Have you ever thought of trying Stand-Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)? Have you seen the droves of fun-loving people peacefully pulling themselves across gorgeous stretches of water on your social media feed? Wondering what all the fuss is about? There is plenty of evidence to show that people have been using boards to glide across water for a very long time. This sport may seem new and fresh but it got its modern start in Hawaii as an easy modification to surfing. But, it’s so much more versatile and no waves are necessary. And, It’s much easier than you think. Here is the essential lowdown on what you need to get started and join the fun.
There are different ways to use a paddleboard, and it’s best to decide ahead what you are going to use the board for. Did you know you can fish from a board? Many yogis around the world are finding that yoga on the water is the way to go. You can go longer distances on the board, or simply paddle around your local lake or oceanfront. Many people prefer the inflatable paddleboards that allow for easy transport.
Gear every board needs:
- A Board -You will need a board and the fins that come along with it. Some boards have detachable fins, so it is important to double-check on these. Without the fins, the board won’t retain stability.
- A Paddle- Paddle boarding just isn’t the same without this essential tool! A paddle needs to be the right length for you, and they come in different sizes to provide variety.
- A Flotation Device – it’s recommended that new paddleboarders use a vest or other flotation device for safety. It’s always ideal to NOT fall in, but better be prepared to get wet.
- SUP Leash – What’s that? It’s exactly as it sounds, the leash that connects your ankle to the board. Why do you need it? You’ll find it’s super helpful in getting your board back in case of a wipe-out.
- Bathing suit/wetsuit/ or water resistant clothing – It’s super important to dress for the weather and the water. Expect to get wet and check the water temperature when planning. It’s always more fun when you are comfortable.
- Electric pump – If you have an inflatable board, there is no other way to go than with an electric pump. It cuts the work out of set-up and gets you on the water faster, so you can stop working and start having fun.
- Dry bag – Since you are expecting to get wet, you can expect your gear to get wet too. But, a good dry bag can keep the essentials dry. After all, remote car keys don’t work so well after they’ve been dunked in the lake a few times (which I may know from experience).
- Carabiner clips/straps – These may seem like odds and ends, but they will come in handy for securing gear to the board. Straps are always handy and will help with transporting your board off the water, as well.
Optional gear that will make life easier:
- Kayak Kit – Who says you have to always stand up on a stand-up paddleboard? Why not buck the trend and sit back and relax with a conversion kit that allows you to turn the SUP into a lazy kayak.
- Paddle Board Anchor – This is a handy tool to keep the board in one place whether you plan on fishing; striking a few yoga poses; or simply laying out and catching the rays. With it, you can take your mind off navigating and just relax.
- Tech Gear – Everyone enjoys music while searching for their inner peace, and a Waterproof Speaker can help. There are many on the market at different price points for the perfect vibe. Most speakers will require you to connect them to a smartphone. In order to keep the smartphone dry, check out a Waterproof Case for your phone. Finally, you will want to have a camera to record all the memories. A Waterproof camera can help with this.
- Rolling SUP Backpack – This is the gear you may not know you need, but if you have an inflatable SUP, it quickly becomes indispensable. Inflatable boards are incredibly convenient to store and great on the water. However, no one likes hauling one across the beach at the end of a blissful day without the help of a backpack.
The beautiful thing about paddleboarding is that it can start as simple as you want it to be with a board and a paddle, and as you find out what inspires you to continue to go out on the water, there is plenty of gear available to meet your needs and make the day more enjoyable.
Just get started and see what inspires you – there is something for everyone!