FREE shipping on: International orders over €125/150. Western EU over €75

Do I need rail tape for sup?

As a SUP enthusiast, you want to make sure your board is in top condition so you can enjoy every moment on the water. One important accessory that you may have considered is rail tape. But do you really need it?

A SUP rail tape, also known as a paddle board rail tape or protection rail tape, serves a crucial purpose - protecting the rail of your board. 

The rail of your SUP board is vulnerable to damage in several ways, including impacts, scratches, and dings

Repairing a damaged sup rail

How the rail of a SUP board gets usually damaged?

One common way the rail can be damaged is by hitting it with your paddle blade or shaft while paddling. Paddles tend to be made of carbon fiber with sharp edges, and can damage the rail when you accidentally hit it while paddling

Here you can see a couple of SUP surf boards used more or less the same for more or less the same amount of time. The one on the left without rail saver. On the right with a Xtreme RSPro rail saver: 

Comparing the rail of a SUP board without and with RSPro rail tape protection

Easy to see which one looks better. Easy to guess which one will resell better.

Another way the rail can be damaged is by laying your board on hard soil before or after a session. This can cause scratches and dings from small gravel and other sharp objects on the ground. 

When you transport your board, it's also important to be mindful of the rail. Loading and unloading your board from a car or van can result in scratches and dings if you're not careful. Even strapping the boards on the roof rack can cause scratching on the rail.

SUP boards strapped to a car roof rack


Finally, it's important to consider how you store your board. If you store your board on a hard surface or if it's leaning against a rough wall, this can cause damage to the rail over time. It's best to store your board on a soft surface or in a protective bag or case to help minimize the risk of damage to the rail.

By being mindful of these common sources of damage to the rail of your SUP board, you can help keep your board in top condition and protect your investment as it will keep a higher reselling value

Adding a SUP rail tape can provide an extra layer of protection and peace of mind, ensuring that your board will look great and perform at its best for years to come.

Different rail protection specs for different SUP board types

Different types of SUP boards require tailored protection for their specific needs.

Wave boards, for example, are designed for surfing. They are shorter and thinner so they need a long-lasting short and thin rail tape that can withstand the impacts and abrasions associated with surfing, like hitting the rail with your own paddle or hitting other boards in the water. 

A SUP surf longboard with HexaTraction by RSPro


All-around boards are versatile and can be used for a variety of activities, from recreational paddling to yoga and fitness. They need a rail tape that is longer and thicker than SUP surf boards because this type of boards are longer and thicker. They are often be used in calm waters, but guess what? You still damage the rail while paddling, or storing the board. 

Touring/race boards are designed for speed and performance. They are long and sometimes thick. They need a rail tape that suits those dimensions. They are often used in open water and fast-paced environments and accidentally hit by your paddle, especially when you paddle fast or sprint. 

Finally, foil boards are designed for a unique type of riding, where the board glides above the water. They need a rail tape that is both lightweight and durable, as they will often be used in high-speed environments and may experience more impacts than other types of SUP boards. Specially when you lay them on the ground and from impact with the paddle edge. 

SUP Foil board laying on the ground

Final thoughts

In conclusion, a SUP rail tape is an important accessory for protecting the rail of your board. Different types of SUP boards require tailored protection for their specific needs, and choosing the right rail tape for your board will help ensure it stays in top condition for years to come. Whether you’re a casual paddler or an experienced SUP rider, consider adding a rail tape to your board today!

At RSPro we’re experts in SUP rail protection. In fact our original brand name was Rail Saver Pro which then was shortened to RSPro. We design and manufacture in Barcelona the highest quality and best seller SUP rail protection since 2010 with options for all types of SUP boards and with transparent as well as colored options, which are a great option to cover already damaged rails or to add a touch of customization to your paddleboard.