Paddleboard Accessories: Everything You Need to Know


April 5, 2022


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SUP essentials

Once you’ve purchased your paddleboard (SUP), find out what you’ll need to get ready and get the most out of paddling on the water before, during and after the activity. Discover the recommendations of Claude Roussin, outdoor expert at SAIL.

So you’ve purchased a stand up paddle board (also known as a SUP). Before hitting the water, read this article to find out more about:

Stand up paddle boards Men’s swimwear

Women’s swimwear Watersport clothing

Paddleboard accessories to consider before heading out

1. Car roof rack

Car roof rack

If you don’t have a cottage with a lake view, don’t fret! There are several bodies of water in Quebec and Ontario where you can enjoy your new paddleboard (as long as you drive there and your board is a hard board!).

There are many safe ways to transport your paddleboard on the roof of your car: paddleboard rack with straps, J-shaped kayak rack, pads mounted on loading bars, etc.

You will need additional straps if you want to secure your board and make sure it doesn’t move, or foam strips to protect the outer shell of your board.

Before selecting your roof rack, be sure to consider these different criteria:

  • Universal fit for all types of vehicles
  • Customized adjustment according to board size
  • Single or double loading (do you want to carry one board or two?)
  • Easy to install on the roof
  • Rack padding
  • Maximum loading weight
  • Versatility for carrying other types of watercrafts
  • Rack lock

An inflatable paddle board does not need to be carried on the roof of a car, as it can be stored deflated in a relatively compact bag that can be put in the trunk of a car.

The Thule brand designs models dedicated to paddleboards.

2. Pedestrian transport accessories for a paddle board

Pedestrian transport

Whether it’s a hard or inflatable model, the paddleboard weighs a considerable amount, sometimes making it a challenge to get to the water.

Whether you need to carry it from the trail to the beach or from the parking lot to the water, paddleboard carrying straps or a paddleboard carry bag come in handy to get it from point A to point B solo without having to carry it at arm’s length. These paddleboard carrying accessories are also handy if you live in the city and can access a body of water by public transportation, for example.

There are also carts on wheels, primarily designed for kayaks, but which can accommodate a paddleboard. They allow you to put a small watercraft on them and pull it along paved roads, gravel paths or the beach while you walk.

Explore the different models from brands like SAIL, Sea to Summit or Malone.

3. Watersport clothing or swimwear

Wondering what to wear for a paddleboarding session? First of all, it is important to adapt your outfit to the season and weather.

In summer

If it’s hot and sunny, you can wear quick-drying shorts or a tight-fitting swimsuit.

A rashguard isn’t an absolute necessity, but it does help protect your chest, arms, and back from the sun on cloudy and sunny days, as well as from the wind if it’s chillier.

Complete your ensemble with a hat or cap to protect your head from the sun, and grab yourself a pair of polarized sunglasses.

In fall

Watersport clothing, such as wet suits, are ideal for chilly days. They are generally made from stretchy synthetic materials (neoprene, nylon, etc.) that protect your skin from the cold while keeping the heat inside.

A drysuit which is completely waterproof, and isn’t as suitable for paddleboarding, as it is stiffer and offers less freedom of movement.

4. Water shoes

Water shoes

You can go barefoot when paddleboarding. However, if you have to make several stops and walk in the water, on rocks or in the sand, you may want the comfort of water shoes.

Choose a pair that is soft enough to feel the board under your feet and stay balanced.

5. A pump


If you have a hard paddle board, you will not need a pump.

If you have an inflatable paddleboard, a manual pump probably comes with the board. Inflating the board requires some strength and endurance, and it takes about 15 minutes to get the board fully inflated.

Alternatively, you can get an electric pump to inflate your watercraft.

The advantage of the electric pump is that it inflates boards faster and has greater deflation power once you are finished on the water. The downside is that you must have access to a power outlet.

If your choice between an inflatable or rigid paddle board is not yet certain, read our article to make an informed choice.

SUP accessories to use during your outing

6. Personal flotation device (PFD)

Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) ensures safe navigation from the moment you step on a paddleboard, until the day’s end.

Transport Canada requires you to carry a PFD on any small watercraft, even a paddleboard. You must also carry an audible signaling device such as a whistle and a waterproof flashlight, which is very useful if you go out on the water before sunrise or after sunset. You are not required to carry a bailer, anchor or fire extinguisher.

7. Paddles


A paddle can change your entire paddling experience, whether you’re more into leisurely or long rides.

Consider these criteria to choose the right paddle model:

  • Adjustability: so that you can adjust it to the right size in a quick and easy way. To determine the right length of paddle, place it on the ground in a vertical position, and raise your arm. The handle of the paddle should be in the palm of your hand. The adjustable paddle should be lockable so that the length does not change during the trip.
  • Weight: the paddle must not be too heavy, otherwise you may become more tired than necessary.
  • Performance: the paddle blade must be teardrop-shaped to allow for good water cutting and powerful strokes without too much effort.
  • Robust design and materials: aluminum is light and inexpensive, composite is moderately expensive and a bit stiffer, while carbon is stiff, powerful, but more expensive.
  • Telescoping storage: convenient if you have to carry it around

Check out paddles from SAIL, Aqua Bound, or Carlisle, depending on your needs.
If you want to simply float on the water, on a river for example, attach your paddle securely so as not to lose it.

8. A portable seat

Those with bad backs will want to bring along a lightweight, waterproof, freestanding portable seat. This allows you to support your back while sitting on the board.

If you plan to paddle board fish, you may also want to make a few strokes without having to hold your line at the same time, so consider adding a rod holder to your board.

9. Dry bag

Dry bag

Avoid losing your phone, keys or other important personal items by slipping them into a waterproof bag, also known as a dry bag.

You can even attach a small float if you want to make sure it floats. You can also hold your camera with a floating strap.

10. Leash


The majority of inflatable paddleboard sets include a strap, or leash.

This accessory is just the thing for beginners and those who paddle board surf. It allows you to attach to your board and be able to hold on and get back on easily if you ever fall in the water.

Simply attach it to your ankle (the foot you tend to keep back) or your calf, especially if you paddle very fast.

11. A small cooler

If you’re going on a long ride, you’ll want to bring a lunch, soft drinks and snacks in a small, lightweight, compact cooler that can float.

If you’re landing to refuel, an anchor is a nice tool to carry around to keep your board stationary on the water without having to go to shore.

12. Airtight first aid kit

first aid kit

Don’t leave without a small, airtight first aid kit that includes the essentials: bandages, tweezers to remove splinters and ticks, antiseptic wipes, tape, insect bite gel wipes, etc.

Slip in a tube of broad-spectrum sunscreen so you can apply it immediately after immersing yourself in water or every two hours of sun exposure.

Accessories for taking care of your paddleboard once back at shore

13. UV ray protector

UV Protector

Protect your paddleboard from the sun to prolong its life. A few times a season, spray it with a UV protector, according to the recommendations on the bottle.

14. Inflatable SUP repair kit

If your inflatable paddleboard has a hole in it, repair it with vinyl glue and hole plugs.

15. Storage rack

Rack support

Once the season is over, you will need to store your SUP indoors, in its storage bag for an inflatable board and on wall hooks for a hard board.

Be sure to store your paddleboard in a dark, dry room. Leaving it outside or in the shed is not appropriate, as moisture, sun and cold could damage the board.

Pro tips and safety advice

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