So, you’ve finally done it. You’ve just purchased your first paddle board from Rock and Mountain. It’s an exhilarating feeling, isn’t it? But wait! Before you dash off to the nearest body of water, let’s make sure you’ve got all the essential paddle board accessories to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable time out on the water.
1. Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
Safety first, fun second, always! This is the golden rule for any water sports. A PFD is a non-negotiable accessory for paddle boarding. If you’re wondering why, let me remind you that falling into the water is an inherent part of paddle boarding, and your PFD will keep you afloat should you find yourself in the drink.
When it comes to paddleboarding, your PFD is not just an accessory, it’s a non-negotiable essential. Here’s a deep dive into why this often overlooked piece of gear is so crucial in paddleboarding.
Safety First, Always
Paddleboarding is an adventurous and invigorating sport, but like all water sports, it comes with inherent risks. Falling off your board is not just a possibility; it’s a part of the paddleboarding experience. In these situations, a PFD can make the difference between a minor tumble and a dangerous situation.
Understanding Different Types of PFDs
Not all PFDs are made equal, and the right one for you depends on the type of paddleboarding you’ll be doing.
- Type I PFDs: These are offshore life jackets designed for rough waters. They provide the most buoyancy and are designed to turn most unconscious wearers face up in the water.
- Type II PFDs: Known as near-shore buoyant vests, they’re suitable for calm, inland waters or where there’s a good chance of quick rescue.
- Type III PFDs: Often referred to as flotation aids, these are suitable for conscious users in calm, inland waters. They’re popular for paddle sports due to their comfort and freedom of movement.
- Type IV PFDs: These aren’t wearable but are designed to be thrown to a person in the water (think life rings and buoyant cushions).
- Type V PFDs: These are special-use devices, designed for specific activities like windsurfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding. They must be worn to count as a PFD.
For paddleboarding, a Type V PFD is often the best choice, as they’re designed with paddle sports in mind. They’re comfortable, allow for a good range of movement, and provide suitable buoyancy.
Convenience and Comfort
Modern PFDs are designed to be comfortable and non-intrusive. Some even come in belt or backpack form, allowing you to move freely while keeping your safety device on hand.
Remember, a PFD isn’t helpful if it’s tucked away in a bag on your board. It needs to be on your person to be effective in an emergency.
In conclusion, a PFD is an essential accessory for paddleboarding. It ensures your safety, meets legal requirements, and can provide peace of mind while you’re enjoying your time out on the water. So before you paddle out, make sure you’ve got your trusty PFD at your side. Your safety depends on it.
2. The Right Paddle
The paddle is, of course, integral to paddle boarding. It’s literally in the name! When choosing a paddle, remember it needs to be the right size for you. Too short and you’ll struggle with balance, too long and you’ll exhaust yourself trying to paddle. Finding your Goldilocks paddle is a vital step towards paddle boarding joy.
Paddleboard paddles, much like their name suggests, play a critical role in the sport of paddleboarding. Acting as your motor, steering wheel, and brake, they allow you to navigate the water, maintain balance, and control your board.
Key Features of Paddleboard Paddles
Paddleboard paddles typically consist of three parts: the handle, the shaft, and the blade. The handle is the part you grip, the shaft connects the handle to the blade, and the blade is the part that pushes against the water to propel you forward.
One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing a paddle is its length. A rule of thumb is that your paddle should be 6 to 8 inches taller than you. This length allows for comfortable and effective paddling without causing excessive fatigue.
Paddleboard paddles come in various materials, each offering different advantages. For example, plastic blades are durable and inexpensive, but they can be heavy. Fibreglass offers a balance between weight and durability, while carbon fibre paddles are light and stiff, offering excellent performance but at a higher cost.
Many paddles feature an adjustable length, allowing you to fine-tune the size based on your height and the type of paddling you’re doing. This feature can be particularly useful for beginners still finding their comfort zone or for families with multiple paddlers of different heights.
Blade Size and Shape
Blade size and shape can affect the paddle’s performance. A larger blade will displace more water and generate more power, suitable for larger paddlers or those looking for speed. On the other hand, smaller blades offer less resistance, making them easier on the arms and ideal for long paddling sessions.
In conclusion, paddleboard paddles are an essential part of your paddleboarding equipment. When choosing a paddle, consider factors such as your height, strength, paddling style, and the type of water you’ll be in. By selecting the right paddle, you’ll enhance your paddleboarding experience, ensuring you get the most out of this enjoyable water sport.
3. A Trusty Leash
Now, let’s talk about the leash. While it might seem like just a cord, it’s actually your lifeline to your board. If you tumble off your board (and believe me, you will), your leash will ensure that your board doesn’t drift off into the sunset without you.
4. Board Bag for Storage and Protection
Got yourself a shiny new board? Great! Now you need to take care of it. A good board bag will not only make it easier to transport your paddle board but will also protect it from unnecessary damage and the elements when not in use.
5. Appropriate Water-Wear
Whether it’s a wetsuit, a rash guard, or a trusty swimsuit, what you wear in the water matters. The rule of thumb is always to dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Cold water can be a shock to the system, so make sure you’re suitably attired.
In conclusion, paddle boarding isn’t just about the board. It’s also about all the little extras that enhance your experience, from safety devices to proper attire. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, you’re all set to ride the waves!