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Guide to Outdoor SUP Racks - Rust-Proof Paddleboard Storage

Paddleboarding is the sport that is sweeping the nation. It provides a fun source of exercise and a great way to get out and explore your local lake, river, or ocean! One of the biggest issues with paddleboarding is figuring out how to store it. SUPs are massive and expensive, so finding a safe and easy-to-use storage system is very important for any SUP owner. Fortunately, there are many indoor SUP storage rack options, but unfortunately there are less SUP racks that are appropriate for the outdoors. Here at StoreYourBoard we have searched the internet high and low to curate the best selection of both indoor and outdoor paddleboard racks. This article will give you some insight on the different options you have and the various grades of “outdoor-readiness” the racks have.

Why do I need an outdoor-specific SUP rack?

You need an outdoor SUP rack if you plan to store your paddleboards outside (seems obvious, right?). The reason you need a rack rated for outdoors is rust. Rust is the oxidation of metal that causes not only discoloration but structural damage to the metal. Rust is accelerated by moisture, so when your SUP rack is stored outside it will be exposed to the moisture content in the air and begin to rust. A rusty rack may not only get your paddleboard dirty, but may also even fall apart and potentially damage your boards if the rust gets bad enough.

Fortunately, there are plenty of racks that are constructed of a rust-proof material or have some form of coating that helps with rust-resistance. Below is a breakdown of the different levels of rust-resistance.

Marine Grade SUP Racks

outdoor-sup-rack.jpgA marine environment is as harsh of an environment you can have for a rack. A marine environment is somewhere like the beach where the outdoor air is constantly filled with moisture and salt. These conditions amplify rusting and can ruin some racks within a matter of weeks or months. If you plan to keep a rack on a dock or pier, then you will want to also have a marine-grade rack even if you’re on a freshwater lake or river. The reason for this is because your racks will be exposed to splashing and soaking wet paddleboards which means they will be constantly exposed to water.

Here are a list of materials that make a rack marine-grade:

  • Stainless steel - a classic rust resistant material used for all types of products that need rust resistance and strength
  • Aluminum - aluminum is not only lightweight, but is completely rust-proof which makes it an excellent material for an outdoor rack
  • King Starboard - a lesser known material but every bit as rust-proof. King Starboard is a high-density premium grade polyethylene that is used on yachts and boats as a rust-proof, fade-proof, zero maintenance material.

Rust-Resistant Paddleboard Racks

rust-resistant-sup-rack.jpgA step below a marine-grade SUP rack would be a rack that is rust-resistant. This means it is made from a material that naturally resists rust or has some coating to help prevent rust from intruding. A rust-resistant rack isn’t rust-proof, so its not recommended for all situations. For instance, if your rack is in salty air, on a pier, or significantly exposed outdoors, then we recommend a marine grade rack. A rust-resistant rack is more appropriate for inland use on a covered awning or something similar.

Here are some materials that make a SUP rack rust-resistant:

  • Epoxy coating - materials like plain steel can be coated in a special rust-resisting material like epoxy. This provides an extra barrier against moisture which will help slow the onset of rusting.
  • Powder coat painting - similar to epoxy coating, a powder coated paint provides a layer of protection against rust.

NOTE: It should be reiterated that these are rust-resistant not rust-proof materials. This means when left outside long enough they will eventually rust. This could be months or years depending on a variety of factors like the environment you expose them to. If you’re not OK with this, then it is better to play it safe and get a marine grade rack.