14 Must-Have Paddle Board Accessories and How To Use Them

Stand-up Paddleboarding, or SUP, is one of the world’s most popular water sports. You can get out on the water with easy to learn basic skills and equipment, enjoy the outdoors and get a full-body workout. Paddleboarding takes some practice, but once you learn the tips and tricks, you will be hooked. 

No matter what you use your paddleboard for, you can find an accessory that fits your needs. Paddleboards are used in many different activities, from whitewater and surfing to floating, fishing and yoga. 

(Source: Active Weekender, Gili Sports,)

14 Paddleboard Accessories

Once you have a paddleboard, you will want to make it work best for the activities you will use it for. These accessories can help you do that by enhancing paddleboards’ features and allowing you more room to carry supplies to create an even greater time of fun. 

If you don’t yet have a paddle board, read 9 Best Paddle Boards for Women, Are Cheaper Paddle Boards Worth It or our iRocker and Bluefin posts.

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The great thing about many of these items is that you can buy universal options instead of searching for ones specific to your brand of board.

ItemLink to Buy
Personal Flotation DeviceMad Dog Products Inflatable Belt Pack
Kayak KitPelican Boats SUP Seat
Electric PumpOutdoor Master Shark
SUP LeashWOOWAVE SUP Leash 11 Foot
Anchor KitAirhead Kayak Anchor
Waterproof Phone CaseJOTO Universal Waterproof Pouch
Carrying StrapsOcean Broad Carry Straps
Waterproof Waist Bag2-pack Waterproof Waist Pouch
Dry PouchAcrodo Floating Waterproof Bag
Hard board Rigging KitHeavy Duty Deck Rigging Kit
Deck Cooler BagSUP Deck Cooler Bag
Waterproof Floating SpeakerAltec Lansing Bluetooth Floating Speaker
Waterbottle with FilterLifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles
RashguardsUnisex Rashguards

Personal Flotation Device Belt (PFD)

You always need PFD when you are participating in any kind of water sport. The issue most people have is how unflattering most PFD looks. While you have a large variety of styles and colors in regular life jackets, you also have the option of a PFD Belt. That is going to give you the same protection without looking unflattering or getting in your way. 

You will use your PFD Belt for the same reason you would use a life jacket. It exists to help you stay above water in the event of an aquatic emergency. It uses air to keep your upper body above the water line so you can still keep breathing, and in many cases, it makes it easier to swim to safety since you do not need to work so hard at keeping your head out of the water. 

How do You Use It?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have fallen into the water and need help with your head staying above water so you can swim or tread water better, you would use your PFD Belt. You are instructed to wear the belt forward-facing on your belly so you can effectively reach everything, and it keeps you above water properly. 

Once you have fallen, you work as fast as you can to grab the handle coming out of the front of your belt. That is attached to a CO2 tube inside that will inflate the belt, this will turn into a full-body PFD. After it fully inflates, you need to slip it over your head and tie the strings attached to the neckpiece to keep it from slipping off your shoulders or head. 

Kayak Kit

That is a great idea for those who like kayaking and paddleboarding, or maybe planning an especially long paddler boarding trek. That will give you the ability to sit down and have something to rest your back on. 

That is used for the paddleboard, to turn it into a functional kayak without switching to one. That can be great for longer trips, or those who a newer to paddle boarding and don’t quite have it down yet. 

How do You Use It?

You can find many kits online, many that are universal in installation. You can choose between a back band that only gives lumbar support for you to sit with or a full-on padded seat that will allow you to lean back and relax. Installing your kayak kit is pretty easy when you follow the manufactures instructions. The most difficult part if finding a level, smooth part of your SUP so that the seat sits level and correctly. 

It is also recommended that you buy a breakdown kayak paddle, so you don’t have anything cumbersome to hold or carry while trying to use your SUP.

