Stand up paddle boards are in. They are versatile, personal watercraft that the whole family can enjoy, with models to accommodate everyone's wants or needs. Paddle boarding is an excellent way to get or stay fit. If you are near open water- ocean, lake, river, pond, or pool- you can take advantage of what stand up paddle boarding has to offer.
Stand up paddle boardscome in a variety of styles:
- Cruising boards are short, narrow, and light weight, great for beginners or riders who just want to tootle around the neighborhood.
- Performance boards are long boards with long fins that offer maneuverability in tight places or agility for stunt riding.
- Adventure boards are medium length, wide boards made for long trips with gear or cargo. They are considerably heavier than other personal SUP craft.
- Fitness boards are short, moderately wide, stable platforms for doing yoga and similarly stationary exercises.
- Fishing boards are mid-length, wide boards with a heavy duty capacity and the capability of accessorizing specifically for fishing.
- Kids boards are small, light weight, easily maneuverable units.
The best things in life are free. Free from problems, hassles, and fears, that is. The best way to ensure a great day of paddle boarding is to plan ahead. Once you have chosen the best style of board for your activity of choice, having the right stand up paddle board accessories is crucial. There are accessories for paddle boards that offer convenience, utility, and safety.
Personal safetyshould always be your number one priority, and a few SUP board accessories are required to ensure you’re prepared & safe. Wearing a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD), waterproof sunscreen, and eye protection should be automatic.
In addition, your SUP safety gear should include:
- SUP Board Leash, securely attached to board
- Whistle with lanyard
- Life line and throw bag
- Waterproof First Aid kit
If you are a beginner or have issues with your balance, "training wheels" or inflatable stabilizer pontoons can be attached to the board to increase stability.
Keeping Everything Easily Within Reach
For your convenience, accessories for paddle boards may be attached with Velcro strips or lever activated suction cups. These include drink holders, lashing tabs, and tie down straps. Cargo nets are available to hold your camping gear or cooler on board. A waterproof wallet with a lanyard, for your keys, ID, cash, and credit cards, can be worn on your person or tied to the board for safe (dry) keeping.
Fishing Safely from Your SUP
Fishermen rejoice! Your stand up paddle board is your new favorite fishing buddy. With a wider, more stable board, you can load on enough gear to get through a long day in the backwater or a trek to the cove. With your fishing rack and fishing bucket rack attachments, you can kick back and get serious while the racks hold your poles and keep your stuff dry. Don't forget to bring the anchor. You might want to hang around that secret fishing hole.
Know the Laws and Your Own Limitations
Stand up paddle board accessories alone will not keep you afloat if you don't observe a few guidelines. Once you take it beyond designated swimming, surfing, or bathing range, your SUP is considered a vessel. This means, first of all, that you must wear a life jacket at all times. A few other tips to keep you on the up and up include:
- Be a competent swimmer, capable of self rescue
- Know how to tow another board
- Know the local rules and regulations regarding SUP
- Know the elements and hazards of the area, such as wind patterns, tides, currents, and underwater terrain
- Be aware of where you are in relation to the shoreline and other swimmers or craft
Water safety classes and stand up paddle board courses are offered in most locations where these activities take place. With the right accessories and a little common sense, your SUP experience will be SUP-er!