We’ve probably all heard it before – don’t leave your paddleboard out in the Sun! From fading colours, cracks and punctures to irreparable damage – the Sun’s UV rays can have a serious impact on the longevity of our SUP gear, especially inflatable stand-up paddleboards.
So how does the Sun affect your inflatable paddleboard? UV rays can impact it in many ways of which most of them will lead to a faster deterioration of your board.
To prevent that, the Team behind Uone, a premium Polish stand-up paddleboarding and watersport brand specialising exclusively in inflatable boards, prepared some user-friendly tips on how to protect your board and also conducted a small experiment.
Sun exposure vs your inflatable paddleboard:
Overheating of the material
First and foremost, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to an increase of temperature of the board. This, in turn, can affect the material of the board, causing the surface to crack and the layers to expand. If left in the Sun for a long time, it may deform the board’s shape (the infamous ‘banana’ shape) and damage the seams of your paddleboard leading to further damage.
Increase of pressure
Leaving your paddleboard in the Sun may lead to an excessive increase in pressure as the air inside will expand with high temperatures. Rapid increases in pressure can be dangerous for your board resulting in weakening of the seams, punctures and even an actual bursting – rapture at the seams of the board.
High temperature vs the glue
High temperature can also affect the adhesives used for the construction of your SUP board, especially if the model you purchased was made with the standard single-layer technique using glue. Once that glue is heated it’s less durable to hold the rails of the board together.
Fading of colours
The Sun’s UV rays can speed up fading of the colours and SUP boards are no exception here. Long-term exposure to direct sunlight can lead to fading and degradation of the surface, as well as accelerating the “aging” process of the materials used. As a result, the board may lose its robustness, elasticity and its original colour.
Still not convinced?: The Uone experiment
The Uone Team conducted a small experiment with their Traveler iSUP model. They left the board in the direct sunlight for five minutes (please note that the temperature during the test was only 25 degrees Celsius!) and used a thermal imaging camera to track changes and detect hotspots.
It only took two minutes of testing to observe that the coloured elements of the board heated up to over 30 degrees Celsius. Which colours were effected the most?
The dark coloured elements (especially black) – You can see in the image below that the temperature of a small inflatable orca toy increased to nearly 60 degrees Celsius (58.2)!
The red elements reached the temperature of nearly 50 degrees Celsius.
The temperature of the blue deck surface of the board reached nearly 40 degrees Celsius.
The temperature of the white elements at its highest throughout the experiment was around 35 degrees Celsius.
Obviously, the longer the board was left in the direct sunlight, the higher the temperatures and hotspots were detected.
How to protect your board?
It’s worth following a few simple rules to protect your SUP board from the harmful effects of the direct sunlight. Avoid leaving the board inflated and unattended for long periods of time in the Sun. When not in use, leave it to dry, if possible, in a shaded place.
Use a board bag or the backpack provided with your SUP that will additionally protect it from the UV rays and fluctuating temperatures. It’s always worth wiping your board after a session with a towel or a cloth and let it dry completely before folding and storing. Make sure to remove any dirt, sand and other residue before folding it away in the bag.
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