Most people see SUP leaks as the end of their board as they know it. But this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Provided you know how to identify and fix leaks, your board will be as good as new once you’re done. No more air leaks to worry about, and you’ll be ready to get back on the water once more.
So, if you’re worried about future leaks or suspect your board currently has one, here’s all you need to know.
Identifying a SUP Leak
To give yourself the best chance of locating the exact position of your paddleboard’s leak, it must be fully inflated.
- Make a solution of water and washing-up liquid in a spray bottle, grab a rag and a bright crayon, and you’re ready to go!
- Spray your SUP with the washing-up liquid solution. It’s always best to start around the seals first, as this is where leaks most commonly appear.
- You’re looking for a sudden appearance of larger bubbles in one specific spot. This is where your leak will be.
- Dry the entire area with your rag. But don’t forget where the leak is!
- Use your bright crayon to clearly mark the leak. Without the bubbles to help once your SUP is dry, you’ll definitely need a visual aid to identify its exact spot once you’re ready to start repairing.
How to Fix a SUP Leak
Now you know exactly where your pesky leak is, you can get repairing. Make sure your board is squeaky clean before you start, and grab your repair patches and glue.
Top tip: Leave your glue at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before starting. This will help provide stronger adherence.
- Draw and cut an even circle from one of your repair patches. You want it to be at least 5x bigger than the leak hole.
- Avoid feeling tempted to cut-out a square shape instead. Square patches are more prone to ripping off due to their sharp corners, so circular shapes are always best.
- Rub-down the leak area with sandpaper. This creates a slightly rougher surface, allowing the glue and patch to adhere more effectively to the board.
- Probably the most important step of all. Make sure your board is fully deflated and ALL the air is out. Keep the valve open, ensuring all that’s left in your SUP is atmospheric pressure.
- Pop some latex gloves on to protect your hands from the glue, and place an even layer around the leak. Make sure your glue covers an area equal to the circular patch you’re using.
- Wait for the glue to become tacky, and carefully put the patch in place. Securely press it down, eliminating any air bubbles. A roller is ideal for this but if you don’t have one, a spoon works just as well!
- Once the patch is secure and all air bubbles removed, wait at least an hour before re-inflating your SUP.
- Inflate as normal, and spray the patch with the same washing-up liquid solution you used before. If no area-specific bubbling occurs, your leak has been fully fixed.
Definitely not as worrying as many people think, SUP leaks are often super simple to fix. And shouldn’t cause permanent damage to your board. You’re able to use your SUP for just as many fun adventures as before, so don’t let a leak hold you back!
If you need further advice regarding how to fix a SUP leak, we’re always happy to help. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and a member of the team will be in touch.