Paddle Board Accessories: The Ultimate Guide for 2024

Paddle boarding has become an extremely popular water sport in recent years. As more people take up paddle boarding, the market for paddle board accessories has grown exponentially. In this guide, we will explore the must-have accessories for paddle boarders in 2023. Whether you are a beginner or experienced paddle boarder, having the right gear can enhance your time on the water and make your paddling adventures more enjoyable and safe.

Top Paddle Board Accessories

Top Paddle Board Accessories

Paddle Board Paddles

The paddle is your motor on a paddle board. Having the right size and style paddle can make paddling much more efficient and comfortable over longer distances. Key features to look for in a paddle board paddle include:

Adjustable Length

Paddles that can extend from 210cm to 240cm allow you to customize the length to your height. Shorter paddle lengths provide more control, while longer lengths give you a more powerful stroke for covering distance.

Lightweight Materials

Paddles made of lightweight aluminum, carbon fiber, or fiberglass reduce arm fatigue and makes paddling feel easier. Heavier paddles require more exertion with each stroke.

Ergonomic Grip

A comfortable grip allows you to hold the paddle without straining your hands and wrists. Contoured grips that fit your hand prevent blisters on long paddles.

Blade Size/Shape

Wider and longer blades provide more acceleration with each stroke. Smaller, teardrop-shaped blades are more nimble for quick maneuvers.

Consider your experience level, paddling environment, and fitness goals when selecting a paddle. Adjustable, lightweight paddles with comfortable grips offer the best versatility for all-around paddling.

We recommend exploring top paddle brands such as Pelican or iRocker, which offer a variety of designs and materials.

Paddle Board PFDs

PFDs (personal flotation devices) or life jackets are essential safety gear for paddle boarding. PFDs designed specifically for paddle boarding provide full mobility while keeping you safe and visible on the water. The best Paddle board PFDs will have the following features:

USCG-Approved

Only use US Coast Guard approved life jackets to ensure they meet flotation standards for safety.

Lightweight and Low-Profile

Minimalist PFDs won’t restrict your range of motion while paddling yet still provide flotation when needed.

Secure Fit

A snug, adjustable fit prevents the PFD from shifting around and getting in your way. Look for strap adjustments and buckles.

Highly Visible

Bright colors and reflective detailing provide maximum visibility. This helps boaters see you and allows fast rescue.

Breathable Material

Mesh material prevents overheating and discomfort in warm weather. Look for ventilation panels.

Pockets and Attachments

Convenient pockets and clip-on rings allow you to keep essentials like keys, phone, and water bottle handy while on the board.

Wearing a well-fitting PFD designed for paddle boarding provides peace of mind and can be a lifesaver in an emergency. Look for PFDs with excellent buoyancy and mobility, ensuring they don’t hinder your movements on the board. Brands like AquaSafe and AdventureGuard manufacture top-notch PFDs that cater specifically to water sports enthusiasts. Stay safe on the water – shop highly rated paddle board life jackets and PFDs from trusted brands.

Paddle Board Leashes

A paddle board leash is an indispensable paddle board accessory, keeping you tethered to your board and preventing it from floating away in case of a fall. While many areas don’t legally require leashes, they are highly recommended for safety. Look for the following features in a paddle board leash:

Ankle Leashes

Ankle leashes attach at your ankle, leaving your hands and torso free for paddling, fishing, yoga, etc.

Coiled Cord

Coiled stretch cords provide a secure connection with enough slack for free movement on the board. Sturdy double action springs absorb shock.

Quick Release

A quick release mechanism detaches the leash easily in emergency situations to prevent entanglement.

Comfortable Cuff

Padded neoprene cuffs prevent chafing around your ankle.

Durable Materials

Strong nylon cords, rubber handles, and stainless steel swivels withstand the marine environment.

Paddle board leashes typically run 10-15 feet in length. Make sure to get a leash designed specifically for paddle boarding rather than surfing to allow more mobility. Always attach your leash before heading out on the water.

An ankle leash is ideal for flatwater paddling, while a coiled leash is better suited for surf conditions, reducing drag and entanglement risks. Brands like Pelican and Airhead offer durable and dependable leash systems.

