Top 9 SUP Essentials to Bring on Your Beach Adventure in 2024

As a beginner sport, nothing is attracting more people than to stand up paddleboarding. And it’s not hard to see why. This tranquil water sport is a wonderful workout, and it boasts a number of physical and mental health benefits. If you’re thinking of having a go, you’ll need to get some equipment before you start. Whether you rent or buy, it is up to you!

Whatever you decide, let us help you out. In this post, we’ll take a look at 9 essential bits of kit from GiliSports that you need to stand up paddleboarding at the beach. Let’s take a closer look!

Stand up Paddle Board


The first of two things that you’ll need for stand up paddleboarding is fairly obvious. You’re certainly not going to get very far without aboard. Just picking any board isn’t going to work for SUP though – you’ll need to think a little about what you’re going to use the board for. Inflatable SUPs or all-around paddleboards are great for beginners who want to ease themselves into the sport. Inflatables are especially easy to transport.

Other types of paddleboard include yoga paddleboards, fishing paddleboards, and surf paddleboards. These purpose-built boards are set up specifically for the activity that you do on them. Your final option is a touring paddleboard – which is design for quick and efficient paddleboarding. These are the most commonly used during competitions.

SUP Paddle


Once you’ve got your paddleboard sorted, the next thing you’ll need is the paddle. Like the board, you can’t just get any old paddle and hope for the best. You need to pick one that is best suited to your body type and levels of experience and performance.

Paddles should be taller than you are but buy one that’s height-adjustable and that won’t be a problem. SUP paddles come in a range of different materials and what you choose will depend on your usage and budget. The cheapest and heaviest paddles are aluminum, while fiberglass or carbon fiber paddles are lighter but will set you back more money.

Personal Floatation Device


A personal floatation device is an absolute essential when it comes to standing up paddleboarding. In some places, paddleboards are considered water vessels, so you need to have a PFD as a legal requirement. While that may seem intimidating, it’s not a big deal. PFDs will keep you afloat should you fall into the water. Many beach trips won’t necessarily need a PFD as you’ll be in shallow waters, but it’s good practice to put it on as you gear up to longer paddling sessions.

SUP Leash


A leash is another safety device. This one is useful if you fall off your board but in a different way. The leash goes around your ankle or calf and it’ll keep you tethered to your board – especially useful if you’re paddling in currents or waves. If you’re a surfer, you may think that you can just substitute your surf leash, but that’s not the case. SUP leashes are thicker and longer than traditional surf leashes, so if you do both sports, have a leash for each.

Waterproof Dry Bag


Now that we’ve gone through the safety essentials, let’s have a look at some cool kit that isn’t 100% necessary, but will certainly make your trip more enjoyable. First up is a waterproof dry bag. If you’re paddling from cove to cove or out to an island, you’ll want to take personal items such as your phone, wallet, perhaps a picnic and a camera. A waterproof dry bag is the best way to transport them. Acting like a backpack but made with vinyl-coated fabric, it’ll keep all of your most treasured valuables bone dry. Just make sure to have a little air in the bag in case it falls off. Visit for some detailed reviews of top backpacks on the market.

Waterproof Phone Case


Just want to take your phone stand up paddleboarding? We get it, you’ll get some great shots for the Gram. Rather than taking an entire dry bag just for your phone, look for a waterproof phone case. The best versions of these are completely watertight but still enable you to fully use your phone’s touchscreen and camera.

Electric Paddleboard Pump


You can skip to the next entry if you’ve got a hard paddle board. However, if you’ve got an iSUP, a pump is something you’ll not get very far without. While you can use a pump-action stand up paddleboard, why waste your energy before you get out onto the water? An electric paddleboard pump can plug into your car’s cigarette lighter and have your board ready in no time at all.

Snapback Hat


When you’re stand up paddle boarding, you’ll need some protection from the sun. As well as sunscreen, take a snapback hat to keep the sun off your face and the back of your neck (if you put it backward, of course). Get yourself a cool looking snapback, and you can wear it all the time. Not only when you’re stand up paddleboarding!

Floatable Sunglasses


The sun can be dangerous in so many ways when you’re paddle boarding. Not just on your skin! On a really sunny day, the rays can reflect the waves and cause you to be disorientated. However, with a pair of sunglasses, you won’t need to worry about that. Rather than picking the cheapest pair you can find, spend a little more on floatable sunglasses. You can attach them to your head with an adjustable strap, meaning it’s unlikely they’ll fall off. And even if they do, they won’t sink!


Q: What should be in your beach packing list?

A: There’s nothing worse than a suitcase full of sand. CGear has a line of products, including lounge chairs, blankets, and bags, that are “sand-free” and are must-have additions to your beach packing list. What’s Essential? No beach vacation is complete without a swimsuit.

Q: What are some fun things to take to the beach?

A: Other fun things to take to the beach include: Even when packing for the beach, don’t forget prescription medications and other items to stay healthy. You don’t want to ruin your vacation by getting sick.

Q: What are the most important beach essentials?

A: One of the most important beach essentials you can put on your list is a towel. Everyone needs a good beach towel to dry off after a swim or lay down in the sand. Monkey mats are specifically made for outdoor activities and have four weighted corners to keep the mat down and in place on the sand while in use.

Q: What to pack for a beach vacation in South Africa?

A: Buy more than one so there’s always something dry to wear, and bring them along in your carry-on. For footwear, pack flip-flops, sandals, water shoes, or canvas tennis shoes, depending on the type of beach you’re on.