I've been meaning to write this post for some time, but this fall has gotten away from me. I, myself, am not currently taking my own advice and I may just pay for that come Spring.
This article is meant for our special Colorado High Mountain Dessert environment. We all know just how dry everything gets come winter time - our skin, our hair, our nasal cavities. Lot's of static, dry skin and a ton of lotion is required during most winter months. Add the ever shifting dramatic temperatures and our bodies can take a beating during the winter months. So do our inflatable boards! The PVC, rubber and polymers that make our boards so versatile during the season are not meant to take extreme cold and dry conditions, they are meant for the water after all. Most articles you see out there say we can leave them stored as we left them if they are thoroughly cleaned and kept indoors. That is not the best advice here in Colorado. Your best bet to extend the life of your board is to follow these steps for winter storage:
1. Clean your board thoroughly. Remove all dirt, mud, grass and goo. Pick a warmer day, and rinse your board with water and a mild dish soap and then rinse again.
2. If you haven't removed your fins, make sure to do that and dry the board completely. Mold and mildew will grow if you store them with even a little moisture.
3. If you are able to store your board inside where temperatures do not fluctuate that is ideal. The recommended board storage temperature is between 40-110 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. If you can avoid it, do not roll your board to it's smallest size. Most board companies say it is ok to roll but it may cause creases as it will be rolled up in a bag for an extended period of time. However, once the board is inflated, the creases will disappear. Due to our extremely dry environment, the PVC can crack over time. If at all possible, do a loose fold instead.
5. If you are unable to store your board inside, do not roll or fold it but find a place where you unroll it completely and drape it over something. For several years by board was just laying over the top of shelving unit I had in my garage, out of the way but safe and sound.
Hope this helps!! Now, off to clean and store my own boards!
However, If anyone is interested in some Snowy Mountain SUP, I will gladly pull my board out of storage!