Standup Journal caught up with Ollie O’Reilly, Product Manager for Starboard SUP, to ask (finally!) about the concern and care we should all be considering regarding carbon raceboards in winter temps. Here’s what he had to say:
Ollie, we get a lot of questions at Standup Journal about proper care & storage for carbon raceboards during the winter months. Can you give us your expert opinion on winter care to help preserve the longevity of these boards?
Carbon Board Care: Tips from Starboard SUP
Standup Journal: In your estimation, what is the best storage option for a carbon board in temps below 30 degrees Farenheit?
Ollie: If the board is totally dry after use, then it can be put in the board bag on a rack. However, if there is any possibility the board is wet, do not put the board in the board bag wet. There are two reasons for not storing a board wet in a bag:
1 – It can create the conditions for osmosis to form which is a natural chemical reaction which can cause small bubbles in the paint.
2 – The EPS core of a board acts a bit like a silicon pouch that is used to suck any moisture / humidity. Therefore if there are any small cracks on the board or if the air valve is slightly lose, the EPS will attract any moisture to reach inside the board. This overtime can deteriorate the EPS and cause it to become soft.
The safest option is to leave the board on a padded rack with the air valve out so water can escape from the board.
Pull the Plug or Keep it In: Releasing Pressure in Carbon Boards
Standup Journal: Should users pull the plug out of the board in between uses in case it swells/contracts due to cold weather?
Ollie: Yes remove the valve – see above. If the valve is fixed in the board in cold conditions, the board can be at risk of imploding, as the fibres will contract. In hot conditions it’s the opposite, the air trapped inside expands with the potential for delamination.
Icebergs, anyone? Effects of Cold on Carbon Board Construction
Standup Journal: What is the effect of breaking through the ice on your carbon board? Not heavy ice but skimming through a top layer to get to clear water?
Ollie: I don’t see any affect here apart from the obvious potential for scratching the paint or slight ding depending on how thick the ice is. But what you describe – there shouldn’t be any damage.
After Care for your SUP Following Winter Paddles
Standup Journal: Is there any ‘after care’ you would suggest for a board that’s been run in cold water temps (30 or below) to take care of the construction?
Ollie: No – if you were fluctuating between extreme heat and cold then it might have a higher risk of problem, but it should be fine to use as normal.
Stay Cool: Fluctuating Temps Affect Carbon More than Cold Does
Standup Journal: Anything else?
Ollie: The boards are generally very robust in a range of temperatures. In general there is normally higher risk of problems with delams associated with higher temperatures and less problems with colder.
Thanks Ollie! For additional suggestions on how to store your board for winter, read:
Let’s go, winter!