We know it can feel a bit daunting packing for your first SUP session or even your third. What should you include in your SUP checklist? Have you remembered the fin? Have you got your pump? The sandwiches? (the most important part). This post outlines some of the key accessories and clothing options which we believe should be included in your SUP checklist for your next paddle boarding adventures, no matter the setting or the weather.
We could write a list which goes on and on listing all of the necessary stand up paddleboard gear as there’s always extra bits that you can bring with you to enhance your experience. But, for this SUP gear guide we’ll stick to the essentials.
Before packing your extras, always check first that you have all of these essentials packed away in your SUP bag – You won’t get very far without them!
- Stand up paddle board (SUP)
- SUP paddle
- Pump (for inflatable SUP)
- Fin(s) for SUP
- SUP leash
PFD – Personal flotation device
You should always ensure that you have a PFD with you, especially if you are paddle boarding with children or aren’t the strongest swimmer. If you have checked the current beforehand and are paddling in shallow water, then wearing one is a personal choice. But, if you do opt to venture a bit further afield we would always recommend wearing one for that extra layer of protection.
As well as potentially saving your life, a PFD can also act as an extra layer to keep you warm and many come equipped with pockets, perfect to keep your belongings safe!
If you’re planning on being out on the water for a long period of time, especially on a hot day, then taking water is essential. Not only are you doing an active sport, but you’re also going to be dealing with the sun reflecting off the water and dehydrating you. Since you’ll be out in the sun, we recommend a vacuum insulated bottle that you can clip to your board to keep your water cold and keep it attached so you don’t have to worry about holding onto it.
We highly recommend bringing a DryBag with you. You can pop your camera, keys, phone, snacks and anything else you want to take with you into it and either keep it on you or clip it onto your board. Even if you aren’t going for an extended paddle, it’s best to not leave these items on the beach or in your car. Plus, if you are going for an extended paddle you can use a bigger DryBag and pop everything you need in here.
You can buy a Saltie DryBag here.
Even if it doesn’t look like the sunniest day, packing and wearing sunscreen is essential when you’re out on the water, as the sun reflects off the water and will easily burn and dehydrate you.
*Tip* Ensure your sunscreen doesn’t spill in your DryBag, the ingredients in these liquids can sometimes react with the material of your DryBag and cause the laminate to peel away, rendering it totally useless. If you do happen to spill some on it, don’t panic just make sure you rinse it all off asap! We also recommend keeping your sunscreen in a little additional bag inside your DryBag for that extra layer of protection against spillages.
Hat for cold water paddling
In cold conditions, a winter hat or something warm to cover your head with is essential to reduce heat loss. The head can be extremely sensitive, especially to cold water immersion so if you are paddling and happen to fall in ensuring you have something nice and cosy to put on after can make all the difference. Or, if you have long hair, then wearing a swimming cap whilst you are out on the water can prevent your hair from getting wet which will only add to the brain freeze.
We hope this list has helped you and eliminated some of the stress of packing and deciding which stand up paddle boarding gear you should pack for your next Saltie adventure! Let us know if we’re missing any that you think should be added to our SUP checklist.