If you store with Jack Rabbit Self Storage, then you live in an area near water recreation. Our customers in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake live close to the Atlantic Ocean, and our Williamsburg customers are between the York and James rivers. There’s a good chance that surfing, sailing, or just hanging out at the beach is an enjoyable part of your lifestyle.
That’s why it’s important to understand how to store your beach toys. When we say that, you probably think of sand buckets and shovels, and those are certainly included, but we’ll also cover the basics of protecting and storing your surfboards and wetsuits. Much of this advice will apply to other items you take in the water.
You may want to store your beach supplies just during the winter, or you may simply want to keep your keep them in your storage unit most of the time. You can then retrieve them before you go to the beach and drop them back off after.
We’ll explain how to prepare them for long term storage, such as over the cold months, as well as how to clean them up before popping them in your unit for a few days or so.
Let’s start with the actual toys, those buckets, shovels, and other things you’ll bring to the beach to dig in the sand and build sandcastles.
Getting these ready for storage is easy. If you or your kids were just using them at the beach and will return to the sun and sand soon, rinse them well under a shower, dry them off, and put them back in storage. This is the same procedure for surfboards and wetsuits that will go in storage for a week or so only.
Otherwise, bring them home and wash them well with warm water and some dish soap. You want to get all the sand and salt off them. Since these are probably made of plastic or metal, you don’t need to put them in a box. Simply make sure they’re completely dry, stack them together, and put them in your unit.
Every time you finish surfing, rinse your board well with fresh water, making sure to wash off sand and salt. Dry it well then put it in storage for a week or so.
For longer storage, you’ll want to wash it like you would the beach toys, with mild soap and warm water. Then, dry it thoroughly. Before you take it out again, wax it to protect it well from grit and the elements.
For surfboards, we recommend a self storage unit at leat 10 feet in one direction, so, a 5’x10’ at minimum. This is because most surfboards are about eight feet long.
If possible, get a case for your board, which will keep it from getting dinted or scratched in storage. Also, we encourage you to mount the board on wall racks, specifically designed for surfboards. They come in many styles and materials and generally cost between $15 and $100. Talk to us about mounting the racks in your unit so we can help.
For surfers, the most important piece of equipment next to a surfboard is a wetsuit. This incredible invention is made of neoprene. This light, synthetic rubber keeps surfers, scuba divers, windsurfers, and anyone out on the water even when out on the waves or submerged during the winter.
Though strong, they require special care to keep them in good shape. Wash yours after every use. The only time we recommend simply rinsing one out is after you’ve been in fresh water, though after you’ve taken it into a lake or river a few times, it will also need a complete cleaning.
Once you’ve worn your wetsuit in salt water, you must wash it thoroughly, every time. You’ll want to use warm water with shampoo and conditioner specifically made for wetsuits, or baby shampoo. Wash it in a bathtub with one cap of shampoo to every five gallons of water. Let the wetsuit soak for 15 minutes or so. Next, wash it by hand gently, making sure to clean every part. Then, drain the tub and add more warm water to rinse out the rest of the shampoo.
Never put your wetsuit in a washing machine or dryer. Instead, hang it to dry indoors, and always let it dry inside-out. Avoid outdoor clotheslines, as sunlight can damage the neoprene. If you do hang it outside, let it dry overnight and retrieve it before the sun can get to it.
One more thing: don’t pee in your wetsuit if you can help it. That funky smell they get is usually from urine. If you have, or must relieve yourself while out on the waves, use an odor eliminator like McNett MiraZyme or to remove the bad smells.
Before putting your wetsuit in your storage unit, ensure it’s completely clean and dry. Lay it flat or put suspend it from a thick hanger. Do not fold it.
On Climate Control
Aside from the above steps, the best thing you can do to protect your beach gear is to keep it in a unit with climate control. This is especially true for wetsuits which, despite being so strong in water, can take damage from excessive heat, cold, humidity, or dryness. Many of our facilities have climate-controlled units available.
With all this done, your beach supplies will remain in great shape over a long period, allowing you to enjoy them for many years.