Many newcomers to the stand-up paddleboarding sport assume the sport is easy and cheap. However, it turns out that SUP requires a good deal of equipment to be enjoyed safely. While paddling is fun, each of the accessories needed can be expensive. Not only do most people realize they need to buy aboard, but they also need paddles, leashes, and possibly other pieces of equipment.
Of all the accessories, it is often possible to get away with purchasing fewer than you might initially think at first glance. It is essential to know what these items are, however, so that you can get the most out of your SUP experience. Below is a list of necessary accessories in any SUPs kit.
1. A Good SUP Paddle Board Pump
A pump will help you get your board ready for paddling in record time. Many pumps are out there, but not all are created equally. Some paddleboard pumps have a high flow rate for quick inflation, while others have an integrated pressure meter to let you know when the maximum PSI is reached. Prices range from $30 to $90, depending on how advanced and reliable the pump is. An inflation pump with a pressure gauge is likely the best option for beginners.
2. A PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
This is perhaps an essential accessory that any paddler should have. The life vest can keep your head above water when things go south, so you needn't worry about drowning or injury when capsizing into the water. There are many types of vests depending on your weight category and whether you wear a wetsuit. Please note that laws regulate how much Paddlers in different states require PFDs, so check out all applicable beforehand.
3. A Good SUP Hand Paddle
An inexpensive hand paddle can go a long way in helping you enjoy your first paddling experience. A good paddle should be light enough to handle easily but long enough for optimal performance. Please make sure the paddle's blade is large enough not to become waterlogged and slow down your paddling progress. These are inexpensive items, but they make all the difference when on the board. Some paddles come with bungees or pads to aid in comfortable handling.
4. A Good SUP Leash
Besides your paddle and board, a leash is the most important thing for safety purposes. When picking out a stand-up paddle leash that suits every person's unique style and preferences, there are many different considerations to keep in mind. Some people like leashes made from a bungee cord, while others prefer nylon webbing. There are even neoprene ankle cuffs available for maximum comfort during long sessions on the water. Regardless of what you choose, it is essential to get something that will hold your board if you fall off, so be sure to consider investing in one before hitting the bike path or bay.
5. A Good SUP Paddleboard Bag
Many different SUP bags are available, so it is vital to research the options before buying. Most companies offer a backpack option and a duffle bag-style carry equipment so that this aspect may be of personal preference rather than necessity. In any case, you will want something that allows for easy transportation of your board, which can last through frequent use.
Whether or not you plan to travel with your SUP a lot should determine whether a hardshell suitcase/backpack hybrid is needed or if a standard stand-up paddleboard bag will suffice.
6. Rash Guards
Rashguards help protect your skin from UV radiation and damage that can lead to skin cancer. They also provide protection against jellyfish stings which is standard practice in areas where sharks are not present. It will keep you warm if there isn't any wind or cold water. Your hands will stay dry thanks to palm grips which prevent them from slipping off when wet or sweaty. You'll also enjoy enhanced grip thanks to foot pockets with rash guards underneath for better traction between your feet and the board. Rashguards are generally made of neoprene, a type of rubber material that's flexible, lightweight, and strong, so it won't change shape or be crushed by your body weight when paddling.
As SUPing gains popularity worldwide, the industry will continue to develop new items that make your trip easier and safer. New brands are also at their starting points, so it's an exciting time for anyone involved in the sport or even who wants to get into it. Paddleboarding is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature while staying fit. Now that you know what equipment you need, contact your boards ready and have some fun on the water.