What Accessories Do I Need To Get Started With SUP
What Accessories Do I Need To Get Started With SUP

If you’re itching to hit the water and try your hand at Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP), you may wonder what accessories you need to get started. From the essentials to the handy extras, we’ve got you covered.

From the all-important paddle and board leash to the must-have personal flotation device and proper attire, we’ll guide you through SUP accessories, ensuring you’re fully prepared for your exciting new water adventure. So, grab your sunscreen, and let’s dive into the world of SUP accessories!

Paddle Board

Regarding paddleboarding, the choice of board plays a crucial role in determining your overall experience. There are several factors to consider when selecting a paddle board, such as board type, size, and material.

Board Type

There are various types of paddle boards available in the market, each serving a different purpose. For beginners, an all-around board is an excellent choice as it offers stability and versatility. If you’re looking for speed and performance, a touring board or a race board might be more suitable. Meanwhile, surf paddle boards are specifically designed for riding waves. It’s essential to consider your skill level and paddling goals when choosing the right board type.


The size of your paddle board is crucial for ensuring stability and buoyancy while paddling. Larger boards generally provide more stability, making them ideal for beginners or those looking to take their yoga practice to the water. Smaller boards, on the other hand, offer better maneuverability and speed, making them suitable for more experienced paddlers or wave riders. Consider factors such as your weight, skill level, and paddling intentions when determining the size of your board.


Paddle boards are commonly made from three primary materials: foam, inflatable, and fiberglass. Foam boards are the most affordable option and are typically used for beginner paddle boarders or those looking for a recreational experience. Inflatable paddle boards have gained popularity due to their portability and durability. They can be deflated and rolled up, making them convenient for transportation and storage. Fiberglass boards are known for their excellent performance and lightweight construction, making them a preferred choice by more advanced and competitive paddlers. Consider your specific needs and preferences when selecting the material for your paddle board.


A paddle is an essential accessory for any paddle-boarding activity. It’s crucial to choose a paddle that suits your height and paddling style. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a paddle.

Adjustable Length

An adjustable paddle length is beneficial as it allows you to customize it according to your height and the type of paddleboarding you’ll be doing. Adjustable paddles typically have a range of lengths to set, ensuring a comfortable and efficient paddling experience.


Paddle shafts and blades can be made from various materials, including aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Aluminum paddles are the most affordable option and are suitable for recreational use. Fiberglass paddles are lightweight and provide better performance, making them preferred by more experienced paddlers. Carbon fiber paddles are the top choice for professional athletes and avid enthusiasts due to their lightweight construction and enhanced performance characteristics. Consider your budget and level of paddleboarding when selecting the material for your paddle.

Blade Shape

The shape of the paddle blade can affect your paddling efficiency and power. Paddle blades come in various shapes, including tear-drop, rectangular, and dihedral. Tear-drop-shaped blades are commonly used as they offer a good balance between power and control. Rectangular blades provide excellent power but require more effort. Dihedral blades have a ridge down the middle, reducing flutter and improving stability. Consider your paddling style and the type of water conditions you’ll be paddling in when choosing the blade shape.

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Safety should always be a top priority when paddleboarding, and wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is crucial, especially for beginners or when paddling in open waters. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a PFD.


There are different types of PFDs available, including inherently buoyant, inflatable, and hybrid options. Inherently buoyant PFDs are made of foam and provide constant floatation without activation. Inflatable PFDs are compact and lightweight, requiring manual or automatic inflation when needed. Hybrid PFDs offer the advantages of both inherent buoyancy and inflatable properties. Choose a PFD type that suits your comfort, paddling style, and the water conditions you’ll be paddling in.


A properly fitting PFD is essential for your safety and comfort while paddleboarding. PFDs come in different sizes, so it’s crucial to choose one that fits snugly without restricting your movement. Adjustable straps and buckles are standard features that allow you to customize the fit according to your body shape. Try on different PFDs and ensure a secure and comfortable fit before purchasing.

US Coast Guard Approval

When selecting a PFD, look for the US Coast Guard approval label. This ensures that the PFD meets the required safety standards and regulations. It’s essential to prioritize safety and choose a PFD that has been tested and approved for use in water-related activities.


