You’ve got your ISUP basics - the paddle board, paddle, leash and pump. But what other pieces of kit should you take with you on your paddling adventures? Here’s our essential top 10 to help you make the most of your stand up paddle board trips.
Wetsuit - shortie or full
If you’re a SUP surfer, a wetsuit is essential no matter the season. Choose a shortie for the summer months, or a full length wetsuit for the chillier seasons. For winter, you’ll need a thicker suit (5/4mm), whilst other seasons a lighter suit (3/2mm) should be enough. If you’re a less experienced paddler heading out on coastal paddles or longer river or lake adventures, we’d always recommend donning a wetsuit, short or long. That’s simply because if you do take an unexpected dip, a wetsuit will give you an additional layer of protection in cold water and will dry much quicker than cotton or other non-specialist material.
In the cooler months, it can get chilly standing on a board so you’ll be really glad for the extra layer of warmth a wetsuit will provide to keep you out on the water for longer. Board shorts, swimsuits and rash vests are all good options for recreational paddling and racing when it’s warmer. Don’t forget you also need a buoyancy aid no matter the season or how experienced you are.
Neoprene gloves or mittens
Nobody likes having cold, wet hands, particularly in winter. Give yourself that extra warmth, comfort and grip with a pair of wetsuit gloves.
Wetsuit boots or water shoes
Your feet will spend a lot of time in water and once wet, it’s easy to get cold or lose grip. Wetsuit boots are great for the colder months, or choose water shoes for protecting your feet year round on the beach, riverbank and on your board.
Hat or cap
Wear a cap in the summer to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your head. In the winter, a fleece or woollen beanie will keep your head warm and the heat in.
Once you’re off the water, changing robes are great for chucking on and keeping the chill off. And, as the name suggests, there’s plenty of room to wriggle out of wetsuits or any other swimkit whilst saving your modesty! Changing robes generally come in two types - year-round styles have a waterproof outer to protect against the wind and the rain and a full fleece lining. Summer robes made of towelling are great for the beach. Both styles have hoods for extra warmth and comfort and can be used for quick drying too!
Dry bags are great for stashing additional bits of kit on the deck of your paddle board, such as extra clothing layers, waterproofs, food, keys and phones. Made from a heavy duty PVC outer, they feature waterproof seals and a roll-top design with snap shut clips so you can be sure that stuff will stay dry on board. Complete with shoulder or rucksack style straps, they’re also great all-round packs for any activity or weekend away.
These handy bits of kit allow you to keep your key, credit cards and cash with you out on the water. Fully waterproof to 10m, our selection of key pouches can be worn around the neck inside a wetsuit on a lanyard, or around your upper arm with the included adjustable armband.
SUP Carry slings
It’s often much easier to pump up your paddle board before you arrive at the water’s edge. But then you have the challenge of carrying the inflated board, paddle and other kit to your start point. A carry sling can make this cumbersome journey a whole lot easier. Simply wrap the loops around your board, insert the paddle alongside, place over your shoulder and keep your hands free for balance and smaller items.
If you’re changing on the beach, river bank or car park, keep your feet, kit and car clear of sand or mud with a change mat. Simply open up the mat, stand in the middle, take off your wet kit and don your dry clothes without standing on mucky ground. Plus, you can use the mat to store your wet or sandy clothes by pulling the cords to create a simple waterproof sack. Genius!
Car Seat Covers
Coming off the water, it’s pretty much impossible not to bring some of the riverbank or beach with you, even in your dry clothes. Designed to keep water and grit out of leather and fabric car seats, these durable covers made from anti-slip, water resistant neoprene offer a universal fit for all modern cars.
A few other thoughts for a better paddle
It’s always a good idea to carry a few little extra things with you for those ‘just in case’ moments. For paddle boarders, keeping dry and warm is key to your enjoyment so we recommend that you always carry a waterproof outer layer when out on UK waters.
A water bottle on board is also one of our essentials. For an extra bit of post paddling comfort and warmth, we always keep a pair of thermal socks, an extra warm layer and a dry towel in the car. And the Boards360 van is never fully loaded without a cheeky flask of hot water or tea for when we finish our trip - there’s nothing better than a brew when you’re feeling the cold!