People imagine paddleboarding to be a fun activity that does not require too much effort. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
I have been paddleboarding for more than a decade now, and perhaps ten years earlier, I, too, would have thought the same. However, a day out in the sun and water is no joke. You can get rashes, get dehydrated, fall overboard, and if you are not a good swimmer, there is always to risk of drowning.
Over the years, I have come to carry many things with me while paddleboarding that newbies might think of as excessive. But serious paddleboarders know the importance of things like sunscreens, lip balms, and caps.
So if you too are wondering, “What should I bring for paddleboarding?” then it’s a great start, and I will help you along the way with a comprehensive list from my end.
Essential SUP Accessories
#1. Paddle Boards
Well, you need a good paddleboard. But if you are new to this sports activity, I will suggest you not purchase it immediately. You can always rent a good paddleboard, and once you become more familiar with this sport, you can buy one that suits your style.
Paddleboard lovers use them in different ways. They lie down, kneel or stand on their board. Those who stand on the paddleboard also need a paddle to propel their board on the water.
There are many types of paddleboards available. Here are some points to remember:
- If you are buying one for a child, you should prefer a paddleboard no longer than 10 feet. A medium-sized paddleboard is 12 feet wide, whereas a larger paddleboard extends beyond 12 feet.
- Inflated paddleboards are relatively easy to carry and store. You need to fill the air with the help of a pump. But you don’t need to inflate and deflate each time.
- Hard boards are also available. They are recommended for more advanced users. Hardboards are prone to damage, so one has to be very careful with them.
- For beginners, I would suggest renting a high-volume wide paddleboard because they are more stable in water.
If you love to stand up on your paddleboard, then you will need a paddle to propel yourself and keep the board balanced. There are two main types of paddles available on the market.
- Paddles made of aluminum are heavy but inexpensive.
- Paddles made of carbon fiber are light but cost more.
Remember: lighter the paddle, the easier it is to propel yourself. The paddle height should be at least 6-12 inches taller than the rider’s height.
The blade of the paddle plays a vital role in propelling. The size of the blade matters a lot. If you have a large-sized blade, then you can propel quicker. In one stroke of the paddle, you can travel a longer distance with a large-sized blade.
#3. Personal Flotation Device
If you don’t know what a PFD is, it’s a fancy name for a life jacket. Life jackets are lifesavers. You should never enter the water without wearing one, no matter how good a swimmer you are.
There are many options for life jackets; some have lights and whistles to attract the attention of rescuers, most are easy to inflate. Choose the best one that your money can buy. There should be no compromise on safety.
If you are paddling in rough water, there may be a chance that you fall and injure yourself, rendering you incapable of swimming to safety. Never take the risk of drowning casually. Every year nearly 3.5-4 thousand deaths happen due to drowning.
You may imagine that you can shout to attract the attention of rescuers. Unfortunately, shouting is the worst thing for you at that moment because you need to conserve as much oxygen as possible. It may even be difficult to hear your voice over the sound of waves.
A whistle is a great way to attract attention to yourself. Whistles are loud, easily distinguishable from other sounds, and don’t need much effort to blow. Some life jackets even come with a whistle pre-attached.
If you are paddling in the evening, you should carry a light with you at all times. It will help you fall into the water because you can shine the light on rescuers to attract them towards you.
You can wear a swimsuit or shorts in hot weather during paddling. But if you are paddling in cold weather, you can choose wetsuits instead. They will keep your body warm.
#7. Water Shoes
Water shoes are not mandatory, but their sole protects your feet from rocks and small sea creatures. These shoes have pores for the water to drain out quickly.
#8. Rash Guard
A rash guard can protect you from unwanted rashes due to dirty water. Another way that you may get a rash is if your skin rubs on the paddleboard. So, wearing a rash guard will protect your skin.
#9. Paddle Board Leash
You may lose control of your paddleboard because of strong wind or water currents. Sometimes, you may fall from your paddleboard, and it’s quite tough to get back on, especially for beginners.
A paddleboard leash can help you with this problem. You can attach it to your ankle or your calf. The length of a leash should always be greater than the length of your board. Your board is always within reach if you have a leash.
If you are going to be paddleboarding in the sun, then sunscreen is an absolute must. A good sunscreen will protect you from harmful ultraviolet rays. UV rays are known to cause skin cancer, so protection is very important.
#11. Lip Balm
Your lips may lose moisture over time. So try to keep a good lip balm with you.
#12. Water bottle
You can keep a water bottle with you, which will help you to stay hydrated. You can also add electrolytes and tea to your bottle to make the drink more refreshing.
A hat is useful to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun.
How Do You Carry Things On A Paddle Board?
The easiest way to carry things on a paddle board is a bungee net. There is also double side velcro straps that you can utilize. An outdoor backpack or duffle bag is always a plus and it wrks hand and hand to be strapped down under a bungee net.
Paddleboarding is a lot of fun when you do it right. I have listed some of the accessories which you should take with you for a fun time. Please do share your suggestions, comments, tips, and tricks.