Stand up paddle boarding or SUP is an easy, enjoyable, activity a growing number of people are starting to do on a regular basis. It enables you to stand on your paddle board and use a specially designed, long-handled paddle to propel yourself across the surface while taking in the beauty of the surroundings or at breakneck speed if you are competing. But whether you are paddle boarding for pleasure or competition, there are certain accessories you are going to need to ensure you can participate safely in and fully enjoy this exciting sporting activity.
Top 10 Stand Up Paddle Board Essentials
One of the most common questions people ask when they are considering trying stand up paddle boarding is, 'What type of gear do I need ?' There are a collection of about 10 key items that make up the average person's SUP essentials kit. The first two are obvious. You need a good paddle board and paddle. But there are several other items paddle boarders use every day to enhance their experience. These accessories help ensure they remain safe while having fun participating in this exciting activity that's growing in popularity. The top 10 stand up paddle boarding essentials are:
1. The Right Paddle Board
For people new to paddle boarding, picking the right type of board is very important. There are paddle boards made in several designs and from different construction materials that perform and ride in unique ways. Each type of board has its strong points. People can choose from inflatable, carbon, touring, surfing or racing, boards. It's important to consider how you plan to use the paddle board so you can choose the right one for your needs and with which you feel comfortable and safe.
2. A Good Paddle
There are several options when it comes to picking a paddle. The paddles come in different heights, styles and sizes. You have to decide if you need an adjustable paddle or a 3 piece one and how long it needs to be for you to paddle comfortably and efficiently. The paddles can be made from different materials. Ideally, you should choose the style you want and then measure it while standing on the board to make sure it's the correct height for your size and the style of paddling you plan to do.
3. Paddleboard Dry Bag
Having a paddle board dry bag makes it easier to take sunscreen, water bottle and all the other essential accessories you need with you when you head to your desired destination. A good dry bag backpack can also help to protect your phone and other delicate items from the external forces that may damage them. You can even find dry bag duffles that are large enough to hold a collapsible paddles, wetsuits, towels, booties and everything else you need to carry with you on your adventure. Many carrying bags come with padded, adjustable, shoulder straps.
Most paddle boards also have straps on the front where you can attach a dry bag.
4. A Paddleboard Carrying Strap
Choosing the right carry strap makes it easier to tote your paddle board, paddle, as well as your accessories and still free your hands. You can get one that's triple padded and made out of soft, durable neoprene and provides maximum comfort for your shoulder. Many paddle board carrying straps have several adjustable sections that make them better and easier for people of varying heights and body types to use. Some of them have high-quality Velcro connections that make them easy to adjust.
5. LED Underwater Light Kit
Whether you plan to ride your paddle board at night or you want to be able to relax and see the underwater creatures around your board if you are paddling about at late evening, underwater lights are a great accessory to have. The lights can give you the opportunity to enjoy a unique evening experience paddling on the water as the setting sun explodes into a kaleidoscope of amazing colors on the horizon. Plus, a plastic LED underwater light kit can make riding your paddle board at or after sundown safer and a lot more fun as nocturnal sea creature begin to appear in the waters around you.
6. SUP Personal Flotation Devices
Having life vests and other personal flotation devices are important accessories that improve the safety and security of people who are paddle boarding. They can help whether the waters are rough or calm, in seas, oceans and lakes. There are flotation devices that have expandable mesh pockets to carry a few important items. Some of them have bubble foam for added comfort, mesh for drainage in key places and reflective materials in certain locations to make the device more visible. Hopefully you won't get in distress and need a flotation device, but it's better to have one and not need it.
7. A Paddle Board Leash
A paddle board leash is a cord that's about 10' long that keeps the paddle board attached to the rider at all times for safety and to keep the board from drifting too far away from the rider. There are two basic types of the leashes that are available.
One of them is straight and the other is coiled. Among paddle boarders, using coiled cord leashes is more popular. But each person can decide if a longer, lightweight, urethane leash works best for them for keeping the paddle board close without impeding paddling. The key is to choose one that's strong, comfortable, safe and easy to use.
8. An Anchor Kit
An anchor kit comes in handy when you are ready to rest and want to keep your paddle board in one place. An anchor kit can prevent your paddle board from simply drifting into uncharted territory well away from you, whether you are in the ocean, lake or any other body of water riding your board. The same type of anchor kit can also be used with kayaks and canoes. Some kits come with a compact, convenient, folding, rust-resistant anchor in a padded drawstring storage bag to prevent dings or scratches on the board, jet ski or kayak. They come with up to 25 feet of marine grade cord.
9. Rail Guard Tape Protection
Protecting your paddle board is important. This accessory will help to protect your paddle board from getting bumps and scratches if it collides with objects around the house, on the marina or in the water. Without some protection those collisions could do serious damage your paddle board. You should cover up dents on the paddle board with the rail tape as soon as possible. That keeps your paddle board looking good. This helps to maintain the board's appearance, function and resale value. Innovative use of the rail tape can actually increase a paddle board's resale value.
10. Roof Rack Pads
Many people transport paddle boards strapped to the roof racks on their cars. Roof rack pads help protect both the paddle board and the roof of the vehicle when going to and coming from the water. Whether you plan to use a car or an SUV to transport your paddle board, using good rack pads makes the process safer and easier. Quality, durable, UV-resistant, nylon roof rack pads are available in sizes as wide as 28 inches. Some also have high-density foam cores with hook and loop closures that make them easy to put on and take off. Roof rack pads are another paddle boarder 'must have'.
We hope you've enjoyed this and please stay safe!