Winter is almost here (December 22nd) and as the water and air starts to get colder you need to look for ways to keep you on the water and your board out of storage. We received a lot of feedback from our 10 Products Every Paddle Boarder Needs This Summer so we decided it was necessary to keep you in updated on the seasonal gear.
Similar to our Summer Guide we did research into some of the hottest products available this winter and performed our own comprehensive review. Enjoy!
#1 – Extend Your Paddle Time
Noqua Spectrum PRO SUP Lighting Kit
Cost: $399 W/ Free USA Shipping
- 7 colors and 3 modes
- Can fit on any SUP with the flexible straps.
- 2 hours to charge and less than 10 minutes to setup.
What’s the worst part about winter? The first thing that comes to mind is how short the daytime is and that results in shortened time on the water. We did in fact feature the nocqua’s in our summer guide; we had to bring them back because although they are great on a warm summer night, in the winter you don’t have to wait super late until the sun goes down.
On our recent Nocqua adventure we paddled slowly along the Sting Ray Point shore which was such a great experience. Seeing the rays was exhilarating because it seemed like they almost gravitated towards the light. Constructed out of an advanced LED durable waterproof system these lights took 2 hours to charge and less than 10 minutes to attach to the board. Fun for all ages!!
#2 – The Best of Both Worlds
SPL Water housing GP Series
- 5” Dome Port
- Fits GoPro Hero 3, Hero 3+ and Hero 4
- Easy to use design
Everyone is familiar with the over/under shot which accelerates your photography to a whole different perceptive, actually two perspectives. SPL Waterhousing is one of the strongest names in water housing’s and the craftsmanship is unrivaled.
We used the SPL 5” Dome Water housing at our photo shoot in Lake Tahoe this past year and it added a new element to our photography and product shots. Diversify your photos with the only true way to get that epic over-under/split shot. It is very user friendly and only has two buttons to control the camera mode and then one for the trigger. This housing works great if you have the LCD Screen on the back because you can setup your shots without guessing if you got it or not.
#3 – Pump Up & Paddle Out
12’6 Isle iSUP Touring
- 6 inch thick military grade drop stitch material
- Comes with a pump, paddle and mesh travel bag
- 4 stainless steel D-rings, bungee and front carry strap
Considered one of the best 12’6 inflatables, the iSUP Touring is a combination of years of refining our past touring models and adding a fresh new design. This board has gotten numerous Editor’s Choice Awards from some of the best gear review sites and has been put to the test.
What we love about this particular inflatable SUP is how it honestly performs like a normal touring board. It has a 6’’ thickness and with the pulled in nose and rounded tail it has an efficient glide and great tracking. Unlike a normal 12’6 epoxy SUP, you CAN travel with this board; it comes with a travel paddle and mesh bag which will check on all airlines so you’ll never leave your board behind.
*See how the 12’6 Touring paddled the Big Sur coast.
#4 – A Paddle that is Making Waves
- Custom SUP paddles tailored to your style and body type
- Trade blade technology – Switchable surf and racing blades
- Ergonomic handle – eliminates pressure points and blisters
You might have gotten a free paddle with the board you purchased or maybe you a quick blade if you’re looking for more performance. In either case the new company Aztek Paddles has done more research in paddle technology than both. Right now you might think that you don’t need a performance paddle but once you try Aztek you’ll want your paddle to sink to the bottom.
Even though Aztek has only been a little more than a year, chances are you’ve probably seen them at a race or on the podium. We got our hands on a couple demos that day and were amazed by the difference. In a nutshell, these paddles have Variable Flex Profile™ and that means it flexes at particular points along the shaft which maximizes your stroke using less effort. In addition to the shaft technology, all paddles have an Interchangeable TradeBlade™ that lets you swap a larger surf blade out for a sleek race blade. Educate yourself about paddle flex technology and when you’re ready Aztek will build one specific to your body’s demands.
#5 – A Portable Warm Shower
- Neoprene jacket keeps water piping hot
- Can hold 2.5 gallons
- Washable jacket
Are you still using your laundry detergent bottles to carry your water? Chances are you have your own makeshift portable shower and chances are that it doesn’t stay hot by the time you get out of the water. If that is the case then you need to invest in the Bully’s Hot Tank. This bad boy is covered in neoprene to keep your water piping hot by the time you finish with your surf or paddle.
We own the Rinsekit which is a great product but the only con is that you can’t fill it with hot water. There is nothing better than defrosting your body with a warm shower and Bully’s Tank makes it easy. It has a wide opening so you can fill it in the sink, bathtub or shower head if need be. The neoprene is the key to keeping the water warm for hours.
#6 – Safety > Style
- Ideal for anyone over 80 lbs.
