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8 Best Ways To Protect a Paddleboard From Dog Nails

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If you’re an avid paddleboarder, there’s nothing worse than taking your beloved paddleboard out for a spin only to find it scratched and scuffed from your pup’s nails. Whether you use it for peaceful recreation or extreme sport, you want to keep your board in pristine condition, protecting it from your pup’s claws.

You can protect your paddleboard from dog nails by giving your pup regular nail trims, using protective covers, and teaching your pup not to jump or climb on the board. Regular nail trims free the board from scratches and gouges and prevent painful nail breakage and tearing.

Protecting your paddleboard from dog nails is easy with the right products and some know-how. Here are some tips to keep your board looking new no matter how much your pup loves to paddle:

1. Trim Your Dog’s Nails Regularly

Your dog’s nails can do a lot of damage to your paddleboard if they are not trimmed regularly. Trim them about once a month to keep them from getting too long and sharp. Invest in a good pair of nail trimmers and cut your pup’s nails straight. 

If you are nervous about cutting too far, try using a pet nail grinder instead. The grinder will slowly file the nail and make it easier for you to control how much is taken off. Observe your pup, so they don’t get too scared or uncomfortable. If you are uncomfortable with trimming or grinding your pup’s nails, take them to a professional groomer for a safe trim.

2. Use a Protective Layer

Paddleboard protection sheets are specially designed to fit around the deck of a paddleboard and resist scratches from animals. They come in various colors and textures and can be found online or at a sporting goods store. 

A good option is to use a clear deck pad designed explicitly for paddleboards. This will help protect the surface of your paddleboard from scratches and dings caused by your pup’s nails. 

The pad provides additional grip and traction when paddling or standing on the paddleboard. 

You could also go for a padded stand-up paddleboard, which has extra cushioning to reduce the impact on your pup’s nails. Foam mats, rubber mats, and other protective layers can be added to the paddleboard’s surface to protect it from damage. 

Apply a clear sealant or wax coating to the surface of the paddleboard to protect it from wear and tear. This will help create a protective barrier that can resist your pup’s nails and the harsh sun, wind, and water elements. Use a sealant or wax designed explicitly for paddleboards, not cars.

3. Teach Your Pup Proper Etiquette

The Switch by ISLE
[Image courtesy of Isle]

Training your pup to understand what is and isn’t acceptable can help protect your paddleboard from their nails. Teaching them commands like “no,” “stop,” and “off” when they are near your board can help them learn to stay away and avoid damaging it. If you take your pup out on a paddleboard, bring treats or toys as rewards when they behave appropriately. 

4. Store Your Paddleboard Properly

When not using it, store your paddleboard in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and pet-friendly areas. Sunlight can cause the board to become brittle and more prone to scratches, while pets can cause scratches with their nails or chew on the material. 

Put your paddleboard on a rack in your garage, shed, or basement to keep it safe. If you don’t have enough room or a suitable place to store your paddleboard, you can purchase a canvas or nylon storage bag that fits snugly around the board. This will help keep it safe from dirt, debris, and dog nails. 

5. Repair Any Damage Quickly

If your pup does scratch or punctures the surface of your paddleboard, make quick repairs with a fiberglass repair kit. This will help avoid any water seeping in and causing more damage.

  • It would help if you sanded the affected area with 180-grit sandpaper.
  • Mix the resin according to the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it over the damage.
  • Let the resin cure, then sand it until the surface is smooth.
  • Lastly, wax the board to protect it from further damage.

Repairs like these should help you avoid costly repairs or replacements of the board.

6. Use Paddleboard Bumpers

The bumper attaches to the sides of your board, making it easy for your pup to hop on and off without scratching. These flexible rubbery bumpers will absorb the shock of your pup jumping or running onto your board while providing a secure grip. 

They can also protect your board from sharp objects that might puncture the surface and cause permanent damage. They come in various colors and patterns to suit your style, so you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for safety. Installing bumpers is easy, and most come with adhesive strips, so you can quickly and easily attach them to your board. 

7. Invest in Boots

Dog boots are designed to help keep your pup’s paws safe and protect your board. They can be made of rubber, fabric, or leather and come in various sizes and styles to fit your pup’s needs. 

When choosing a pair of boots, pick something that fits well and won’t be too bulky or uncomfortable for your pup. Once you have the proper boots, ensure they get worn regularly so they stay in good condition and protect your paddleboard. 

8. Get Creative

If you don’t want to invest in dog boots or bumpers, you can use items around the house to create your protective layer. For example, an old beach towel or blanket can be laid on the board before your pup hops on. 

You can also use pool noodle if you don’t have a blanket or towel. This will provide a layer of cushioning and protection for your board while making it more comfortable for your pup to ride.  


Protecting your paddleboard from dog nails doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. A few simple steps and the right gear can ensure that your board remains in good condition, no matter how much time your pup spends on it.

Bumpers and boots are great options but remember to get creative. A blanket or yoga mat could be the perfect solution for protecting your board while keeping your pup comfortable.