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The 9 Essential SUP Gear Pieces To Own In 2024

SUP Gear

SUP Gear

Updated on 6/20/2024
Abigail ScottBy Abigail Scott
Hi, I'm Abigail 👋 Since embarking on my kayaking and boarding adventures in 2010, I've navigated rivers and lakes across North America and beyond. With over a decade of experience and countless waterways explored, I'm here to help enthusiasts like you embark on unforgettable water adventures!
Learn More about Abigail Scott

Then you're all good to go, aren't you? You could say so, but it isn't entirely accurate. You will also need other paddleboarding SUP gear to ensure that you can enjoy the experience to the fullest extent possible. The first thing you'll need is a way to transport your SUP, and you'll always need to store it on your board. Along with that, you'll also have to maintain your safety while you're paddling.

In the following article, find nine essential pieces of gear every paddler needs before hitting the water.

Onboard Storage

Unlike kayaks and canoes, paddleboards do not come with all sorts of nifty compartments to store your gear, as you will find with kayaks and canoes. Some paddleboard manufacturers provide bungee nets and D rings so you can attach your bag to your board. In contrast, others (such as the Tower Adventurer Paddle Board I reviewed here) do not offer any storage options.

Thank goodness some enterprising, intelligent individuals have stepped in to fill the gap most manufacturers have left behind. If you have a board without any or enough storage options, here are some suggestions for gear storage for those who don't have one.

Solstice D-Ring and Bungee Kit

With this affordable kit, you will receive 4 D-rings, a bungee cord, and vinyl cement to attach the D-rings to the board.

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You can add the storage options you need for much less than it would cost you to go on a date to the movies. Adding the D-rings, bungee nets, and bungee cords yourself will save you hundreds of dollars by purchasing a board equipped with these features.

Your board is a great place to store dry bags, life jackets, fishing gear, or apparel that you may need. You can clip other small items like pouches and bags to the bungee to provide extra storage options. Every paddleboard needs to have some storage option for bungee cords on it!

SUPthings Super Suction Cargo Net

What is the purpose of buying a cargo net if you already have a bungee cord on your board? It's simple. There is no doubt that bungee cords are perfect for lashing down large items like dry bags and towels, but they are ineffective for hitting down smaller items such as snacks, fishing tackle, or personal items.

I want to introduce you to the SUPthings Super Suction Cargo Net. It will enable you to store large or small items in a manner best suited to your needs. Four specially designed suction cups can hold up to 100 pounds.

No special tools or equipment are needed, and no messy glues or adhesives are required; just four super suction cups and a patent-pending bungee net with double the area of the suction cups, and you'll have complete peace of mind that your gear is safe and the board is undamaged.

Gearlab Kayak/SUP Deck Bag

A simple storage solution that is still effective. Depending on your needs, you can either put this under your bungee net or replace your bungee net altogether if you will be carrying smaller items like keys, wallets, jewelry, or snacks.

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As a result of its multiple functions, the paddle earned one of Paddle Magazine's industry awards for innovation in its category. For those who do not want to bring along a SUP cooler on their rides, Gearlab Deck Pods have a 3L hydration bladder. It also has quick-release buckles to latch and easily unhook the bag.

Additionally, there are multiple storage pouches for personal items and snag-free access to your essential equipment. Furthermore, the sails have been deliberately designed to be low-profile to prevent wind resistance and the paddle stroke from being hindered.

It would be one of the best purchases you could make for your SUP if you purchase this thoughtfully designed bag.

Apparel Essentials

I have a quick caution for you from Captain Obvious: paddleboarding is a sport that exposes you to the elements. As soon as we have established that fact as an obvious truth, we must focus on how to protect ourselves from those elements.

When paddling, the proper clothing is essential to your health and safety. Your outerwear must keep the sun off your body so that you don't get sunburned, that it keeps you dry and warm if you are paddling in cold weather or water, and that it keeps you afloat if you lose your balance and go overboard late in the trip.

You'll need a few outerwear items to protect yourself from the elements while kayaking, so here's a list of what to bring.

EOS 3/2mm Women's Back Zip Full Suit

Lightweight skin suits like this one are perfect for paddling in calm waters like deep lakes and northern climates. As a lightweight option, it is also ideal for anyone who only needs protection from the sun's harmful UV rays on their body.

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Modern technology is used in the EOS full suit to maximize flexibility and movement while maintaining supreme comfort for paddling enjoyment. In light of its affordability and ease of use, the EOS Fullsuit represents a tremendous value for money and should be considered an essential garment for every paddler.

SwimZip Longsleeve SPF 50 Front Zip Rash Guard

Any time you're out on the water, you will need some rash or sun guard to shield your skin regardless of what sport you're doing.

Whether you choose to wear long-sleeved or short-sleeved clothing depends on your preference; however, rash guards such as the SwimZip line of rash guards for men, women, kids, and babies are a must-have. Despite blocking 97.5% of the sun's harmful UV rays, these sun hats are lightweight and quick-drying at the same time.

Their signature front zipper makes their rash guards the best, removing them efficiently once wet. Whether you are wrestling it off over your head or trying to get it off your child's body, SwimZip provides modern convenience for the whole family.

Look at for high-quality, functional clothing for the whole family.

Method Type III Unisex PFD – Marvel

Protecting paddlers from the worst when out on the water is always good by wearing some personal flotation device. According to the saying, "Hope for the best, but prepare yourself for the worst."

