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You’ve bought an iSUP board and a paddle, what else do you need? It turns out that there are some other pieces of gear and equipment that you may want to consider picking up as well.
Upgrades and aftermarket add-ons include the options to upgrade fins, add a waterproof music system, leash, seat back for hybrid kayaking, or a fishing deck, and more! And as always, proper safety gear is essential. A good life vest, or inflatable waist pack, for you and your kids or pets, are a must. Below we cover 5 Must-Have accessories, including:
- Personal Flotation Devices
- Board bag
Five “Must-have” Accessories
Inflatable SUP leashes
Other than your paddle and flotation device, a leash is an important part of your iSUP equipment, connecting you to the big floaty thing in case you fall off. Sure, leashes are most useful when catching waves or during chopping weather conditions, but they should be used even on flat water that’s cold. Trying to chase your iSUP is exhausting and the last thing you need to be doing during your paddle boarding adventure is swimming for minutes to retrieve your iSUP.
There are two styles of iSUP leashes; the standard leash and the coil leash. The standard leash is a regular cord leash, made of durable but stretchy hardened rubber. The coil leashes are designed to coil up when you’re paddling, to save space and not get tangled, but then stretch out when you fall off. A leash should be equivalent in length to your iSUP board length.
Personal Flotation Devices
Buoyancy aid is important to both beginner and experienced paddlers. Sometimes weather conditions quickly change and you need to be prepared. You are legally required to have an life vest when paddling (yes, even on an iSUP) in some areas and failure to
comply may result in penalties or fees. It’s essential to choose a comfortably fitting life vest when paddling to easily allow shoulder freedom and arm movement, which also helps if you end up swimming. A poorly fitting life vest may impede your ability to swim. Choose a brightly colored life-vest that makes you easy spot in water as it could save your life.
A second option for flotation is an Inflatable Waist Pack, such as the Onyx M-24 Manual Inflatable Belt Pack Life Jacket.
Wetsuit for those “Off Season” Days Out
Get a good wetsuit that will extend past the warm summer paddling season into the cold winter season. Add gloves, a hood and booties during winter conditions. The thickness of the wetsuit determines its warmth; however Patagonia makes some seriously sweet wetsuits that run thinner than others. The thickness is usually measured in millimeters. To choose the right wetsuit find out the air and water temperature in your area, during the offseason or winter months.
Inflatable SUP pump
You need a pump to ensure your board is always firm and rigid enough to tackle the water. Most iSUPs come with their own pumps upon purchase. There are two types of pumps, the hand pump and the electric pump. Electric pumps are not portable away from a car or because they require a power source. Inflatable SUP hand pump equipment consist of a pressure gauge, hose and washer. Use caution when inflating your iSUP with an electric pump, most manufactures will not honor their warranty if you damage your iSUP by overinflating it.
Inflatable SUP board bag
You need to keep your iSUP in tip-top shape. The board bag is essential for storage protection. Most iSUP damages occur out of the water and the iSUP board bag keeps the board protected. Ensure your iSUP is dry before storing it to avoid the board from developing mold. A good solid and comfortable board bag is also nice when transporting your iSUP. Choose a reflective bag to prevent heat accumulation damage, if left in the sun for extended periods of time.
Tell us your comments below! – Own any of the above accesories? Love it or leave it? Got a great spot to go?
Review iSUP boards here: https://thebestisup.com/comparison-table/
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I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.