A leash is a vital accessory that ensures your paddleboard stays connected to you in case you fall off. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a leash.

Coiled vs. Straight

Leashes come in coiled and straight designs. Coiled leashes are popular as they stay compact and minimize drag in the water. They are suitable for flatwater paddling or SUP surfing. Straight leashes offer more freedom of movement and are commonly used in river paddling or whitewater conditions. Consider your paddling environment and personal preferences when deciding between a coiled or straight leash.


The type of paddleboarding determines the length of the leash you’ll be doing. For flatwater paddling and recreational use, a leash between 8 to 10 feet is commonly used. For SUP surfing, a shorter leash between 6 to 8 feet is more suitable to prevent tangles and interference during maneuvers. It’s essential to choose a leash length that allows you to reach the paddleboard without excessive slack or tension comfortably.


Leashes are attached to the paddle board using ankle cuffs or calf cuffs. Ankle cuffs are the most common attachment option as they provide a secure and comfortable fit. Ensure that the leash attachment point on the paddleboard is solid and durable for a reliable connection. It’s recommended to check the leash regularly for any signs of wear and tear and replace it if necessary.

Ankle Cuff

The ankle cuff is an essential leash component, and its comfort and secure attachment are crucial for an enjoyable paddleboarding experience.


An ankle cuff should be comfortable to wear for extended periods without causing any discomfort or irritation. Look for ankle cuffs with padding or neoprene material that provides cushioning and prevents chafing. Adjustable straps are also beneficial in achieving a customizable fit.

Secure Attachment

The ankle cuff should securely attach to your ankle, ensuring that the leash remains connected to you even in challenging conditions. Look for ankle cuffs with solid and durable Velcro closures or buckles for reliable attachment. It’s essential to test the ankle cuff’s attachment strength before heading out on the water to ensure a secure connection.

Sup Deck Bag

A SUP deck bag is a handy accessory that allows you to carry your items and essentials while paddleboarding. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a SUP deck bag.


Since the deck bag will be exposed to water, it is essential to choose a bag that offers waterproof or water-resistant properties. This ensures your belongings stay dry even if water splashes onto the bag. Look for materials such as PVC or nylon with sealed seams that provide excellent waterproofing capabilities.


The size of the SUP deck bag depends on the amount of storage you require and the items you want to carry. Consider whether you’ll be bringing just the essentials like sunscreen and a water bottle or if you need space for extra clothing, snacks, or a camera. Choose a bag size that suits your needs without obstructing your movement or stability on the paddleboard.

Attachment System

The attachment system of the SUP deck bag should be secure and easy to use. Look for adjustable straps or bungee cords that allow you to securely fasten the bag to the paddleboard without the risk of it coming loose during paddling. It’s essential to ensure that the attachment system is compatible with your paddleboard design and has a reliable grip on the board.

Deck Rigging Kit

A deck rigging kit is a set of bungee cords and attachment points that allow you to secure additional gear to your paddleboard. Here are some considerations when choosing a deck rigging kit.

Bungee Cords

The bungee cords in the deck rigging kit should be durable and have appropriate tension to hold your gear securely. Look for cords made of high-quality elastic material that can withstand exposure to water, sunlight, and wear. It’s essential to consider the length and strength of the cords to ensure they can accommodate your specific gear needs.

Attachment Points

The attachment points should be robust and provide reliable anchoring for the bungee cords. Look for attachment points of corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or durable plastic. Ensure that the attachment points are easy to install and compatible with the design of your paddleboard. Additionally, consider the number and positioning of the attachment points to meet your gear attachment requirements.


Installing a deck rigging kit should be a straightforward process that does not require advanced technical skills. Look for kits that come with clear instructions and all the necessary mounting hardware. It’s essential to follow the installation guidelines carefully to ensure a secure attachment that does not compromise the integrity of your paddleboard.

Paddle Board Carrier

A paddleboard carrier is a convenient accessory that allows you to transport your paddleboard with ease. Here are some features to consider when selecting a paddleboard carrier.

