Wide open waters. Rolling waves. The stillness beyond the break. There’s a lot to love about paddling out in the great deep blue, with it’s ever-changing playground to explore and a multitude of opportunities to ride those downwind runs. While saltwater has many proven benefits to your health and happiness, it can ultimately be harmful for your watersport gear if not cared for properly. With a little time and a lot of love, keep your gear in tip-top shape with the following tips on caring for your saltwater kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Ride that wave, friends.
Why The Extra Care For Saltwater Gear?
If you live in a beach town, you know just how much saltwater can damage just about anything nearby. Metals, in particular, are very prone to rust and corrosion. Saltwater and saltwater air can also cause a salt buildup on any surface, unless it is properly rinsed and cleaned with fresh water after each and every direct exposure. Salt tends to build up in crevices, so don’t forget about the nooks and crannies that need a good rinse.
Rinse & Repeat
Once your boat or board is out of the water, bring it to a spot where you have access to freshwater. Using a hose or watering spout, gently rinse any part of your gear that was exposed directly to saltwater, and any part that might have been sprayed. If you spray too harshly, you could end up pushing salt further into hidden areas that will ultimately be harder to get to. After your first rinse, give it another go. After your second rinse, gently wipe down your gear with a soft cotton cloth, carefully drying down every surface. Solely freshwater should do the trick after daily outings, but make sure to wash with a mild soap and water solution at least twice a year.
Storage & Further Corrosion Protection
Once your boat or board is completely dry, you can either deflate, or leave inflated until your next adventure. And wherever you store it, make sure it is stored in a dry place, away from salt air and out of the sun’s harsh UV rays. If you’re looking for another layer of protection, invest in an additional corrosion protectant, like this or this for harsh sun rays and dirt that’s easily picked up.
Inflatables For-The-Win in Saltwater
While all boats and boards should be cleaned and maintained with every saltwater use, it should be known that inflatable water sport gear (yep, like every one of Aquaglide’s products) handles the saltwater exceptionally well, despite it’s corrosive effects on most surfaces. Simply put, there’s less metal and hard plastics on our boats. With less of those materials that saltwater really loves to attack, there’s less chance at abrasive corrosion happening.
With a little extra love and regular maintenance, you can keep at it with all of those trips out to sea, with the limitless horizon and a sandy shore to catch a break. Where will you venture next in your clean, salt-free boat?