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How to Find and Patch a Hole in Your Paddle Board

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

You’re paddling around and notice your paddle board has an unusual flex to it and you are lower in the water, what’s happening? There’s a hole!

Holes happen, now you need to know; what do you do?

Every so often damages to your board from pets, rocks, dragging your board or other objects can wear away at the materials and damage your inflatable SUP board. When you get a hole and leak, head to shore right away. If you are far away from your docking destination, try to pull off to the side and use your manual pump to pump you back up to get you to a safer destination.

Holes take around 24 hours to repair because of drying time, so the ideal location is at home or at your destination. Most boards come with a patch, but you may need to purchase glue separately.

How to know if there is a hole in your board

  1. Signs of deflating: your board becomes soft during or after your ride - may look like a taco when you stand on it.

  2. There is water inside your board.

How to find holes in your board

Holes are most often found around the valve, along seams or on the underside of a board, however, punctures also happen on the sides or top of the board.

You may be able to hear air escaping by listening for a whistling sound. To find the puncture, create a mixture of soap and water, then spray, brush or pour the mixture over your board. Look for areas where you may see more bubbles forming. You have found your puncture!

Here is an example of what it would look like:

How to patch a hole in your board

Holes can only be easily patched on the hard, smooth surfaces of your board. If the puncture or tear is along a seam, take it to a repair shop to see what they can do to help. If the hole is around the valve, before taking it in for repair, tighten the valve with the wrench that comes with your repair kit to make sure that isn’t all it needed!

The full process will take at least 24 hours as the patch and glue dries.

  1. Find the hole using the suggested method above.

  2. Deflate your board and have it on a flat surface.

  3. Get your patch that comes with your board or purchase a patch from a marine or surf shop. Measure the hole and cut a patch larger than the hole. If the hole is the size of a pin prick, a dollar sized patch should be enough to patch the hole.

  4. Use marine grade glue (which can be purchased from any surf shop) to prep your patch with glue. Cover the rough side of the patch with glue and put a small amount of glue where the hole is on your board, roughly the same size as the patch.

  5. Wait 1-2 minutes for the glue to become slightly tacky.

  6. Once the glue is tacky, place the patch on the board and apply pressure.

  7. Weigh down the patch with a heavy object or using a clamp. Make sure that your object will not stick to the board if a bit of glue get on it.

  8. Let the patch sit for a recommended 24 hours (a minimum of 12 hours) before inflating your board again.

Here is a video using your repair kit that comes with your board:

If your board did not come with a repair kit or you would like a more in depth repair, here is a great video:

Let us know, was it hard to patch the hole on your paddle board?

Enjoy your SUP board, until next time!

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