Electric Inflation Pump

Let’s face it, manually inflating your board takes time. I certainly need the exercise, but we have two iSUPs with us most of the time. Often, we just want to get going. The Outdoor Master Shark can handle up to 3 boards without taking a break. This is the pump I bought, and it works very well.

If you only need a single board inflated, the SereneLife Compressor is my alternate pick in this category.

How Do You Use It?

The Shark comes with multiple adapters for more than just iSUP inflation. For paddle boards, you use the connector as always. Once connected, you set the desired pressure on the gauge, turn on the pump and wait. Check out my 6 tips for iSUP inflation and Carlo’s post on using an electric portable pump.

SUP Leash

If you are paddleboarding in any water that is moving, you will need a leash. This would allow you to keep control of your paddleboard safely if you were to fall off. 

How Do You Use It?

You attach the leash to your board and your arm at the two ends. You will have enough room to still actively paddle and move around without it affecting your range of motion. If you fall off your board, you will stay connected to your board, and it will still be connected to you! This way, you won’t lose your board, and it will be easier to get back on your board. 

Replacement Fin

On your SUP, you will have 1-3 fins on the underneath. These fins will help you track straighter when boarding so you are not turning back and forth each time you paddle. 

How Do You Use It?

You will want to keep an extra fin, or three, on your board at all times. If you break or damage a fin while paddling down a river, you will have a harder time getting to where you need. If you have extra fins, you can replace the damaged one so you can continue your adventure without any issues. 

Anchor Kit

If you have a paddleboard, you need an anchor! While you are paddleboarding down a river or lake, you may come across somewhere you would like to stop and sit for a while. You would want to stay in one place for a few reasons, some of those being:

● Doing yoga on SUP

● Fishing

● Grabbing lunch in the middle of the lake

● Sitting together with friends to eat lunch

● Sunbathing on your SUP

● Needing to take a break for any reason

This is why you need an anchor kit. This will allow your board to stay in one place without you having to paddle or have someone hold on to it. 

How Do You Use it?

An anchor kit will be fairly lightweight and easily carried on your SUP. Anchor kits just come with rings on them so they can be attached to your board. They also have long, brightly colored ropes, so they are easily seen, and these can be bought in any length you need, the most common being anywhere from 14ft-32ft long. The longer the cable, the more chance you have of hitting the bottom of the waterbed, but you also have a greater chance of moving around with the extra. 

Once you throw the anchor in the water, the tongs at the bottom will get hung on, or grasp to any rocks, dirt, or anything else it finds to hold. These tongs are what keeps yours from moving around while you are on your SUP. Once you want to move again, simply pull up your anchor and wind up the rope. From there, you can store your anchor and begin moving again. 

Waterproof Phone Case

The greatest fear of anyone with a phone is most likely dropping it in some form of water. When you are paddleboarding, that is the only place you can drop it, and without a waterproof case, your phone will no longer be useable if you can retrieve it. If you don’t have a waterproof case on your phone, you could risk damaging the only item you have that can help you call for help in case of an emergency. 

How Do You Use It?

Find a waterproof case that you like, put it on your phone, and don’t take it off around water. It is recommended that you always put together the waterproof case without your phone and test it in water before trusting your phone. After the test, if there is water inside the case, your phone will not be safe. Now, there are a few key optional features you can find for waterproof phone cases that will heighten your experience when you use it, they are:

● Anti-glare screen

● Adjustable arm-band

● Free-floating hand grip

● Attachable floats to keep your phone from sinking

These optional features can make your SUP experience much better when you use your phone, or if you were to accidentally drop it. 

Paddle Board Carrying Straps

Carrying a SUP is usually an awkward and rough time, especially if you have to carry it a long distance. Having carrying straps will help you distribute the weight more evenly and allow you to use your shoulders to help carry, instead of just using your hands. This can significantly help those who need to carry other things to the water or those who are not the strongest. 

How Do You Use It?

