So you had a great day on the water. Everyone's packing up and it's time to get that paddleboard in to the trunk. What can I expect when deflating your paddleboard?
First of all, you'll recall that it took a fair amount of energy to inflate your paddleboard. All that energy is stored as potential energy in the form of pressurized air. While deflating a board is perfectly safe, there are some things to keep in mind.
It will be loud. All that pressurized air is going to escape through the SUP valve. Dogs and small kids should be warned that a deflation is about to happen as they might find it scary if they're not expecting it.
To deflate your board:
Make sure you're on a smooth, clean, and ideally dry area, as once it's deflated you'll be folding it up for storage and it's much easier to move around while inflated.
Before deflating it, make sure it's dry and clean. You don't want to store a SUP wet, as eventually mold will start to form. Not sure how to clean your board? Check out our post. If you're not able to dry it properly before heading out, be sure to unfold it and let it dry within 24hrs before properly packing it away.
Remove the fins and store them safely.
Remove the SUP valve cap. There is a spring-loaded button in the middle of the valve. Pressing this down will release the air inside the SUP. The button has two positions. Push to open, and always open. To switch between the two positions, you need to push down and twist on the button.
Some people push gently on the button to let a little bit of air out at a time. This takes some effort and much more time, but can be very quiet. Others will push the button in to the always open position and let 'er rip. Some people have found putting a clean towel over the valve prior to pushing it open can help reduce the sound level. There are also third party silencers that can be purchased which, while expensive, greatly reduce the noise associated with deflation.
Once deflated, you will want to fold it up and push out any remaining air, then close the SUP valve and place the cap on.
Whichever way you deflate your board, it will be empty and ready to roll and pack in under a minute.