. A ceil­ing-mount­ed rack can be placed out­side if you’ve got your board cov­ered with a bag or sock, to keep it out of the ele­ments. I use a ceil­ing rack attached to the car­port next to my house. This makes it excep­tion­al­ly easy to move the SUP from its ceil­ing rack to the rack of my car when I want to take it out.

If you pre­fer to strap your SUP up
If you don’t like the look or idea of mount­ing a rack, you might pre­fer the strap stor­age method for keep­ing your SUP safe and sound. This is a less com­mon method of stor­age, so options are more lim­it­ed. How­ev­er, if you type “SUP strap stor­age” into Google, you’ll find a few good options for pur­chas­ing this method of stor­age for your beloved SUP. Most straps will be mount­ed to a wall or ceil­ing, and will hold your board out of the ele­ments as well as any oth­er method, with a dis­tinct look.

If you do any­thing, don’t do this
You may feel tempt­ed to store your board in the plas­tic bub­ble wrap it came in since it’s there, it’s pro­tec­tive and it’s free. Don’t do it! Bub­ble wrap is often made of polyurethane resin and has a ten­den­cy to stick to sur­faces (like an epoxy board) if stuck for a long time. Maybe you don’t use your board for a sum­mer or you get injured — who knows. Espe­cial­ly if your board will see sun­light. Per­haps the most well-stat­ed rea­son is this: “The bub­bles are like minia­ture mag­ni­fy­ing glass­es, focus­ing the heat on your board.”

sup1Sure, steer­ing your stand-up pad­dle­board around obsta­cles sounds easy enough — and in the­o­ry, it is — but doing it effec­tive­ly is anoth­er sto­ry. Anoth­er chap­ter alto­geth­er is the sim­ple yet impor­tant tech­nique of turn­ing your board effec­tive­ly. Yes! There’s a dif­fer­ence between steer­ing and turn­ing an SUP. And you’ll want to mas­ter both of these pad­dle­board­ing ele­ments ear­ly on so you don’t get left behind when friends turn back to shore. Take a look at the fol­low­ing four tips for effec­tive­ly turn­ing and steer­ing your SUP.

1. Steer Clear
Think of it this way: steer­ing is for all tech­ni­cal pur­pos­es, the same as turn­ing (just doing so ever so slight­ly). There­fore, learn­ing how to steer your board will help you turn it more effec­tive­ly. To steer your­self clear of a water-logged obsta­cle on your right, you’ll want to move slight­ly to the left. Do this by pad­dling on the right side of your board so that it moves in the oppo­site direc­tion. The next tip will help you remem­ber the equa­tion, but before too long it should become sec­ond nature.

2. Side­stroke
Side­stroke is the most basic way to turn your board, and you can mas­ter it quick­ly by fol­low­ing a few gen­er­al rules. Slide your pad­dle into the water with strokes that are much short­er and much quick­er than those you’d use to pro­pel your­self straight for­ward. To make this easy turn­ing tech­nique even eas­i­er, try look­ing over your shoul­der in the direc­tion you’re try­ing to turn instead of gaz­ing down at the water. 

3. Back­pad­dle
We’re will­ing to bet that back­pad­dle will become your favorite method of turn­ing once you’ve mas­tered it because it’s the quick­est way to turn around. While you may nat­u­ral­ly dis­cov­er it once you’re more com­fort­able on the board with the mechan­ics of basic side­stroke, you can also learn it ear­ly on and imple­ment it when you’re ready. To back­pad­dle, put the pad­dle into the water on the same side of the board as the direc­tion of your desired turn and pull the blade of the pad­dle back­wards. You’ll want to grip the pad­dle tight­ly and you’ll need to use the strength in your tor­so to make this back­ward pad­dle stroke. You may gain a bit of momen­tum as you turn, so once you’re head­ing in the right direc­tion, dive the pad­dle into the water and pad­dle nor­mal­ly to set your­self straight. This is the only turn­ing stroke in which you pad­dle on the same side as the direc­tion you’d like to turn. 

4. Sea (or C) Stroke
To make one big turn (or to turn your board around entire­ly), plant your pad­dle blade in the water toward the top, front end of your board, and make one long stroke toward the very end of your board. Just as in steer­ing and in side stroke, this C‑shaped stroke will turn you in the oppo­site direc­tion of the side your pad­dle is in the water on. The motion of mak­ing a giant C with your pad­dle will cause your board to make a more seri­ous turn, so this stroke is use­ful if you’re aim­ing to go in the entire­ly oppo­site direction.