Shoulder Strap

A shoulder strap is a common feature in paddle board carriers and provides a comfortable way to carry your board. Look for carriers with padded shoulder straps that distribute the weight evenly and prevent discomfort or strain. Adjustable straps are beneficial as they allow you to customize the strap length for a comfortable fit.

Carrying Handles

Carrying handles are another essential feature of a paddleboard carrier. They provide additional grip points for lifting or maneuvering the board. Look for carriers with comfortable and durable carrying handles that provide a secure grip without hurting your hands. It’s essential to choose a carrier with multiple handles strategically placed for better balance and control.

Weight Capacity

Consider the weight capacity of the paddle board carrier to ensure it can handle the weight of your board. Carriers typically have weight limits specified by the manufacturer, so it’s essential to select one that can safely support your paddleboard. Additionally, consider the durability and strength of the carrier materials, such as reinforced straps or sturdy buckles, for reliable transportation.

Dry Bag

A dry bag is an essential accessory for keeping your belongings safe and dry while paddleboarding. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a dry bag.


The primary function of a dry bag is to keep your belongings dry, so it’s crucial to choose a bag with excellent waterproofing capabilities. Look for dry bags made from materials such as PVC or nylon with sealed seams that prevent water from entering the bag. Roll-top closures with buckles or zip-lock closures help create a watertight seal and provide added protection.


The size of the dry bag depends on the volume of items you plan to carry. Consider whether you’ll transport your essentials or need space for extra clothing, food, or electronic devices. It’s recommended to choose a size that accommodates your needs without adding excessive weight or bulk to your paddleboarding experience.

Attachment Options

Dry bags often have attachment options such as D-rings or clips to secure them to your paddleboard or equipment. Consider the attachment options provided by the dry bag and ensure compatibility with your paddleboard design. Reliable attachment points ensure the dry bag remains securely fastened and doesn’t interfere with your paddling.

Sun Protection

Paddling under the sun can be enjoyable but also exposes you to harmful UV rays. Protecting yourself from the sun is crucial for your health and comfort while paddleboarding. Here are some sun protection essentials.


Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Look for water-resistant formulas that won’t wash off easily while paddling and applying sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of your body, including your face, neck, and ears. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen regularly as directed by the manufacturer to maintain its effectiveness.


Wearing sunglasses with UV protection is essential for protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays and provide adequate coverage to shield your eyes from direct sunlight. Polarized lenses can help reduce glare from the water surface, improving visibility while paddleboarding. Secure the sunglasses with a retainer strap to prevent them from falling into the water.


A wide-brimmed hat offers additional protection for your face, neck, and ears from the sun. Look for hats made from lightweight and breathable materials such as nylon or straw. Adjustable chin straps or drawstrings help secure the hat, especially during windy conditions. Choose a hat with a wide enough brim to provide shade and minimize direct exposure to the sun.

Considering these accessories’ specific features, you can ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable paddleboarding experience. Remember to prioritize safety, select gear that suits your needs and preferences, and follow proper paddling techniques and guidelines. Now, get out on the water, have fun, and explore the wonders of stand-up paddleboarding!

Diana Hanson
Hi there! I'm Diana Hanson, a SUP enthusiast and paddler with over ten years of experience. I have a deep love for exploring new places and trying out new things on my SUP board. Whether it's gliding across a peaceful lake, navigating a fast-moving river, or riding the exhilarating waves of the ocean, I'm always up for an adventure. As the author of the website SupNoob.com, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others. My goal is to help beginners learn the skills needed to paddle safely and confidently. I understand the challenges that novices face when starting out, and I'm dedicated to providing them with valuable tips and advice. But my passion doesn't stop there. I also strive to assist experienced paddlers in taking their skills to the next level. Through SupNoob.com, I constantly update the site with the latest SUP gear reviews, insider tips, and expert advice. My aim is to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skill level, can get the most out of their paddling experience. I take great pride in my work, and I have been fortunate to receive recognition in the form of prizes and rewards for my contributions to the SUP community. It's an honor to be able to share my passion for this incredible sport with others, and I hope that through SupNoob.com, I can inspire and empower fellow SUP enthusiasts to embark on their own unforgettable journeys. Join me on SupNoob.com, and let's dive into the exciting world of SUP together!