When you first start going out on your paddle board it can feel like you have a lot to bring. The last thing you want to do is hop in your car, drive to your favourite paddle boarding spot and suddenly realise that you have forgotten something super important like your paddle, or your board…
For the sake of this guide, let’s assume that your paddle board is deflated safely, in its carry case, with the paddle and it is in your car ready to go. Now for the other essential items:
Technically just as important as the paddle and the board is the pump. After all, how are you actually going to go out on your SUP if it is a big deflated pile of mush. Make sure your pump is working properly before you pack it away and ensure you have all of the necessary attachments including the pressure gauge. Over inflating or under inflating your paddle board is a big no no so make sure you also know the desired PSI.
Whether or not you are a strong swimmer you should always pack and wear a buoyancy aid when out on your SUP. Failing to take and wear one could land you in a lot of trouble out on the water if you were to fall in. People tend to imagine big bulky vests when they think of buoyancy aids but they are not the same as life jackets. Buoyancy aids can be very lightweight and comfortable to wear as they are designed to help you stay afloat whilst you swim. Life jackets on the other hand keep you afloat without the need for swimming.
The SUP clothing that you decide to pack and wear can not only impact the comfort you’ll experience out on the water but can also have a significant impact on your safety too. If it is warm then you’ll need the right clothing to protect you from the sun such as rash guards and SUP sun hats (don’t forget SPF). However in colder temperatures you will need anything ranging from a windproof jacket to a full wetsuit. Remember to dress for the temperature of the water and not the temperature of the air, as the water temperature is always colder than the air temperature.
Water and snacks
Although typically a low impact sport, you can still burn some serious energy and calories whilst out on a SUP. It goes without saying you need to stay hydrated so a bottle of water is an absolute must. When it comes to food, with your energy levels in mind, fruit and nuts can be an ideal snack. If you’re out for a longer trip some pasta or sandwiches will help you with the carbohydrate refuel that you need.
Being prepared for your SUP trip and making sure you have everything before you set off will make your paddle boarding experience a lot easier. As you become more familiar with the sport, packing for a day out will become second nature.