Using carrying straps is easy, even if you’ve never seen them before. You wimpy attach ethe D-rings to your board, adjust everything to fit your height preference, and put the straps on. Then you can begin carrying your paddleboard hands-free. 

Waterproof Waist Pouch

You will want to carry a few things on your person when you are paddle boarding. Out of safety, you probably would want to carry things like:

● Map

● Compass

● Flashlight

● Phone

● Bandaids

● A protein bar or small snack

How Do You Use It?

This is a pouch that will keep your things dry that you wear on your waist. This will allow you to easily reach things or still maintain a few items that can help you in case you were to lose your board with your other supplies on them. You can wear it on the front of your waist for easy to reach use, or you can turn it onto your back, so it is not in your way, but it will still be accessible. 

Dry Bag

A dry bag can be an extremely beneficial product when you spend a good amount of time on the water. You will ultimately want to carry supplies with you, and some of those are not waterproof. With this dry bag, you can put anything you want in it, and no matter where you put it, everything inside will stay safe and dry. This can save you from having soaking wet or lost items that could be crucial to an emergency, or it could simply save some items from becoming damaged by an accidental splashing. 

How Do You Use It?

It is recommended to put all of your softer things at the bottom of your dry bag to keep everything padded if you drop it on a hard surface. Once you pack everything else in your bag that you want to keep dry, you can use whatever means you have to attach your bag safely to your board. Now you have everything you need to carry with you in a bag that will keep it dry in case of your board flipping over. 

Rigging Kit

A rigging kit is a set of connected bungees that are somehow connected to your paddleboard that allow you to hold extra items and supplies on top of your board. 

This helps keep things from falling into the water, even the smallest or slickest of things. 

You can use it for anything you need to take with you on a paddleboard trip. You can use the same rigging kit to carry multiple items at one time, som examples of things it can carry are:

● Emergency Supplies

● Extra PFD

● Coolers

● Lunch packs

● Extra Fins or paddles

● Clothes

● Wet Bags

How Do You Use It?

You can buy kits anywhere that specifically fit your board, or you can buy universal kits that adjust to fit any kind of board. The Universal kits are great if you have multiple boards, several of them are even detachable so you can place and remove them whenever you want. 

Once you buy your kit, you will install it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. From there, you simply place your items under the bungees and take off. No matter how small your collection of supplies is, your bungees can adjust to fit a wide range of things. 

Deck Cooler Bags

Whether you are taking lunch or trying to keep your water from becoming hot in the sun, a cooler bag will be a very useful tool. When you want to take an all-day adventure, you need to stay well hydrated and make sure you have plenty of snacks for your energy. The deck cooler bag can keep all of this safe, and at a great cold temperature so it is ready when you are. 

How Do You Use It?

You can simply attach the cooler bag to your board using the rings it comes with or using bungees. Either way, your cooler bag will do its job of keeping everything cool. Before you leave for your trip, pack the bag with all of the snacks and water you want to take for the day, if they are not cold, put a few ice-packs in there and when you are ready for a drink, everything will be cold. 

It is recommended that if it will be in direct sunlight, to pack it with a few more ice packs to ensure your stuff stays cold as long as you need it to. 

Waterproof Floating Speaker

Whether you are paddleboarding by yourself, or with a group of friends, music is always a must-have for any fun adventure. You can attach the speaker to your board while you are paddling and listen to music down the river, or you can wait until you reach your intended spot and start the music then!

How Do You Use It?

You can connect the speaker with your phone using Bluetooth. Then you can play music through the speaker by being able to choose songs on your phone. You can throw the speaker in the water so all your friends can hear, with no fear of damaging the sound or connection quality. 

Water Bottle with Filter

If you were to run out of drinking water and become dehydrated, you couldn’t just drink any freshwater that was nearby. When you are going anywhere, that will be away from civilization, or somewhere that is not regularly visited by other people, running out of water can become a major problem. If you were to drink freshwater form a river or lake, you would become very ill with the number of microorganisms and bacteria that are present in the water.

