SUP accessories: the best paddle equipment

Duncan Slater, SUP instructor, racer and paddlesurfer, recommends nine of the best SUP accessories on the market today

Stand-up paddling is a pleasantly simple activity: all you need is a board and a paddle. But of course, there’s a little more to it, so some choice SUP accessories can enhance your stand up paddling life.

Many boards – especially entry-level inflatable paddleboards – are sold as complete packs including paddle, pump, fin, sometimes more. But to keep the package price low and the perceived value high, these peripherals are often not of the highest quality.

On the plus side, it gives the opportunity to upgrade and really appreciate the difference.

Your paddle is a great place to start, because that’s what you’ll be swinging many thousands of times per session! You may also want to consider a different fin size or shape to suit your style.

For safety, a good quality leash is a must, while a buoyancy aid is up to you. Plus, it’s worth having something waterproof to keep your phone in. If you have an inflatable board you will definitely need a decent paddle pump. And wearing the right clothes is also vital.

And to protect expensive boards and paddles, a paddle bag and board sock are worth considering.

Here we take a look at SUP accessories – nine of the best paddle board accessories for recreational stand-up paddlers…

SUP Accessories

Starboard Enduro Paddle

The paddle provides power to your SUP, so it is of course one of the necessary SUP accessories rather than an optional extra.

But in fact, if you’re upgrading from an entry-level or all-around complete pack – which often comes with a heavy, cheap 3-piece – investing in a new paddle will have a huge positive impact on your paddleboard.

A fixed one piece paddle will always be lighter than an adjustable 2 or 3 piece paddle. Better construction – usually with a higher carbon content – will be even lighter and deliver power more efficiently as it flexes more dynamically.

The Starboard Enduro is a brilliant all-around blade and among the best paddleboard paddles on the market. Various sizes and constructions are available, and this ‘UD Carbon’ laminate offers excellent value for money.


Buy it now at Tri Ocean Surf

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SUP accessories - fin

K4 SUP Race fin

Another requirement for paddleboarding is a flipper – without it, you’d be spinning around!

In the waves or on the racetrack your choice can have a significant impact on performance. Still, for most all-around paddling, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between two fins.

Basically, the longer and straighter a fin is, the more “directional” it will be to help keep the board straight. Whereas a smaller, more swept fin will make a board “looser” and easier to turn.

As long as your finbox is the “classic” American screw type, you are spoiled for choice.

This K4 example is a flat water fin, built for racing but also brilliant at clearing weeds thanks to its 45° rake. Constructed of molded composite material rather than carbon, it won’t break the bank either.


Buy it now at K4 Fins

SUP accessories - leashes

Red Paddle Coiled SUP Leash

The latest essential SUP accessories; a leash is an absolute must for safety in almost any paddling situation.

As long as you are tethered to your board, it will keep you afloat in an emergency. If need be, you can still paddle home like a surfer much safer than if you lost your board and had to swim to get it back.

Unless you’re catching waves, a straight surfer leash isn’t ideal because it will drag through the water behind you and can get caught in all sorts of things.

Therefore, a coiled leash, which will stay on the board until you need to extend it to its full length, is the best option for most flat water situations.

Red Paddle’s coiled leash can be worn around the ankle or just below the knee like a calf leash, for better quick release access. (For fast flowing water, compatible belts are available.)


Buy it now at Red Paddle Co

Palm Glide PFD

Paddleboarders should always wear a leash. (The arguable exception being in very fast-moving waters, when a buoyancy aid becomes essential safety instead.)

Therefore, PFDs – personal flotation devices – are an optional accessory for most.

In practice, a cumbersome buoyancy aid can get in the way of an effective stroke and ironically, it’s harder to get back on your board if you’ve fallen into it. And beyond the learning stages, in flat water conditions most paddleboarders are rarely in the water anyway.

For peace of mind, a popular option is a “belt” PFD, like this example, the Palm Glide.

Most of the time, he will be discreet and out of the way…until you need him! Then, at the pull of a cord, a CO2 cylinder provides instant flotation with a 100N bladder.


Buy it now on ebay

OverBoard Waterproof Phone Case

Speaking of safety, it’s always good to have a cell phone on the water, just in case… Think of it as an insurance policy in the very unlikely event something goes wrong.

Although some high-end phones are water resistant these days, salt water really isn’t good for them, and regular submersion won’t do your tech any favors.

So it’s wise to put your phone in a decent waterproof phone case – and this OverBoard is a reliable option.

Although many complete card packs come with a waterproof phone case, they are often not as well made and can develop leaks quickly.

While it’s built to last; made from eco-friendly TPU fabrics and featuring OverBoard’s 100% waterproof “Slide Seal System” branding.


Buy it now on Amazon

Red Paddle Titan II SUP Pump

If you own an inflatable paddle board, you will soon get to know your pump well. Pumping by hand may seem like a chore, but it’s actually faster than electric inflation.

As long as you consider this a warm up and allow yourself plenty of time to inflate at a reasonable pace before your paddle, it’s really not that bad once you get used to it. A good quality pump helps though – and the Titan from Red Paddle is the best on the market.

Newly redesigned for 2022, the Titan II is a dual chamber pump. Use both barrels to get the volume in your board down to 5 or 6 psi, then flip the switch to bring it to the low volume, high pressure chamber and pump to full pressure.

Don’t miss our article on the best SUP pumps, manual and electric, coming soon…


Buy it now at Red Paddle Co

Olaian Surf Poncho

Changing towels are ubiquitous in surf sports, and while you don’t tend to get wet while paddling, this type of garment is also great for changing into before or after a SUP.

Decathlon’s own brand Olaian Surf Poncho is a prime example of the genre.

Thanks to the stretch panels under the armpits and the cutouts at the hips, there is enough space inside to strip comfortably, dry off on soft 100% organically produced cotton, then resume your civilian life – modesty intact!

Obviously, this is not a garment to wear while paddling. Don’t miss our next article on what to wear on the water – as well as before and after a SUP – coming soon…


Buy it now at Decathlon

ItiWit paddle cover

If you’ve chosen to upgrade your paddle in one piece, especially if you’ve opted for a lightweight, high-carbon option, a paddle bag is on the list of must-have SUP accessories to protect you from bumps, scratches, and bumps. scrapes and scratches. .

Decathlon’s own ItiWit brand offers an attractive budget option. Fully padded for maximum impact resistance, it’s a simple slider with velcro closure to keep your blade in top condition.

Suitable for paddles up to 1.95m long, it is adjustable for shorter shafts with a hook-and-loop waist adjustment strap. Made from polyethylene with a polyurethane coating, in gray with an orange border.

Maybe not the most prestigious brand, but does everything you need from a paddle bag.


Buy it now at Decathlon

SUP accessories - cover

FatStick SUP Sock

Paddle boards are generally quite sturdy – especially good quality inflatables. Still, if you plan to leave an SUP on board your boat, it’s wise to get yourself a board bag to protect it from the elements and your boat safe from the board.

Or if you’ve invested in a sturdy wave board, it’s good to have something to prevent scratches while you’re storing or transporting it.

A full paddleboard bag will provide maximum protection for delicate boards, but in most situations a simple paddleboard sock should be more than sufficient.

This SUP sock from FatStick is 10’6″ long but will happily stretch up to 11’+. With a protective nose cover and drawstring closure, made from a super soft thick material , it protects your board while remaining light and stretchy enough not to interfere with its transport.


Buy it now on ebay

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