You don't need a lot of paddleboarding gear to have a good time. However, as time passes, you'll probably find yourself in need of a few more accessories. If this is your first SUP trip, you should wear the right clothes and bring all of the necessary safety gear and accessories to make sure your trip is safe, fun, and convenient.
Preparation will vary depending on the type of stand-up paddleboard you're using, so before packing anything, inspect your board to see if there are any problems or defects that need to be addressed. You should always include a pump (if you have an inflated paddle board), spare fins, and even a repair kit.
That being said, here's a list of items to pack on your first-ever paddling adventure:
- A life jacket
Paddle boarders should always wear a life jacket when on the water to ensure their own safety. Even if you're a proficient swimmer, you should wear one because of the ever-changing weather and other things that may threaten your safety. We have no control over it, but being in open water means that there will be unexpected weather changes or situations that could put you in danger. We therefore strongly advise everyone, even skilled paddle boarders, to wear a life jacket at all times.
- SUP Leash
A SUP leash isn't simply another accessory, it's a vital piece of equipment. A SUP leash keeps you attached to your board, and it can also double as a floatation device in case you fall into the ocean.
You need a leash to keep you safe, just like a life jacket does. As a paddle boarding newbie, it's especially important to have all the necessary safety gear when you're venturing out into the water for the first time. It's impossible to know what's going to happen, even in calm water. For this reason, the first time you take your paddle board out on the water, be sure to have a leash and be under close supervision.
A paddle is an essential component of paddle boarding. Make sure you pack your SUP paddle and an extra one, just in case. Accidents happen sometimes, especially when you're just getting started, so it's a good idea to keep a second paddle handy in case you lose or damage your first.
- A Hand Pump
If you're using an inflatable paddle board, it's likely that you'll need a pump to inflate it so that you can paddle on it. A paddle board is a must-have for those using an inflatable board. It is possible to pump it manually, although this can become a bother after a while. An electric SUP pump, on the other hand, can have your board ready to go in only a few minutes. If you intend to paddle board frequently and for an extended period of time, you should invest in a high-quality pump that will last a long time.
- First-Aid Kit and Safety Whistle
We always stress the importance of having safety equipment on hand in case of unexpected situations that could endanger you or others. Therefore, a safety whistle and a first aid kit are recommended for any SUP journey. If you're going to be in a location where there isn't any monitoring, you'll need to bring your own safety equipment. Of course, no one wants anyone to be in harm's way, but this protective gear can genuinely help save lives in some cases. It's a good idea to carry a whistle in case you find yourself in an emergency situation and need to alert others. It's a good idea to include these items on your first SUP trip checklist. Always keep in mind that safety equipment can literally save your life.
- A dry bag
This is unavoidable when talking about paddleboarding equipment. This can be especially useful for lengthy trips and yoga sessions with unpredictable weather. Most significantly, having a waterproof bag allows you to bring drinkable water with you, which is essential when working out in the sun. A dry bag can also be used to pack other beverages and supplies.
- Head lamp
Take a headlight with you on your trip, especially if you intend to go paddle boarding at night. If you've gone a long way out into the ocean, it could take a long time to return to land. Depending on the season, the night might quickly overtake the daytime hours. Using a headlight will allow you to see where you're going and avoid obstacles in the water, such as debris.
Choosing the right clothing for paddle boarding can make a big difference in whether or not you choose to go paddling on a regular basis. Selecting the right clothing can extend your paddling season and possibly allow you to paddle all year round. Wearing the appropriate outfit is influenced by the climate in which you live and the type of paddling you do, whether it is on a warm lake in the summer or a cold river during the winter.
- A hat and sunscreen
Even if you don't plan on spending a lot of time in the sun, it's a good idea to put on a hat and sunscreen. Keep in mind that you don't want to come back to a sunburned body. It provides an extra layer of protection for your skin, and there are hats specifically designed for water sports like SUP.
- Shorts or bathing suits
A perfect day at the beach with warm water means nothing better than slipping into your bathing suit or board shorts and stepping onto the deck pad to feel the board move beneath your feet as you glide across the surface of the ocean. Of course, this provides no protection from the sun, wind, or anything else that could harm your bare feet, so depending on where you're paddling and the weather and water conditions, you may want to consider making a few additions to your wardrobe. Casual paddle paddling is best done in loose-fitting, lightweight gear that allows you to move freely.
- Waterproof footwear
When paddle boarding, you may come into contact with rocks, coral, and other sharp items in the water. Paddle boarding barefoot isn't recommended for safety reasons, although some people still do it. Waterproof footwear for paddlers can be found at any swimsuit or athletics store. Make sure you select one that is affordable, durable, and comfy.