Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a great way to enjoy time on the water and also a fun way to get a full body workout. There are some obvious pieces of equipment that you need to stand up paddleboard or inflatable stand up paddleboard, such as the paddleboard and oars. You probably have not spent much time thinking about clothing and accessory needs. I am going to give you some helpful information about the gear you need before you head out to SUP.
Basic Clothing for Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)
Weather can always be unpredictable, but you should be as prepared as you can be for the weather while you are on your stand up paddleboard. No matter what the weather conditions may be, the most important thing you must wear is a life jacket. Paddleboards are considered vessels by the US Coast Guard (USCG), so you must have a life jacket with you on the paddleboard. You should wear the life jacket, but the law only states it needs to be with you. It must be a USCG approved life jacket.
Gear For Hot Weather Stand Up Paddleboarding
The gear you wear for SUP changes based on the weather temperature and conditions. When you stand up paddleboard in warm weather, you want to wear clothes that keep you cool, allow you to move freely, but also protect you if you want to (or accidentally) take a swim. Men typically wear board shorts and women wear a bathing suit. Some ladies add a pair of board shorts over their suit as well for comfort and protection. You might also consider a short sleeve or long sleeve rash guard, these often will provide sun protection which is imperative. You should take a thin shirt or sweatshirt, especially if you want to go out on the paddleboard in the morning. You can wear it until the weather gets warmer and then take it off if you choose. If you take a dry bag with you, you can put any extra clothes in it to keep them dry. You can also put your phone, keys, and wallet in a dry bag. It's also a good idea to have a tether to secure your wet bag to your stand up paddleboard in case it falls off.
Gear For Cold Weather Stand Up Paddleboarding
In the cooler months, you should consider clothes to keep you warm. You may even want to wear wetsuit. A wetsuit is made of neoprene that traps a thin layer of water between your body and the wetsuit. Your body heat warms that water, which then keeps you warm. Wetsuits come in different thicknesses, ranging from 3 to 7 mm, to keep you warm in varying temperatures. During warm weather, you may opt not to wear shoes or flip flops. I would suggest making sure your flip flops float in case of a fall. In cold weather, you want to consider wetsuit booties which will help to prevent your feet from freezing in cold water temperatures. Booties also come in different thicknesses to keep your feet warm in varying temperatures. If you do not want to buy a wetsuit, you can opt to layer instead. You start with a base layer, such as long johns, to keep you warm. Then you wear a water resistant top and bottom. You may also want to wear gloves, they keep your hands warm and you do not have to worry about frostbite. You can still have freedom of movement in your hands and they will not be freezing. If you choose to wear warmer clothing, you should definitely consider wearing a life-jacket in the event you were to fall in the water.
Extras To Consider when Stand Up Paddleboarding
After you have gotten the perfect attire to wear while you are stand up paddleboarding, you should consider some accessories. You should bring a sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect you from the sun. You want to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face. Make sure you use waterproof sunscreen that also has UV protection. If you are wearing sunglasses make sure you have a strap that helps hold them on your head, there are several different varieties, just find what feels best for you.
You also want to make sure you have a tether for your stand up paddleboard. This tether connects one end to your ankle and the other end to the paddleboard. Some, but not all, stand up paddleboards come with a tether. You definitely need one so if you fall off your SUP, it keeps it close to your body. You can use your stand up paddleboard as a flotation device, so keeping it near you is important in case you get in trouble.
A fun accessory you can get for your inflatable stand up paddle board is a seat. This will turn your SUP in to a kayak type of experience. This is a relatively inexpensive way to get more use out of your paddleboard and you only need to store one board instead of a SUP and a kayak. If you really want to consolidate on space, the inflatable stand up paddleboard fits inside of a backpack and is easy to haul and store.
Before you go out on the SUP, you want to make sure you have all the gear you need to stay comfortable so you can have a great time and enjoy your adventure!
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