Stand up paddle boarding (SUPping) is a fun summer activity, when you're prepared that is! Before you jump out onto the water, make sure you stay prepared with these six essential items needed for any stand up paddleboarder.
It might be hard to SUP without the board. When it comes time to pick a board, you have a few options. Certain options will offer different elements to your experience. Hard epoxy and inflatable plastic will likely be the two board materials you have to select from. Inflatable paddle boards tend to be easier to travel with and in some cases more stable than epoxy alternatives. You will have to select the length and width of your board as well. Unless you plan on having more than one person on the board, you probably won't have to put too much emphasis on these options, though.
What would paddle boarding be without a paddle? Most times, when you purchase a paddle board, it will come with a paddle you can use. As a casual paddler, you don't typically have to worry about the paddle shape, but you should consider the paddle height. Your paddle should be a little bit taller than you to ensure paddling is comfortable for you. If you find yourself bending down a lot while in the water, your paddle might be a little bit too small. If your arms are always above your head, it's too big and you should adjust the size.
Safety first! Make sure you have a life jacket no matter where you're paddling. Regardless of how experienced you are, you should prioritize your safety. That means wearing a life vest whenever you’re out on the water. If you fall into deeper water, you won't tire yourself trying to stay afloat.
A whistle is important just in case you drift too far out and can’t get back to shore. With a good whistle, anyone passing by in a boat can hear you and you won’t exhaust your voice calling out for help. You can easily attach a whistle to your life jacket to ensure it is always with you.
When out paddling, the sun will probably be out and blaring. Glare from the sun off the water can damage your eyes. Combat the damaging rays with a pair of polarized sunglasses. Your eyes aren't the only thing the sun can damage. Make sure you wear a broad spectrum sunscreen and protect your skin from UVA and UVB sun rays.
Pack all your valuables in a dry bag and attach it to the top of your board. By investing in a dry bag, you protect valuables like your wallet, keys and phone from water damage.