- One size fits most
- Air mesh comfort pad for waist
Portable Floatation Devices (PFD’s) have received a lot of attention lately and it hasn’t been the greatest news. Even though paddle boarding is easy to pick up the basics it does involve a lot of risk to beginners as well as seasoned vets. We have had a couple members of our community fall victim to drowning and some didn’t have a pfd.
We’ve been using the Onyx PFD for over a year now and wouldn’t recommend anything else. This pfd resembles a fanny pack and could potentially save your life. There are quite a few SUP pfd’s and this is the lightest and sleekest of them. With a breathable waistband, easy to pull inflation tab and a compartment to store your keys or phone, this is the safest purchase on the list!
#7 – Natures Armor
Cost: $15 (.56 oz.) | $28 for (1.1 oz.)
- 2 sizes and 1 unique packaging
- 3 ingredients for clear | 4 ingredients for tinted
- All natural elements from the earth
Yes its winter but that doesn’t mean the sun stops shining. Off the top of your head do you know how many ingredients are in your generic sunscreen? It is an average of 20+. A brand new company out of San Diego with roots in the islands, Natty Block is only made up of 3-4 natural ingredients, built by paddlers and for paddlers.
We got our hands on some Natty and put it through the ultimate ringer, an 8 mile race in constant sunlight with zero wind. Needless to say there was a lot of sun exposure and tons of sweating! The main concern we’ve had with sunscreen is how they all sting your eyes and the non-sticking sunscreen gets all over your hands which causes a slippery paddle. That is NOT how Natty Block is; since it doesn’t have any greasy chemicals the screen stays on your face, lets your skin breath and helps the environment out as well. One of the coolest things about Natty Block other than not putting harmful chemicals on your skin or in your environment is their unique packaging which can easily slide into your pocket or purse.
*Read what other generic sunscreens are doing to our ocean habitats.
#8 – Go Topless This Winter
Cost: (8’-11’) $114.95 | (11’-12’6) $119.95
Pick up in our San Diego Showroom
- Keeps your board cool with UV protection
- Slips on in 10 seconds
- Conforms to any board shape from 8’ to 12’6
Though we do agree not everyone should go topless, we definitely think all boards Should Be Topless. Topless SUP socks are a great product this winter for multiple reasons; first, not all people paddle year long due to their local weather conditions and if you do paddle it is always great to protect your boards from minor blemishes usually caused from storage.
We put these socks to the test at the last Sunday Sunday Sunday Races in Mission Bay. We had our full lineup of the NEW Carbon 3K Race Boards and a couple black custom SUPs too. As it was a sunny 80 degree beautiful day the boards were in direct sunlight. We’ve seen boards pop in sunlight before and black boards are especially susceptible to heat. In any case, the boards were fine the entire day and actually ended up getting podium finishes. The sock is easy to put on, keeps the board cool and protected, what more do you want!
#9 – The Best Hoodie on This Planet
BLUESMITHS WindPro & Hydrophobic Shirt
Cost: $245 WindPro | $95 Shirt
- Wind and water repellent
- Added silver ions to the fabric which inhibits the growth of microorganism
- Lightweight and warm, yet highly breathable
I know you probably haven’t read this far because you saw the price tag but please listen before passing on it. These guys aren’t putting a high price tag because they want to dupe you into buying something cheap. No, Bluesmith’s makes the best clothing articles we’ve come in contact with. Driven by passion, designed with science and tested in real elements.
While El Nino was passing through we really got to test the quality of this hoodie. Just like a plant, this hoodie has a nonstick water repellent surface which allows you to walk outside during the pouring rain and walk inside with a dry hoodie. While it is light and breathable it cuts the wind which is ideal for paddles during the winter. Honestly this an all-weather light hoodie which acts like a down jacket. If you are still looking for warmth and shelter from the elements but don’t want to shell out $200+ then there is the Hydrophobic Shirt which offers the same protection. Amazing quality and the best protection there is!
*Checkout BLUESMITH’s Paddle Imua SUP race coming up in May, 2016
#10 – The Perfect SUP for Winter
Single Wing Surf SUP
Cost: $945 (Out of Stock – New Model Due In Jan 2017)
- Carbon Vector Diamond Weave
- Comes in sizes 7’8, 8’2 and 8’10
- 4 + 1 fin setup
With winter comes the winter swells and that means it’s going to get bigger and faster. You might have an all water board which works well in the surf but if you’re serious on getting serious about SUP Surfing then this board is perfect for you!
This board was a culmination of months of tweaking dimensions, trying different shapes and ultimately designing our best surfing SUP yet. With three different sizes you can be sure to find one for your skill level and the 4+1 fin setup allows you to adjust accordingly to the conditions. More fins for more grip, less fins for a looser tail.