Paddle Board Fins

Fins are attached to the bottom of a paddle board to improve tracking, glide, and stability. The right fin setup allows you to paddle faster and steer more easily in windy conditions or currents. There are several types of paddle board fins to consider:

Single Fin

A single fin is located at the center rear of the board. Single fins promote straight tracking and are ideal for flat water paddling. They are a great choice for beginners.

Twin Fins

Twin fins are placed parallel to each other towards the tail. They provide maneuverability and stability for paddle boards. Twin fins work well for surfing waves or paddling in the ocean.

Tri-Fins

Tri-fin setups have a large center fin and two smaller side fins. The trio of fins offers excellent tracking combined with maneuverability for turning. Tri-fins are versatile for all-around paddle boarding.

Quad Fins

Four smaller fins allow very responsive steering and control. Quad fins are popular for racing boards and surfing in waves.

When selecting paddle board fins, consider your paddle boarding activities. Larger fins provide more tracking, while smaller fins make turning easier. Longer fins give better glide, while wide fins have more hold. Fins come in plastic or fiberglass. High-performance carbon fiber fins are lightweight and responsive. Always check the fin boxes on your board are compatible with the fins you want to buy.

Sun Protection Gear

When you’re out on the water for hours paddle boarding, sun protection is a must. Invest in sun hats, rash guards, and sunscreen to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Look for these features in sun protection gear and accessories:

Wide Brim Hats

A hat with at least a 3-inch brim all around provides shade for your face, neck and ears. You’ll want a hat with chin straps if you’re paddling in windy conditions.

UV Protective Shirts/Rashguards

Tight-fitting, lightweight shirts made of UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) materials prevent skin damage from the sun’s rays. Long-sleeved options provide the most coverage.

Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses reduce glare off the water so you can see clearly. Make sure your sunglasses fit securely so you don’t accidentally lose them on the water.

Sunscreen

Waterproof broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen prevents sunburn. Reapply frequently, per the usage instructions of the sunscreen.

Lip Balm

Hydrating lip balm or zinc oxide lip balm prevents chapped, sunburnt lips.

Water Hydration

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Use an insulated water bottle tied onto your board.

Proper sun protection is a must for safe, comfortable paddle boarding in the glaring sun. Brands like NeoSport and Billabong offer high-quality sun protection products specifically designed for water sports enthusiasts. Prioritize your skin’s health with our recommended sun protection gear.

Kayak Seats

Adding a padded kayak seat on your paddle board provides back support for long paddling days. Kayak seats are easily strapped to your board so you can take a break from standing. Top kayak seats for paddle boards have the following:

Molded Foam Padding

Molded foam contours to your body for comfort and does not absorb water. Avoid inflatable seats.

Adjustable Straps

Strong nylon straps secure the seat in place at your ideal position on the board.

Waterproof Covering

Nylon or vinyl cover protects the inner foam padding from water and sun damage.

Detachable Design

Quick-release clips allow you to easily remove the seat after each use.

Extra padding and support can make hours of paddling more comfortable. However, Raised seats raise your center of gravity, which can reduce stability. Remove seats when paddle surfing in waves.

Waterproof Gear Bags and Phone Case

Paddle boarding often involves getting wet, especially when paddling in the ocean or rivers. Waterproof gear bags let you take essentials like phone, keys, and wallet on the board without getting them soggy. The best waterproof gear bags, phone cases, or dry bags feature:

Waterproof Material

Vinyl, canvas, or TPU coatings provide a watertight seal to keep contents dry. Avoid mesh bags.

Roll-Top Closure

Roll-top closures create a reliable waterproof barrier and allow quick access to gear.

Adjustable Straps

Lashing straps securely attach the bag on the deck pad or bungee cords. The bag should not slide around.

Bright Colors

Vibrant bags are easy to spot if they go overboard. External reflective strips improve visibility.

Varying Sizes

Small bags for essentials or larger bags to fit lunch, extra layers, etc. Attach multiple bags for more storage.

Before each trip, use waterproof phone cases as an extra precaution. Having dry storage extends your paddling range since you can bring supplies.

