Buying a stand up paddle board is an exciting time, but when you receive your board you may be disappointed to know there are paddle board accessories you need but do not have. Fear not – we have come up with a list of top 10 paddle board accessories to get you going!
Paddle board accessories – Paddle
First and foremost, you can’t do much paddle boarding without a paddle! Many boards do have a paddle as part of the package, but there are some that do not.
Even the stand up paddle board packages that do come with a paddle tend to supply an aluminum paddle only. These paddles are perfectly fine to get you started, but as you progress you will find you need something with more flex and strength. A carbon fiber stand up paddle board paddle has both those qualities, not to mention being lighter to hold and also buoyant in the water (you don’t want your paddle to sink if you drop it!). Click to read our top list of carbon fiber paddle board paddles.
Paddle board accessories – Leash/leg rope
Although not as important on a stand up paddle board as a surfboard, you can still make great use out of a leash/leg rope. These attach to the tail of your board, and then to your leg so that if you fall off your board, if won’t float away from you, out of reach.
When you buy a leash/leg rope, try to get one that is the approximate length of your board.
Paddle board accessories – Deck grip
To keep your feet firmly planted on the board whilst paddle boarding, you need some deck grip. Deck grip is generally made out of EVA foam, and covers the area of the board you stand on and provides grip so you don’t slip off. Click to read our top list of deck grips for paddle boards.
Paddle board accessories – Fins
The fins of a stand up paddle board allow you to go in the direction you are paddling. If you weren’t to have any fins, you would slide all over the place and have no control of the board. All boards have a large center fin, and depending on the style of the paddle board, some have side fins on either side.
When choosing a fin for your stand up paddle board, you need to make sure what type of fin box you have. Some less well-known brands use their own proprietary system, whereas others will use either FCS or Futures. These are not compatible with each other, so if in doubt, contact the paddle board manufacturer.
It also pays to buy fins depending on what type of paddle boarding you will be predominantly doing. If you will mainly be flat water paddling, your center fin will have more surface area, whereas a surfing fin will have less surface area and be more rounded (much like a dolphin’s dorsal fin) to allow easy manoeuvrability in waves.
Paddle board accessories – Rail guard/tape
With your new paddle board, it won’t take long to realize it’s easy to bang the side of your board with your paddle. Over time, this can cause dings to your board, and also can damage your paddle. The solution is to add some rail guard or tape to the sides of your paddle board (known as the ‘rails’). These are easy to apply, and keep your board looking new for longer, along with protecting it from inadvertent taps from your paddle.
Paddle board accessories – Cover
When you are not using your stand up paddle board, it should be protected – both from the elements and from accidental user interaction.
A good quality board cover will protect your board when travelling on the roof of your car, and help prevent accidental dings when transporting in/out of the car to/from your storage space.
Most are well padded and have shoulder straps, which can make it easier to carry your board to/from your paddling destination.
Look for ones that have a silver looking exterior, as these can reflect heat off the board, and are waterproof.
Paddle board accessories – Surf racks/storage solutions
Stand up paddle boards are quite big, and can be difficult to transport and store. If you have a small car, look for some soft racks, as these can be stored in the boot of the car when not being used. When heading out for a paddle, they can be temporarily attached to the roof of your car to transport your paddle board.
When storing your SUP in your garage, it pays to try and keep it off the ground. There are a few different solutions to this, including:
- Storage straps
- Wall sling/strap
- Wall cradles
Paddle board accessories – Ding repair kit
The time will come at some point when you ding your board. This could be from accidentally scraping a rock to a heavy knock with your paddle. If the ding is large, you would be best off taking it to a professional surfboard repairer, but if it is only a small ding, you can repair it yourself. Whilst not looking as good as a professional job, it will keep your board watertight and on the water!
Some kits cover both fibreglass and EPS boards, but if not, just be sure to find out what your board is made of, to get the correct repair kit.
Paddle board accessories – Deck bungee
For those that are looking to go flat water paddle boarding, a deck bungee (also known as a deck rigging kit) is an excellent option if you do not already have one built onto your paddle board.
A deck bungee generally attaches to the front of your paddle board, and allows you to store additional items you may want to take with you for a day out paddle boarding – water bottle, lunch, clothing, etc.
An excellent option to get the most out of your flat water paddling!
Paddle board accessories – Additional clothing
Paddle boarding in a bikini is generally how the sport is advertised (to women, at least!), but the reality is that in summer – when you don’t need a wetsuit – you need some form of protection when out on the water for long periods of time. Items like the O’Neill Superlite Jacket are great, as they protect you from the suns harsh rays, and also provide additional storage options for small items like your phone, iPod, energy bars etc.