In this edition of Practical Paddling—our series covering skills to maximize your SUP experience—Pau Hana’s Todd Caranto walks us through the step-by-step process for temporarily fixing a ding on the fly.

It’s happened to the best of us: we show up to the beach to SUP surf, the waves look great and we excitedly pull our boards from the rack to get ready. Somewhere along the way, we nick the on a car door or something and our stoke meter instantly plunges in the face of a fresh ding in our sled. Surfing when your sled’s not water tight will only let in water and in turn, slim your quiver, but you can’t miss this session. The waves are firing! So, what do you do?

They say duct tape is a man’s best friend, but in this case it’s packing tape. Here Caranto explains how a few strategically placed strips of good ol’ packing tape can both save our board and our session on the go.

How to field-repair an open ding:
Step 1: Dry the board and ding
Step 2: Get clear packing tape, do not use duck tape (water can seep through duct tape).
Step 3: First layer: start taping over the ding vertically from left to right, overlapping the tape, leave about a 1-inch margin
Step 4: Second layer: Tape horizontally from the back to the front, overlapping the tape with about a 1-inch margin.
Step 5: Take a credit card or another firm edge and smooth over the tape repeatedly to ensure it’s adhered all the way, especially around the edges.
Step 6: Get out and surf!

This method will only hold you over for a couple sessions at most, so be sure to properly repair the board as soon as possible. But it is enough to get you on the water in the case of emergency.

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