Staying prepared on the water is essential, and keeping personal items dry is crucial. Dry bags and deck storage offer reliable protection for your belongings. Choose from various sizes and types to accommodate your essentials. Safeguard your gear with the best dry bags and waterproof storage solutions

First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen while paddle boarding, so a waterproof first aid kit is a must-have any time you’re heading out to the water. Look for a first aid kit that includes:

  • Bandages – Waterproof bandages protect cuts and abrasions from dirt and water.
  • Antiseptic – Cleans cuts to prevent infection. Look for spray or wipes.
  • Pain Relievers – Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for minor pain relief.
  • Medical Tape – Holds gauze and dressings in place when wet.
  • Blister Care – Moleskin, hydrocolloid bandages, or blister pads for friction blisters.
  • CPR Mask – Provides protection if performing CPR.
  • Emergency Blanket – Retains body heat if hypothermia is a risk.
  • Tweezers – For removing splinters, stingers, etcetera.

A first aid kit can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency until you can get to shore and seek treatment. Safety should never be overlooked, and a compact paddle board first aid kit is essential for emergencies. Brands like Adventure Medical Kits (AMK) produce comprehensive first aid kits tailored for water sports enthusiasts. Stay prepared for any mishap with our recommended first aid kits.

Adventure Medical Kits Water-Resistant First Aid Kit

Starting at $7.50

Adventure Medical Kits First Aid Water-Resistant Medical Kit

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Listening to music can make solo paddling adventures more enjoyable. A waterproof Bluetooth speaker allows you to wirelessly stream music from your phone on the board. When shopping for speaker while paddle boarding, choose a speaker with the following features:

Waterproof

Floats and can be fully submerged without damage. Look for IP67 rated speakers.

Secure Attachment

Built-in lash points, straps or suction cups allow secure attachment to your board.

Long Battery Life

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries provide up to 20 hours of play time.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Wirelessly connect to devices 30+ feet away. Some pair multiple speakers for stereo sound.

Rugged Design

Durable, shockproof casing withstands bumps and drops.

With a waterproof speaker, you can easily play music, podcasts, audiobooks and more hands-free while paddle boarding. Look for speakers with excellent waterproof ratings and impressive sound quality. Brands like JBL and Hypergear manufacture speakers built to withstand aquatic conditions. Elevate your paddle board adventure with our recommended portable Bluetooth speakers.

Paddle Boarder with Paddle Board Accessories - Action Camera Mount and Dry Bag

GoPro or Action Camera Mounts

Capture your paddle boarding adventures by mounting a GoPro or action camera to your board or paddle. Since you’ll be using your hands to paddle, a camera mount is a must-have if you want to capture footage on the water. Various mounting options are available to securely attach your camera to the board or yourself. Useful GoPro or action camera mounts include:

Board Mounts

There are generally two types of board mounts for action cameras. Adhesive mounts stick to your board deck. Suction cup mounts temporally attach directly to your paddle board without adhesives.

Paddle Mounts

Paddle mounts are secured around the shaft to film a “paddle cam” perspective. Make sure the paddle mount you buy won’t affect your grip on the paddle.

Head/Helmet Mounts

Gets a first-person vantage for more exciting footage with a head or helmet camera mount. These easily strap to your head or helmet and offer a unique viewing perspective.

Wrist Mounts

Wrist mounts for cameras allows you to film while paddling. Look for mounts that are comfortable and flexible so they don’t impeded your paddling.

Chest Mounts

Chest mounts allow you to capture scenes from your perspective. They’re generally worn as a harness that straps around your chest.

Make sure you tether your camera leash to your board or life vest so it doesn’t sink if detached or accidentally dropped. You’ll also want to waterproof your camera fully for paddling.

Brands like GoPro and SeaSucker offer sturdy and versatile mounts for action cameras. Immortalize your paddle boarding escapades with the best action camera mounts.

Paddle Board Carrier or SUP Cart

Transporting your paddle board to and from the water can be cumbersome without the right equipment. Invest in a SUP cart or paddle board carrier to ease the process. These allow easy transport over land. Key features of top paddle board carriers include:

Padded Crossbar

Protects the board from scratches during transport. Foam or inflatable options available.

