Essential Paddle Boarding Gear Checklist

posted by Chris Valentine

Every once in a while, everyone needs to take a break from the hassle and stress of their everyday life. Trying out a new activity might just be what you need to unwind and re-energize. With paddle boarding, you get a fun experience that entertains you and benefits your body. On one hand, you will get an exhilarating adrenaline rush trying to maintain your balance on the paddle board, and on the other, you will feel much more relaxed while taking in the watery and sunny scenery around you. This outdoor activity also connects you with nature and allows you to bask in its beauty. To make the most of the experience, you should gear up with the best equipment. 

This article will give you a useful checklist for your next paddle boarding trip.

1.  A Stand-up Paddle Board

A stand-up paddle board (SUP) is the main item in this type of water activity. Whether you are a professional at paddle boarding or an enthusiast, learning about the various types of such boards is handy. Paddle boarding is a great way to work on your balance, and this is what each type offers. Typically, there are three types of SUPs, which are epoxy boards, inflatable, and soft top boards. At the end of the day, it is a matter of personal preference and lifestyle.

a)   Epoxy Boards

Epoxy is the name of the material that all traditional SUPs and surfboards were made of before any upgrades. They are made of EPS foam and many fiberglass layers, which make them lightweight and durable. Epoxy boards offer agility, flexibility, and maneuverability.

b)   Inflatable Boards

Inflatable paddle boards have gained popularity over the years. Because you can easily deflate them, such boards are great options when it comes to storage and portability. Interestingly enough, they are rigid and sturdy in the water. So, you will not have to worry about sinking as soon as you paddle away. They are designed with high-density PVC layers, creating a solid board rivaling the epoxy one.

c)   Soft Top Boards

There is a similarity between the soft top paddle boards and surfboards in terms of the materials used. Durable spongy material is used on the front deck. Despite being soft, this type of board is still rigid. They are very reliable for beginners and professionals. Soft top boards are also budget-friendly.

2.  Quality Paddles

Paddles differ in length, and it is best to choose a pair that is eight inches longer than you. In addition to paddle boards, high-end paddles work perfectly to help you maintain your balance and posture while gliding and paddling. Make sure to try them out first, as paddles that are too long or too short are impractical to use. They are typically made of light carbon fibers, so you do not have to worry about the weight while using them.

3.  SUP Leash

It is expected that you will crash into a wave or find difficulty in maneuvering the board, especially for the first time. This is why it is wise to use a leash on your board. By doing so, you spare yourself the effort of swimming to retrieve your board when you get separated from it. Such a leash is of the same length as your SUP.

4.  Floating Aid

A personal floating device or buoyancy aid is important whenever you are in the water. Drowning is undeniably always a risk regardless of the type of body of water people are in, and prevention is better than treatment. A lifejacket is your best bet with its modern design that looks like a vest, It ensures your safety and does not hinder your mobility. All you have to do is get the right size from a reputable place. It helps if the buoyancy aid is tested for rough conditions.

5.  Clothing

While stand-up paddle boarding does not require extravagant outfits, you should be mindful of what you wear. This varies depending on what time you go out for paddling. For example, if you are paddle boarding in summer, thin and short clothes in addition to caps will be the way to go. Stay away from jeans or any thick materials, as they take time to dry and can make you feel heavier. For cold weather, many options such as wetsuits and neoprene clothes can help you.

6.  Footwear

It is important to wear shoes while paddling. This helps in steadying your posture on the board, this maintaining balance. It also protects your feet from friction, cuts, and scratches from any obstacles on the way.

Paddle boarding is a thrilling water activity that can rejuvenate your body and mind. It may not be like your regular jogging exercise, but it positively affects your health all the same. It targets your core muscles in coordination with your limbs, enabling you to build your strength and improve your balance over time. Like any other sport, you need some essentials to make the most out of it. With the essentials compiled in our list, you can have a pleasant paddle boarding experience every time you hit the water.

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