Stand Up Paddle Boards: Needed Equipment

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Paddle boards

By Theresa Hanson | SCHEELS Water Sports Expert

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) offers something for everyone and every ability. Not only does it offer a relaxing way to play and have adventures on the water, but it also delivers a full body workout – especially one you can feel in your core.


Picking the right paddle comes down to choosing a paddle that is comfortable, light enough for you to use all day and strong enough to handle any water conditions you come across. There are a few different materials being used.

The length of the paddle is the most crucial part of picking out a paddle. A paddle that is too long will tire your arms as you hold them up too high. A paddle that is too short will stress your back as you bend forward to reach the water. The great thing is paddles are adjustable so a variety of people can use the same paddle. The easiest way to size up your paddle is to raise your arm above your head. The top of the paddle should come to just above your wrist, so that when you bend your hand down you are able to touch the top of the handle on the paddle.

Carbon: It is the lightest and strongest material used in paddles. A lightweight paddle will cause less arm fatigue. If you spend a large amount of time on the water, the weight savings of carbon fiber may be well worth the extra cost.

Fiberglass: Used for both shafts and blades. Fiberglass is stiff, light and provides a great balance between value and performance. Check out our SCHEELS Radar Paddles!

Aluminum: An economical material used for the shafts, aluminum is inexpensive but does have the disadvantage of being slightly heavier and cold to the touch. If you typically get cold easily or are sensitive to the cold, this would not be ideal.

Plastic: Also an economical material, plastic is molded into blades and grips. It is affordable but heavier than other materials.

stand up paddle boards: needed equipment

Wood: Typically just the blade is made from wood. Not only is it a lightweight paddle, but is also very beautiful to look at!

stand up paddle boards: needed accessories

Life Jackets

The Coast Guard classifies SUPs as vessels, so PFDs or life vests are required. To lessen the bulk, check out the inflatable waist belts we carry. These are more comfortable and will not restrict movement. Best of all, they do not create tan lines!


These are a must, especially in larger bodies of water. It’s also a great way to connect yourself to the board in case you fall off; therefore you’re not swimming after your board if it’s windy or has lots of water movement. Some states do require paddle leashes, so check your local DNR regulations.

SUP has become very popular in recent years. All you need to do is stand and paddle away. Don’t be afraid to try, anyone can do it! The best part is you can take your children and dogs with on your next adventure.


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