All About Standup Paddleboarding Gear

As far as paddle sports go, standup paddleboarding doesn't have very much gear at all.   A paddleboard and a paddle will get you on the water.  But as with all sports today, materials, designs, and components are always changing and improving the sport.  Also, as any outdoor enthusiast knows, collecting gear becomes a hobby as we bond with our existing equipment while at the same time desire for newer and often better upgrades to our boards, paddles, and accesories.  Here are some resources that will help you learn all about the standup paddleboarding gear you'll need to SUP in comfort and the way you want to.

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Standup Paddleboarding Equipment and Gear List

Pelican Rush 11.6 Paddleboard Floating
The Pelican Rush 11.6 SUP with Gear. George E. Sayour

While all you really need is a board and a paddle, there are other SUP equipment that you might want to consider having.  A pfd and a leash are two such items.  Learn about some other items you might want to bring along and include with your SUP equipment.

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How to Choose a Paddleboard

Paddle boarding in NYC
Standup Paddle boarding in Manhatten. © by Mario Tama / Getty Images

In this day and age you can just walk into a big box retailer and buy a kayak, paddleboard, or canoe.  Gone are the days where you have to actually go to a paddling outfitter.  If you know what you're looking for, this might be an alright route to go.  However, there are paddleboards designed for different types of paddling.  Learn all about it in this article.

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Choosing a Standup Paddleboard Paddle

Werner Spanker SUP Paddle
Werner Spanker SUP Paddle. Photo ©, used by permission

You might not think there is much to a SUP paddle.  It is, however, one of two crucial gear items to enable you to paddle.  Furthermore, the height you are above the water when paddleboarding necessitates you having the right length paddle.  Learn how to choose a SUP paddle here.

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How iSUPs Setup

Ten Toes iSUP board
Setting up a Ten Toes iSUP on some bushes. George E. Sayour

iSUP stands for inflatable standup paddleboard.  They pump up to a rock hard state in a matter of minutes and they pack down into a bag in about the same amount of time.  If you don't have a garage or space for a full on 12 foot SUP, an iSUP might just be for you.  Learn how to setup and stow away an iSUP with the advice and tips in this article.

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The Anatomy of a SUP

The Pelican Rush 11.6 Standup Paddleboard
The Pelican Rush 11.6 SUP. George E. Sayour

Fins, nose, tail, leash plug, and grab handle are just some of the components on a standup paddleboard.  Learn all about the anatomy and parts of a SUP in order to be able to speak intelligently with others in the business.

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Parts of a SUP Paddle

Child SUP Paddle
Child SUP Paddle. © by Getty Images / Stephen Simpson

SUP paddles are rather simple.  But, part of getting into a sport is knowing the the component names and their design considerations. Here is what you need to know about the parts of a SUP paddle.

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Convert Your SUP into a Kayak

SUP - Kayak Paddleboard
Paddling a cross between a paddleboard and a kayak. Photo © George E. Sayour

Sometimes people don't know whether they want a paddleboard or a kayak.  Space constraints and budgets can keep them from owning both and forcing these paddlers to have to choose.  Well, there is an answer to this problem.  Plastic standup paddleboards can actually be converted into kayaks.  Local outdoor stores can do this for you or you can make the modifications yourself.  Here's how.

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Final SUP Gear Considerations

 These resources will get you going in the sport of standup paddleboarding. Of course, nothing beats getting involved in the paddling community and learning from others.  Part of the fun of the sport is the collaboration between paddlers.  So, get out there and meet other SUPers.  You can check out their gear and even try it out on the water to help you know what it is you are looking for in your next paddle or SUP.