You never know when an unexpected storm will blow through or if some inconsiderate boater will speed by kicking up a wave storm you're not prepared for, and the next thing you know: BAM! It's time to go swimming. It is understandable why many paddlers do not wear a PFD when on the water. You could use the same excuses that men use as an excuse for not wearing condoms:

  • They're uncomfortable.
  • They don't feel good.
  • You know you'll be okay wearing one, and nobody looks incredible with a condom on. 

We all know a life jacket (like a condom) can save lives. In the last ten years, they have come a long way in developing jackets explicitly made for paddlers. We have designed the jackets to be as unobtrusive as possible and allow maximum movement while causing as little pain to the underarms as possible.

It's time to become your superhero with the Method Type III Marvel PFD. Available in multiple sizes for men and women, and, honestly, who wouldn't want to wear a PFD covered in Marvel characters? No matter which life jacket you're wearing, whether it's the Method Life Jacket or some other type, make sure you paddle responsibly. If you save one life, you may save more.

Transport And Use

Few things are more enjoyable than pulling up to your favorite paddle spot, unloading your board, and walking 20 steps before you're in the water. We usually park our boats far from where we launch our boards, especially if you carry a clunky board back and forth.

In addition, you will have additional responsibility once you are in the water, as you will be required to hold on to your board. While surfing differs from most other water sports in that you are not tied to the equipment you're using, this means that if you're out in choppy conditions or if you're a beginner trying to learn how the sport works, you will need some way to keep your board in place.

As usual, the market is now providing and has devised innovative solutions for your SUP usage and transport needs. Check out the following guide to learn how to easily transport your board and keep it from getting away from you as you enjoy a paddle.

Suspenz SUP Stow & Go Paddleboard Strap

Suspenz offers an easy way to carry your board from one place to another, using a simple strap mechanism you can use to sling your board over one shoulder and take it to your launch point.

Insert the board into the two nylon loops, attach the padded carrying strap, and you're ready! Not only that, but the backpack strap can also double as a wall mount to hang it from the wall. It is just a matter of attaching some screws or a hook to the wall, then turning it like a picture frame.

If your SUP isn't too clunky and you don't need to carry it too far, Suspenz Stow & Go Strap can be an excellent solution. For those with more comprehensive transport needs, you can always consider investing in a SUP cart if you have a long distance or rough terrain to cross before reaching your starting point.

NRS Coiled SUP Board Leash

Similarly, a SUP leash is essential if you intend to do paddling or small wave surfing during your visit. Due to its simplicity, the paddle is the most underrated piece of equipment a paddler can have; however, it is also one of the essential pieces.

NRS Coil SUP Leash
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If you were to imagine yourself paddling through a bay on the Pacific Ocean and suddenly a whale or some seals breached nearby, you would lose your balance and fall into the water.

While seeing something like that up close might be fantastic, it wouldn't be so fun if the current or a wave swept your board away faster than you could swim after it. If you do not wear a personal flotation device as I urged you to do above, that is not only not cool but also potentially life-threatening.

If you ever find yourself unintentionally knocked off balance, a leash like the NRS SUP Leash can be helpful. Offering a shock cord that extends for 11 feet and a comfortable, padded neoprene ankle strap that hugs your ankle, this affordable ankle strap is a small price to avoid a runaway board or worse.

Airhead AHSUP-A015 SUP Anchor Kit

It's nice if you can take a moment to relax after you've been paddling for a while. You are taking a break, nap, or fishing while out there. What is the best way to do that without worrying about the current pushing you 3 miles off the place where you started? The best way is to use an anchor!

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With the Airhead SUP Anchor kit, you will get a 15-foot anchor line and a stainless steel hook to attach to your board. The anchors are pretty light, only weighing about 1.5 pounds, enough to keep you in one spot but not add too much weight to your board.

There's nothing better than kicking back, relaxing, and taking a deep breath after a long day of work or a marathon paddle. Whether it's beer o'clock, time to go bonefishing, or even time for a downward dog and other SUP yoga poses, you can count on the Airhead Anchor to keep you in one place until it's time to move on.

If you own a SUP, it has to be said that at some point, you will want it to be permanently fixed in one place for some time. A SUP anchor is an essential piece of paddling gear that should be added to your list of essentials.

Bottom Line

That's all there is to it! Here is your list of essential SUP gear for paddling safety and enjoyment. Generally speaking, aside from the initial purchase of your SUP, you can get many paddleboard accessories after the fact at a relatively low cost.

I cannot say the same for many other sports and hobbies out there (if you know someone who is a golfer, fisherman, or gun enthusiast, you know what I'm talking about!). Therefore, you have no excuse not to get the necessary equipment to paddle safely to get the most out of your board.

The Magical Sunset In Boracay Island, Philippines.

The Magical Sunset In Boracay Island, Philippines.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to have three fins on a SUP?

One of the cons of a one-fin SUP is that it can sometimes feel unstable, requiring more skill from the rider to maintain balance and control. 3-fin setups, also called thrusters, promote straight tracking on flatwater and provide good control in the surf.

Can you tell me what I should bring to SUP?

Stand-up paddle board (SUP) SUP paddle. Personal flotation device (PFD) Pump (for inflatable SUP) Fin(s) for SUP. SUP leash. Rescue whistle. Headlamp or flashlight (required if paddling after sundown)

Do you use a paddle leash on a SUP?

A paddle board leash may be the most important safety equipment for anyone venturing out on any body of water with a SUP, and it could save your life.

What is the best time to wear my waist leash SUP?

Suitable environments include moving/flowing water such as rivers, tidal rivers, estuaries, tidal races, and white water rivers. With a quick-release buckle or fastening, a waist leash connects to a waist belt. You can reach it easily if the force of water catches you after falling off your board.