All-Terrain Wheels

Wide wheels with treads easily roll across sand or rough terrain without getting stuck.

Adjustable Straps

Secures board to cart to prevent slippage. Look for quick-release buckles.

Telescoping Handle

Adjusts to proper height for ergonomic pulling. Look for cushioned grip.

Lightweight Design

Aluminum or composite materials allow easy carrying when not in use.

Foldable Design

Folding carts breakdown small to pack in car. Inflatable wheels minimize packed size.

Heavy Load Capacity

Reinforced construction transports boards up to 150 lbs.

A SUP cart allows fast and easy transport from vehicle to water without having to carry a heavy board. Make transportation a breeze and save your energy for paddling with our recommended SUP carts and carriers!

Riverside Cartop Carriers Stand-Up Paddle Board Roof Rack, $74.95

Paddle Board Roof Racks

Paddle boards are large and awkward to transport without a proper roof rack system. Purpose-built roof racks provide a secure way to transport your board and safely lock it in place. Considerations when buying a roof rack includep:

Padded Board Supports

Felt or foam covered supports prevent scratching/denting your board during transport.

Adjustable Straps

Long straps with cinch buckles keep the board tight to the rack during transport to prevent slippage at highway speeds.

Vehicle Specific Design

Most racks are made to precisely fit roof rails and crossbars on specific car makes/models.

Locking System

Built-in locks prevent theft and give peace of mind when leaving your board on the car.

Overhang Support (optional)

Support extensions hold the board tip if it overhangs the rear of your car.

Always carefully secure your paddle board to the rack and tie down the nose/fin as added protection during transport. Carefully check all straps and connections periodically when traveling. Transport your board securely – shop our top-rated paddle board roof racks.

A Paddle Board and Paddle on the Beach

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) Accessories FAQs

Q: Do I really need a paddle board leash?

A: Yes, a leash is highly recommended for safety, especially when paddle boarding in open water. Leashes prevent your board from blowing away in wind or currents if you fall off.

Q: What PFD is best for paddle boarding?

A: Look for a USCG-approved PFD designed specifically for paddle boarding with streamlined/minimal design for full mobility and highly visible colors for safety.

Q: Can my phone get wet in a waterproof case?

A: Waterproof phone cases protect your phone if briefly submerged but are not meant for underwater use. For heavy splashing/paddling, put your phone in a dry gear bag as an extra precaution.

Q: How do I attach accessories like water bottles onto my paddle board?

A: Most boards have bungee cords or pad eyes to easily attach gear. You can also use gear straps or paddle board racks. Always evenly distribute weight across the board.

Q: Can I just wear any water shoe for paddle boarding?

A: Specific paddle board shoes have grippy soles to avoid slippage on the board deck pad when wet. Look for quick-dry materials, stretch laces, and drainage ports.

Q: Should my paddle float or sink?

A: Paddles that float allow easy recovery if dropped in deep water. However, lightweight, high-performance paddles often sink. Always leash your paddle to your ankle or board.

Q: How do I prevent sun glare when paddle boarding?

A: Use polarized sunglasses to cut glare. Visors and hats with flaps also help shield your eyes. Apply waterproof sunscreen regularly.

Q: Can I go fishing on my paddle board?

A: Yes! Look for boards with high weight capacity. Add Scotty mounts to attach rod holders, cooler mounts for your catch, and bungees to secure your tackle box.

Final Thoughts on Must-Have Paddle Board Accessories

Paddle boarding is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. And the right paddle board accessories can enhance your time on the water by keeping you safe, comfortable and helping transport your gear. When shopping for paddle board or SUP accessories, carefully consider factors like your skill level, paddling environment and intended activities. Investing in quality accessories like fins, paddles, PFDs and roof racks designed specifically for paddle boarding will lead to a more enjoyable experience every time you hit the water.

Bushcraft Charlie

As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Bushcraft Charlie first developed his wilderness and survival skills in the suburbs of Maryland. After relocating to Montana, he's continued to spend time outdoors - hiking the Rocky Mountains and practicing bushcraft skills like shelter building and fire making.

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