Thinking about what to bring with you on your paddle board adventure?
We have all been there, whether you are just starting up or about to try a different sort of trip on your paddle board. Trying to make sure you have the right kit with you is very important because the last thing you want is to be half way out on the water, then realise you have forgotten that one vital bit of kit you need!
I’ve been paddle boarding now for 3 years, from surfing, to river paddles, to sea paddles. All within the beautiful North Devon area, which may I add, if you haven’t been, you should it’s worth it (keep an eye out for future blogs on this). During all these adventures I need to ensure I carry the right kit with me to prepare as best as possible while keeping safe on the water.
Let’s start with the essentials and most importantly safety! While paddle boarding is fun and great exercise, you have to remember the risks. Being safe is the first thing you should think about when getting ready for your trip. The first thing I grab is my buoyancy aid, if you haven’t got one then I strongly recommend you do. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, a buoyancy aid could really help, especially in dangerous situations. The only time I don’t really wear one is when surfing.
Next has to be the leash, I personally use the quick release waist leash but the ankle leash is great too. I tend to vary which leash depending on the type of paddle, please check the British Canoeing guide on how to choose the right leash. Overall, it’s better to be prepared to fall in than to fall in unprepared. Especially with the added risks of currents and winds, I couldn’t preach enough, respect the water!
These are the following items I make sure I have on every paddle:
- Water (good to keep hydrated)
- Snacks (keep your energy levels high, especially when you still need to paddle back)
- Phone (in case of an emergency, always worth having at least one person on your paddle with a phone, also a perk if you like to take photos/videos)
- Waterproof phone case (best to protect your phone, thankfully one comes with every Bluefin board)
- Repair kit (never know what may happen while out but best to have the repair kit just in case)
- Sun cream (for those hotter months)
- Whistle (another for just in case of an emergency)
Creative use of repair kit tube
If you don’t have a smaller bag for your car keys then place it in the repair kit tube. Extra layer of protection from the water.
By having all these items, it helps you be well prepared for your paddle adventure. If like me you like to go on extra-long paddles in various conditions and seasons then I take a few extra items:
- Towel (if you fancy a swim or if you had no choice to swim)
- Microfibre cloth (to clean the camera)
- Waterproof Torch (evening/night paddles)
- Shoulder strap for the paddle board (long walks to the water)
- Rubbish bag with gloves (keep the waters clean, I take this on every paddle to be fair)
- Spare jacket (colder months)
Now I’m sure you are all wondering, what board does all this kit go on to?
I use the Bluefin Gecko Blue Cruise 10’8, overall an amazing rigid board, and perfect with the detachable bungee cords!
Whether you are just starting off or already a keen paddle boarder, I hope this blog helps you work out what items you need or were missing from your paddle adventures. I wish I had known all the items I needed on the first paddles, but I had to find out by trial and error. Just the same with learning to paddle board, plenty of falling off!
Enjoy the sup life!
Thank you @tomsuplife for this amazing blog post and very useful content you have shared with our community.