Let's Play SUP Doctor

Is your SUP soggy and saggy? From punctures to valve replacements, most SUP leaks are surprisingly easy to handle yourself no matter what your level of DIY expertise. The upside of DIY repair is getting back on the water quickly without the hassle of sending your board out to be fixed.   

The Bubble Test

-First grab some washing up liquid or “dish soap” depending on your national persuasion. This makes the best bubbles and coats the thickest.

-Now mix a little soap with water and use a rag to coat the valve. 

-Watch closely to see whether there are any bubbles. If you see bubbles, move to valve leaks. 

If not,  it’s time to expand the bubble test.  

-Lay the board out flat and coat the deck and sides with your soapy water.  

-Now check carefully for any bubbling, this could be coming from a puncture or a seam. Don’t worry, neither one indicates an irreparable factory flaw lurking in your board.

-Test both sides of your board this way to isolate the source of the leak. Once you’ve found it, we’ll walk you through how to patch in the patching section.

Valve Leaks

 

Step 1: Tighten your valve

Very often the source of air loss is down to a sneaky loose valve. This is great news because valves are very easy to tighten. 

-Make sure your SUP is fully deflated.

-Grab the valve tool from your repair kit

-Pull the cap off the valve

-Secure the SUP from the bottom by holding the “nut” on the underside of the valve. You will feel this through the deflated board.

-Engage the tool and twist clockwise until tight.  

Step 2: Clean and replace your valve

Is tightening your valve not screwing the nut? We will likely ask you to clean or replace it. Fear not, what we really mean is the inner portion of the valve.  This is as simple as unscrewing a hard plastic piece and screwing another one in its place. If you can unscrew a toothpaste cap, you can replace your valve. While we could theoretically do this for you, less effort is required from your end by replacing the valve yourself than packing and shipping the board to us to do it for you. 

-Make sure the SUP is fully deflated

-Secure the SUP from the bottom by holding the “nut” on the underside of the valve.  You will feel this through the deflated board.

 -Take the outer cap off and engage the valve tool with the centre of the valve

-Now twist counter-clockwise until the inner portion of the valve pops out with ease

-Take a wet cloth and wipe the valve down paying special attention to the threads and black rubber ring around the base. Remove any hair or grime from this area as thoroughly as possible.

-Now that it’s sparkling clean, reinstall it and make sure it’s tight. Do this by using your very own handy hand to screw the valve back into its outer ring (which has remained safely nestled in the board all along) in a clockwise motion.

If the inner valve is still losing air, you’ll need to replace it using the same technique as above.  

Replace it you say?! 

Yes, replace it. It’s easy, we promise and you’ll do it exactly as outlined above in step 2.  Send us an email with your return shipping address and the basic contact details used to make your original order and we’ll send you a new valve.  support@bluefintrading.co.uk

Et voila, your SUP leak is solved!

 

Patches

So you’ve had so much fun that your Bluefin has sprung a leak! Not to worry, patches are easy and a board with battle scars is a board well-used we say.  Once you’ve gone through the leak diagnostics above and have identified the source of the escaping air, it’s time to put on a patch. This is not open heart surgery and you can do this yourself with relative ease.  Don’t worry, you won’t be left with a Franken-SUP in the process.

-Find your trusty repair kit and check for glue.  If you don’t have glue, we’ll send you some free of charge if you send an email to us: support@bluefintrading.co.uk 

-Once you’ve got glue, grab the patching material from your repair kit and cut to size using scissors or a stanley knife/razor blade. For small punctures we recommend small patches and for leaks along the seam, you can use an entire piece of patching material.  

-Next, tape off the area in the shape of the patch to be applied.

-Apply a generous coating of the glue to both the board and the smooth side of the patch.

-Wait for the glue to become tacky but not quite dry.

-Next, carefully apply the glue side of the patch to the glue covered surface of the board. Slowly smooth the patch over the area and press down gently.

Once you’ve done this the patch will be fused to the board so tightly you won’t be able to pull it off or lift the edges if the glue was spread properly. You can use your board as soon as the glue is dry. Give it 30 minutes or a blast from a hair dryer to be on the safe side.

Adding D-Rings

 

If you’ve got big ideas about more seats etc. , attaching extra D-rings is your golden ticket to customisation.  Although we do not currently offer spare D-ring patches, they are easy to find online. Just make sure the patch material is PVC just like SUP.

To add a D-ring, the procedure is the same as for patching.

-Place the patch in position and mark the perimeter with masking tape.

-Add glue to this area as well as the back of the D-ring patch.

-Allow it to dry til tacky to the touch which takes less than a minute. 

-Now slowly press the patch onto the selected area of the board and hold for a minute.  

Et voila! Your custom D-ring is born.

 

 

Bag the Sup UP

Help! I can’t fit my SUP in its bag!

Our bags were designed to be a tight, if not VERY tight fit.  The reason being that many customers like to travel with their Bluefin SUPs and a tighter fit means a better chance at making it to the golden realm of cabin baggage.

In order to get your SUP into its bag, imagine stuffing a sleeping bag into its pouch. This takes a little technique, a little finesse and a little patience, but it can be done.

-First ensure that all air has been squeezed gently out of the SUP. A surprising amount can remain after deflation and a gentle rolling and smoothing remedies this.

-For our larger and wider models, be sure that you are folding the 2 sides of the board in to the mid-line before folding or rolling up.

-Roll the SUP up section by section in 1 foot increments. 

Purging Moisture from Your SUP

In the event that moisture makes it’s way inside your Bluefin SUP, don’t fret.  

-Remove the valve from the board entirely as shown in the valve section above.

-Pump air through the valve hole repeatedly for at least 20 minutes.  You can take breaks and do this in increments but be sure to do it as soon as you are aware of the problem.

-Once you’re all pumped out, lay the SUP out flat in an area with good ventilation and no humidity or damp.  Try to do this indoors.

In 24 hours your Bluefin should be all dried out and hot to trot.

Keeping your Bluefin SUP Sparkly and Clean

A clean Bluefin is a happy Bluefin so after your day on the high seas be sure to give your SUP a rinse with fresh water and leave it to dry someplace in the shade.  While your SUP doesn’t need to be wrapped in velvet, as a rule it should be kept free of dirt, sand and crust in general.  Do not store it anyplace damp and please do not leave it roasting in the sun.

Storing Your SUP

Not going to be using your Bluefin SUP for a while? There are 2 options for storing your SUP for the long haul:

-Laid out flat and with reduced PSI

-Rolled and nestled happily in its bag.

Rolling your SUP for storage will not hurt it but be absolutely sure you have rinsed it with fresh water and allowed it to dry completely beforehand.  

Pump Help

If you’re having trouble with your pump, there are a couple of things to consider before sending an SOS to support@bluefintrading.co.uk 

-The gauge on the pump will not register anything until it reaches 7 PSI. This takes around 100 to 150 pumps.

-The SUP should already feel rigid to the touch at 7 PSI and pumping will be increasingly difficult from 7 to 15 PSI.

-When you are nearing 15 PSI, each pump will be fairly difficult. If the board feels rigid but you are still able to pump with relative ease, you likely have a ways to go.

-To check that the gauge is registering properly, remove the hose from the pump. Place your hand over the hole firmly to create a seal and pump once. If the gauge moves and registers PSI, the pump is working.

-If a manual pump is too much a struggle, there are quite a few electric pumps and air compressors available.  Just be sure they have a sensitive PSI gauge because they will fill the SUP quickly.  We don’t currently sell them ourselves or recommend a particular make.