New to paddle boarding?
If so, you might wonder what you need to not only get started but thoroughly enjoy the experience of getting out on the water. While a paddle board is a must, you shouldn't stop there. Here we'll explain which paddle board accessories you need to have and why. Then you can load up your shopping cart and get back to paddle boarding.
Once you conquer the challenge of purchasing the right paddle board that's a perfect fit for your needs, you'll soon find that paddle boarding requires more than athletic prowess and a positive attitude. While the health benefits of paddle boarding are huge, these are the essentials that make the stand-up paddle board experience even better.
Most paddle boards come with at least one paddle, although they're often not what an experienced paddle boarder would choose. Usually, the accompanying paddle is a decent one, but that doesn't mean it's the right fit for you. At the same time, only having one paddle can land you in trouble if you lose it.
Plus, most paddles take a regular beating throughout daily use, meaning that purchasing a backup isn't a bad idea. That said, snatching up the cheapest paddle won't earn the results you want.
SUP paddles come in a variety of materials, lengths, and blade sizes. Fiberglass is lightweight but sturdy, while classic wood paddles are slightly more substantial but offer a cosmetic appeal that fiberglass doesn't have.
Carbon fiber delivers performance for serious paddle boarders, while aluminum is a good economic choice but weighs more. Plastic is also economical, but often more cumbersome than other choices, and it may warp in the sun or rough water conditions.
Part of choosing the right paddle is knowing how it fits in your needs and recognizing your skill level. If you paddle board for recreation only, your needs are different than someone who competes. Also, sizing depends on your overall height, as the paddle should be a minimum of eight inches taller than you are, according to REI.
If you have adequate storage space for your paddle board, you might not need a cover for protection. But for most of us, slipping a protective cover over our boards gives us peace of mind, regardless of what else we need to store in our homes or garages.
A cover can be as simple as a sleeve that you slip your board into, but it can also involve extra padding and zip or Velcro closures.
Covers keep dust and moisture out and can prevent scratching during transport and storage. That said, if you plan to transport your board, choosing a bag with extra padding and handles helps make it more maneuverable, which brings us to the subject of storage and carrying bags.
Unless you live on the beach or at the edge of a lake, you likely need to transport your paddle board to the location where you'll be using it. For non-inflatable models especially, handling a huge and potentially slippery board is a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately, SUP accessories makers have designed bags that make transportation much more manageable. Multiple handles, shoulder carrying straps, and heavy-duty zippers keep your board contained and portable. For iSUPs, rugged backpacks provide protection and utility for your deflated board.
Many bags also have extra padding for protection against scrapes and dings, a plus if you plan to travel via plane or anywhere else that your board will wind up in a storage compartment. iSUP backpacks can also hold accessories and supplies, depending on the size you choose, so they are often helpful travel options.
Even if you're new to paddle boarding, you have probably experienced moments on the water that you wish you could share with others. Whether it's a GoPro or another type of waterproof camera, you can mount nearly any device on your paddle board.
To do this, however, you'll need a stand that works with both your board and your device. Many cameras come with a slew of accessories that allow you to mount them on a bicycle, helmet, paddle board, kayak, or other equipment. Others require separate purchase of a stand, but either way, you can attach your camera securely to your board.
You can opt for a bag with straps to carry your SUP, or you can choose a less bulky option that comes in the form of adjustable straps. Or, you can purchase both for flexibility depending on where you are and what you're doing.
SUP carrying systems or slings help you hang onto an otherwise slick and unwieldy board, and they store easily and compactly when you're not using them. Most are adjustable to fit multiple types of boards and various users, which makes sizing easier.
It's always a smart idea to stay hydrated when you're paddle boarding, although you might not feel thirsty since water surrounds you. This is especially true if you're dipping into the water, Wonderopolis explains, since you may not notice how much you're sweating.
The key is keeping a handle on your beverage while paddling, and for that, you'll need a bottle stand or bottle holder.
These holders mount onto your board to keep drinks handy and to keep them from rolling away. Some systems involve bottle cozies that you slip your bottle into, while others use a holster system made of plastic or other less flexible materials.
Overall, paddle board bottle stands are a lot like bicycle water bottle holders, but you'll need one that is either multi-use or specifically for paddle boards.
Unique to the inflatable paddle board accessories category, the pump is what allows you to use your board, so it's an essential component. However, if you have ever encountered an equipment failure while trekking in a remote location, you'll understand the importance of maintaining a backup pump.
Consider an extra pump and stowing it in your vehicle or at home or bringing it along if you'll be deep in the great outdoors. A broken pump means no paddle boarding for iSUP users. But planning for the worst-case scenario ensures that you can breeze past any inflation challenges.
You might manage an enjoyable experience without these stand up paddle board accessories, but having the right equipment makes the process of getting there and getting set up even easier. What's your must-have paddle boarding accessory? Share with us in the comments below.