Winter board storage: How to safely store your stand up paddle board

Winter Board Storage for your SUP
Getting organized for your Winter Board Storage helps prevent damage to stand up paddleboards due to inadequate room and logistics. Take the time to properly put your board away for winter. Photo by: Evelyn O'Doherty

People are always asking about equipment care, especially if you live in a seasonal climate.  How do we store/protect our equipment in the cold water months of winter?

Here are some tips to show you how.

Fanatic Sup Surf Denmark winter banner
Winter board storage gives your board longevity when protected from the elements.  Photo by:  Fanatic SUP

Winter Board Storage:  Keeping equipment clean & safe

When preparing to wind down your paddle season (although we have other articles about paddling through a Northeast winter), we encourage you to take a look at the protection and care for the longevity of your equipment.

If deciding to pull your board out of the water and wait for warmer climes, here is a quick To-Do list to insure your board’s safety.

Winter Board Storage for your SUP
Getting organized on your Winter Board Storage prevents damage to your  paddleboards due to inadequate room and logistics. Take the time to properly stow your board away for winter.

Winter Board Storage Check List:

REMOVE FIN:  Take the fin out of your stand up paddle board.  Resecure the plate and screw to the fin and store it all in a safe place where you will REMEMBER where to find it.

RINSE:  Carefully rinse your stand up paddle board and paddle thoroughly with a garden hose.  Take time to wipe off any grime or grit.  If you have an adjustable paddle, take it apart and rinse the pieces before putting it back together again for storage.

FINDING A LOCATION:  Find a place where you can store your SUP board safely without risk of it getting knocked around or damaged during the winter months.  Some ideas:

Sportsrig trailer for indoor standup paddleboard storage
This custom Sportsrig trailer is worth every penny when it comes to organized storage . Adjustable racks for surf, SUP or raceboards help  stack boards safely and hitch them up to take them on the road!

Indoor Winter Storage for your Paddleboard

Having indoor storage space is optimal as most boards are expensive & worthy enough to warrant the hassle of bringing it indoors.

INFLATABLE SUPs:  If you lucky enough to have an inflatable SUP, your job is easiest.  Simply rinse, deflate and pack it back in to its carry all travel bag to tuck into any closet, mud room or basement storage space for Spring.

INDOOR GARAGE SPACE:  If you don’t have the luxury of an inflatable SUP, we need to be more creative.

One idea is to create space in your garage, shed or basement to store your board. You can set up a customized rack system like Grassracks to take care of your quiver. If that’s not an option, for safety, set it up across two saw horses in an out-of-the-way area or gently lean it against the wall.  If you are leaning it, be sure to place a blanket or towel under the down-side rail in order to protect the construction of the board.

Indoor board storage hanging from ceiling
Getting your stand up paddleboard off the floor of your garage or basement gives you more room. Rig up two straps an appropriate distance apart, slide the nose in first and then secure the tail strap for a hanging storage space.

Another option for indoor space is to hang the board from the ceiling to move it out of the way.  You’ll need two sets of straps or sturdy rope.  Measure your board and the length where you’ll need to hold the straps in order to secure it hanging off the floor.  Then loop each strap and bolt them to the ceiling or beams where you want to hang the board.  Go easy here.  It may take you a couple of tries to get the optimal placement and you want to do trial by error slowly.  No need to have the board crashing down while you’re trying to figure how to store it safely.  Make sure both the nose and the tail of the board are securely placed within the hanging straps for good, safe storage.

Make it a part of the decor:   I’ve also heard of other SUPers, who bring the board upstairs into their apartment and use it as a cool fixture, either leaning it up against the wall or behind the coach or making it into a table with some covering for the winter.  Whatever floats your boat … errrr, SUP.  If it works, it’s all good.

Outdoor board storage tarp
If your boards are outside, be sure to get them up off the ground and covered for winter. Don’t leave them as prey to the elements or they won’t last long for your summer paddles!

Outdoor Winter Storage for your Paddleboard

Storing boards outside requires attention because you want to protect them from the elements.  Optimally, you should have a board rack or trailer to house your paddle board for winter. If either of those are available to you, buy a tarp and use it to COVER the board.  Secure it with bungee straps to make sure the tarp doesn’t blow off.   Secure the area around the rack to insure no tree limbs or debris might get knocked into the board during winter storms.

If you have no storage unit, racks or trailer:   Get your board UP off the ground. You could use two saw horses (cheap enough at the hardware store) or even dual milk crates to lift it out of the dirt.  You want to protect the board from falling debris, so tuck the whole set up close to the house or some other secure outdoor space.  Wrap your paddle board in a tarp and secure it well.  Try to avoid any moisture that could turn to ice from touching the board.

Fanatic SUP board storage
Only a paddler knows the feeling.  Take time to give back to your board by safely securing it for winter. Photo by: @jaysup_jaymanning

Points to Remember:

Remember, your stand up paddleboard is affected by changes in temperature.  If you have a ventilation plug in your board, loosen it for winter storage but make sure it still seals the hole from moisture getting in.

You can fold a towel over the deck pad to protect it from moisture and discoloration from falling leaves and snow.

Check on your board from time to time in winter to be sure it hasn’t taken on water or has a giant tree sitting on it.  Don’t let the snow blower guy (even if that’s you) pile the snow up against your board where you can’t get at it easily.

Your board is a standard piece of equipment and a gateway to your next warm water adventure.  Take the time to close it down, rinse it off and secure it safely for winter storage.  Taking good care of your SUP will not only increase its longevity, but it also reminds you how important your escapes are onto the water in spring.  Properly stored, that board will be in easy reach as soon as the crocuses come up and you’re ready to launch into a new horizon!

Give us a shout with any further tips & tricks!  We’d love to hear ’em.



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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.