One of the beautiful things about paddleboarding is the minimal equipment that you need to go out. The only things that you absolutely need are the board and the paddle.
From there you can choose what other paddleboard accessories you want/need to make your journey safer and more enjoyable based on the type of paddling you are going to do.
- Personal flotation device (pfd)…ie life vest-some areas require these by law, and it’s not a bad idea to have one anyway, especially if you are out by yourself or you are out in open water.
- Leash-if you are surfing, in open water, or even on flatwater with a strong wind or current, a leash can save you a lot of effort if you find yourself in the water. A leash can prevent your board from getting too far away from you and causing damage to you, someone else, or your board. It can also save you from a long swim to get to your board if it is carried away. In a strong wind or tide, or in cold water, it can be an important safety accessory.
- A water bottle holder or hydration backpack. If you are headed out for a long or tough paddle, you will need water. These are two of the most convenient ways to transport it. Especially in the hot summer months you need to hydrate before, during and after your paddle.
- A dry case for your phone. It’s not a bad idea to have your phone with you if you are heading out, particularly by yourself. Many dry cases allow you to use the phone right through the case and will do a good job of protecting your device from the water. It is also a good way to be able to take some pictures of your paddle if you have a decent camera on your phone. Word of caution…secure your electronics to something or attach a flotation device. Dry cases will keep your device dry, but most do not make it float.
- Snacks like PocketFuel are great for long, tough paddles. PocketFuel is all-natural made of a balance of nut (most are almond) butter, with add ins like bananas and blueberries, or chocolate and espresso, or coconut and cherry. They are balanced fuel which will give you an energy boost without the use of scary chemicals or icky tasting goop things.
- Booties or water shoes. While we prefer going barefoot on the board, there are times and places where booties or other water shoes can be a blessing. If you have a rocky walk to the water, or are going someplace unfamiliar, you might benefit from them. Also if you are paddling somewhere where you could find yourself stopping in an area where you don’t know the terrain, you might wish you had them. In cold water, wetsuit booties can make the difference between toasty toes and frosty toes.
- Sunscreen…protect your skin! When you are on the water, you can be subject to strong sun and solar glare coming off the surface, even on an overcast day. Make sure you plan ahead and slather it on when you can still wipe off your hands. Holding on to that paddle with sunscreen on your hands will be painfully annoying.
These are just some suggestions for paddleboard accessories that you might consider when you head out paddling. There are certainly other items you might need…wetsuit or drysuit, drybag, gloves, etc. But these are what we find ourselves using most often and are what we recommend our clients to bring with them.
Depending on how much of a planner and packer you are, you can determine how much or little you want to take with you. The beauty of paddleboarding is that all you need to get it done is the board and paddle, the rest is just details. Go, paddle, explore, have fun.
Shop dog Silly is our favorite paddleboard accessory.