So, this is why you would be wise to carry a bottle with you, that could filter all of those things out. It would save you in emergencies where water is needed, and you have none that is safe to drink. 

How Do You Use It?

Simply buy a bottle that can turn fresh water into clean drinking water. Fill up the bottle with whatever water source you have nearby, and drink. The water will make pas through the filter before it goes into the straw, therefore removing all toxins before you consume it. It is important to change the filter regularly. Otherwise, the water will not be able to be filtered as much as it needs to be. 

Rashguard with SPF

Not only will rashguards protect your skin from rashes you can get when your skin brushes up against boards, sand, and dirt, but you can also buy them made with SPF to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. This is a lifesaver when it comes to SUP because you won’t have to stop as often to reapply sunscreen, or if you do, you won’t have to apply it to your entire body, which will save time and effort. 

No matter what patters or colors you like, you are sure to find something you will enjoy wearing. There are several options to choose from in terms of coverage, those being:

● Short-sleeve t-shirt style

● Long-sleeve shirt style

● One-piece bodysuit style

● One-piece full body suit style

What you choose all depends on what kind of coverage you are looking for. 

How Do You Use It?

You would use rashguards just like a shirt, or full-body outfit, except, you will also use these in place of sunscreen. Instead of putting sunscreen on your chest, arms, and legs (if you go with the full-body option), then you can focus on the areas that are exposed, and the shirt will take care of the rest. 

(Source: Active Weekender, Gili SportsTravel ChannelMen’s Journal)

Accessory Tips

Even if you spend every single weekend paddleboarding, buying an accessory before trying it out may not be the best idea. Accessories always look easy and really nice to have, but sometimes they can be more hassle for different people than help. It is always good to do your research before buying, and here are some tips to help you in the accessory buying process. 

Prioritize Safety Over Fun

When trying to figure out which accessories to buy first, it is important o make sure you have all of the safety and emergency items you may need. If you are not covered in an emergency, your Bluetooth speaker or really cool carrying straps won’t be of much use. 

Research Brands for Quality

Certain brands will advertise as the best, or the most popular, but that will not mean that their quality is the highest. If you are trusting a product and spending money on it, you will want to make sure you do your research and double-check that it is the quality you deserve for the money you will spend. 

Paddle-Boarding Safety Tips

No matter what accessories you buy, nothing can replace the safety of just knowing how to handle emergent situations, should they arise. One thing you can never get on your paddleboard and leave without is the knowledge of safety. Here are a few tips to keep you safe and prepared in case of an emergency. 

● Always let someone know where you are going and what route you are planning to take

● Keep your location on your phone in case you get lost. This will make it easier to find you

● Wear a leash when possible, but stay away from extreme rushing water

● Always wear your PFD, even if you are a good swimmer

● Be aware of the local weather at all times. On the water, things can change quickly

● Watch for motorized boat traffic and the waves they cause, be aware of surroundings

  • Know the rules and regulations for paddleboarding wherever you go. Sometimes places will restrict the places small boats, kayaks and paddleboards can go due to safety concerns

(Source: Paddling)

Final Thoughts 

Accessories for your SUP can greatly improve your user experience and heighten your enjoyment. While it is recommended to prioritize safety over fun, you want to make sure your accessories can help you have fun too. Research before you buy so you don’t waste money or modify your board into something you don’t want. 


Tim Conner, M.D.

Tim Conner, M.D. started boating in 1974. He has been involved in recreational boating continuously since then. Dr. Conner has been active in boating and watersports safety education for decades. He rode his first jet ski in 1997, and rejoined the personal watercraft arena in 2012 with a Sea-Doo GTX 155, followed by 2 supercharged SeaDoos. Scuba certification came in 1988, and he and the family have traveled the world snorkeling and scuba diving for decades. The family has recently taken up paddle boarding. Click the photo for a lot more.

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