Heading off on a SUP tour but not sure what to take with you? We paddle in both winter and summer, meaning we’re often switch-up our gear depending on the time of year. And in this blog, I’m going to outline exactly what we take with us!
We’re not the type to just paddle for an hour then head back to land. We often spend at least 5 hours out on the water, typically ending up around 10-20km away from where we first started. This means we’re always prepared for every eventuality, and try to stay as organised as we can.
No matter what time of year you’re paddling, there are a few key items you must have with you at all times. A life jacket and leash being the most important.
Safety should always be top of the list, especially if you’re heading off on a SUP tour alone. And while it may feel a little bulky and uncomfortable wearing both a life jacket and leash around your ankle (especially in the high heat of summer), they can save lives.
I’ve been paddling for around 2 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to have never fallen in the water. But this doesn’t mean I get complacent and neglect my safety. Especially when paddling in new places and searching for adventure, I always make sure I’ve got my life jacket and leash securely in place.
Depending on the water conditions, we usually take a SUP anchor with us too. We often like to stop to eat or sunbathe while still on the water, but don’t want to risk being potentially carried off! With an anchor on board, I can ensure my SUP stays in a fixed place while I stop to take a break.
We also make sure to have carabiner ropes to hand when paddling together. We can easily tie our SUPs to each other, which is especially useful if paddling in rougher conditions.
When paddling in hot weather, we can spend hours upon hours enjoying ourselves on the water! So making sure you have a decent supply of drinks and snacks is crucial, as you’ll need to stay hydrated and energised during your all-day SUP Tour adventure.
I like to store my food in a handy cool bag, and always have at least 3 litres of fluid to hand. Staying hydrated and replacing lost water is crucial in the heat. But make sure to leave room for items like sandwiches, cold cuts, sweet treats, cutlery, napkins, plates and glasses.
While there’s no better feeling than paddling in glorious sunshine, protecting your skin with SPF is absolutely crucial. UV rays can be incredibly damaging, and this is often easy to forget if paddling the day away without a care in the world.
Always apply SPF to your face and exposed areas of your body at least 20 minutes before going outdoors, with items like sunglasses and a baseball cap providing extra reassurance against sunburn. And if you really want to protect yourself to the max, you can even opt for a UV-resistant wetsuit.
Preparing for mishaps
Tumbles can happen at any time when paddling. They’re a totally normal part of the SUP experience! As a result, being prepared with towels and a dry set of clothing is essential to avoid feeling cold and uncomfortable should you fall in.
And it’s not just you that will need protection should you get wet. Having a waterproof phone case will prevent your device from becoming damaged, as well as a waterproof bag for essential items like your keys and wallet. And if you fancy listening to music while paddling, a waterproof speaker is a must.
Bringing along a SUP repair kit is equally important too. Especially if paddling in particularly rocky areas. Accidents can happen at any time, and it’s crucial you’re able to patch-up your board should you need to.
SUP Tour: Winter Paddling
While we typically bring everything we’d normally have during the summertime on a winter paddling trip, there are a few added extras we like to have. Warmer clothing being a no brainer.
A small fishing-style chair is something we find super useful too. When the wind is blowing but you need to take a break when reaching land, having a compact chair is a definite bonus! It provides you with somewhere comfortable to sit, without having to resort to your wet SUP or sand/pebbles.
Now we know what you’re thinking. Where does all this stuff fit?!
And that’s exactly why the Bluefin Cruise Carbon board is always my SUP of choice. Not only is it super rigid and able to withstand heavy weight, but there’s more than enough space to carry a lot of equipment at once.
So no matter whether you’re off on a blustery winter paddle or a day-long adventure in the sunshine, being prepared is crucial to have the best experience possible.
A big Bluefin thanks
We wanted to say a big thank you to Ency for her help with this blog post. You can follow her SUP adventures here: @Photo_in360