Home Paddle Boards How to Apply SUP Rail Tape: Step by Step Guide

How to Apply SUP Rail Tape: Step by Step Guide

How to apply SUP rail tape

Paddleboarding can is a lot of fun, but let's face it, it cost quite a bit of money. Why would you not do one little SUP hack to help protect your investment?

Today, I’m going to show you how to apply sup rail tape to help protect your rails from dings.

Why Use Rail Tape on Your Paddleboard

You would think the most likely spot on your board to get a ding would be the nose or the tail--it’s not. Instead, your rails suffer the most damage. Be it from your paddle repeatedly hitting the side of your SUP or just from setting your SUP down, your rails take significant damage. Rail tape works to protect the board from these issues, which in turn, saves you money.

How to Apply SUP Rail Tape

Materials Needed:

  • Rail Tape
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • Methylated Spirits
  • Spray bottle with soapy water (10 parts water to 1 part soap)

Clean Your SUP Rails

First off, you need to clean your rails. Make sure to get any wax, debris, marks, etc. from them. Methylated Spirits does an excellent job with cleaning. However, if you don’t have any, you can use soap and water.

Cut Your Rail Tape to Size

After the rails are clean, you need to cut the rail tape to size. Some prefer just to run tape along the entire rail, while other just get it from where they stand back to protect the SUP from where they paddle.Whichever you choose, cut both sides equally and then round the ends for a better fit on your SUP.

Place Your SUP in a Good Working Position

If you don’t have a stand to place your SUP on, then just gently set the board on its rail and hold it up in between your legs.

Throw the Tape up & Squeegee out the Bubbles

If you don’t trust your hands, then a quick and easy way to apply yoursup rail tape is to spray your rail with the soapy water, just enough to wet it, remove the tape from the backing and line it up with the rail edge. Once you throw it on there, work the bubbles out by wipe it down with a paper towel. This method is quick and easy, plus, it doesn’t require any focus or steady hands!

Alternative: Slowly Work the Tape Down the SUP Rail

Make sure the tape is aligned with the rail edge, then start to apply the rail tape from the nose end and work your way backward. Slowly remove the backing of the tape as you work your way down the rail. Make sure to start from the center of the tape, and then press down on the side to avoid any bubbles.

Be careful if you choose to go this route. If you do a bad job, you can’t just rip off the tape. Doing so could tear up your boards' graphics, which would defeat the purpose of trying to protect it!

There is no Reason Not to do it!

It doesn’t take long, maybe 4-8 minutes, and you’ll have saved your SUP from a lifetime's worth of damage. So don’t just learn how to apply SUP rail tape, get out there and do it!


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