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What to Pack for a Day Trip on Your SUP

What to Pack for a Day Trip on Your SUP

By: Airhead SUP Ambassador, Kimberly Ciesla
So you’ve had some time to get well acquainted with your new iSUP, practicing the beginner basics and honing in on your skills while using SUP safety tips. Now you’re ready for your first real SUP adventure and you will need to have the right paddleboarding gear. We’ve compiled a quick little paddleboarding equipment list to help you get started with the basics and to get you quickly on your way for your first iSUP adventure day trip.


The Essentials

  • Standup Paddle Board (SUP)
  • Paddle (carbon fiber is lighter; fiberglass is more durable if paddling with a lot of rocks)
  • PFD (Personal Floatation Device: aka Life Jacket or inflatable PFD belt)
  • Board Leash (wear on ankle or just below the knee) 
  • Fin(s) (make sure you have the pin(s)!)
  • Paddle Leash (optional)

Miscellaneous Essentials (Nice to Have) 

  • Small Waterproof Dry Bag (for cell phone and id)
  • Larger Waterproof Dry Bag (for clothing and other miscellaneous essentials)
  • Hydration Backpack (with water bladder) in lieu of water bottles
  • SUP transport carry strap
  • Paddle Case
  • iSUP Repair Kit
  • Extra Fin
  • Bungee Cords 
  • Cell phone with Solar Charger (for emergencies and to keep an eye on the weather)
  • GoPro with board and/or paddle mounts. (pre-test mounts & stick a GoPro “floaty” to your GoPro so it won’t accidentally sink) 


  • Wet Suit (Warm Water)
  • Dry Suit (Cold Water)
  • Bright colored Rashguard or other UV protectant top (cover up, less skin to sunburn) 
  • Comfortable Swim Board Shorts (Men) or Swimsuit/Bikini (ladies) 
  • Water Shoes/Sandals 

Safety Items

  • Compass
  • Small First Aid Kit 
  • Wide-Brim Hat 
  • Sunglasses (Floating)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent (biting flies love the water!) 
  • Lip Balm 30 SPF
  • Water
  • Snacks 
  • Headlamp (just in case you don’t make it back before sunset) 
  • Other Safety Items via 

Other Hacks & Tips

Do a Dry Run:  Lay out and pack everything, packing the heaviest items on the bottom of your dry bags and the most important items that need to be easily accessible on the top.  Practice inflating and deflating your iSUP. If you have time, test out your iSUP loaded with your gear bags in the water to check for balance. 
Be a Minimalist:  Don’t over pack or make your dry bags unnecessarily heavy.  The heavier the load the harder it will be to paddle your iSUP through the water, also sapping your energy. Less is always BEST! ;-)   
Research and Planning:  Figure out where you would like to go and how long it will take you to get there. This is also important in deciding whether or not you will need to pre-arrange return transportation especially if you are not going to and from the same starting point (as in a downwinder).  Go over your plans, and invite a friend and/or let someone know your plans as part of your safety precautions. ;-) 
Eat and Hydrate well:  Be sure to have a good, healthy meal and hydrate prior to heading out.  Being well hydrated and with a full belly will not only help to give you more energy but you won’t have to stop right away to eat and drink, allowing for more time for paddling, having fun and getting on with your adventure! Mostly importantly, always be safe … and HAVE FUN!!! 



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