Paddle Boarding: Board Set Up

Treading water while looking at my overturned paddle board was not fun. Seeing everything on my board immersed in the water was a surprise and my next thoughts were of my keys and phone. Then I was wondering how on earth I was going to flip my heavy board from the water.

It was a perfect Tennessee summer day in early July when my friend and I set out. As we paddles out, we stayed between the main channel and the shoreline to avoid the boat traffic. As group of guys on skidoos went by us, on guy cut into our lane and made a sharp turn the created the wave that tossed me and flipped my board.  The good news is he came over to help flip the board and to apologize. The best news is that I did not lose a single item or have any water damage to things with batteries.

My boards are inflatable so I do all I can to protect them during inflation, deflation and one the water. I use a tarp for the boards to rest on during inflation and deflation. For inflation I have an electric pump to get the process started. When the board’s valve cuts off the electric pump to prevent over-filling, I finish inflating with the pump that came with the board. Two of my three boards require the pump they came with. When delating, I use a towel to clean and dry the boards as I roll them up for transport.

Paddle boards are required to carry a life vest and whistle. I put both of these under the front bungies. When I paddle alone, I wear my whistle around my neck and an inflatable belt around my waist.

To keep my phone from overheating, I keep it in a phoozy and I put both inside of a waterproof bag. I connect the bag to the front bungees for easy access and phone security. I keep my keys, drivers licenses and money in waterproof box that I connect with to the front with a carabiner.

Paddle boarding is work, so lunch, electrolytes, snacks and sunscreen are a must. I keep these items in the cooler on the back of my board. The cooler is secured with two bungee cords that crisscross over the top and are secured to the bungee rings.  I secure the strap with a carabiner.  I check to ensure that my ankle leash is free from the cooler bungees.  I prefer coil leashes.

Tennessee lakes are rocky, so to protect my feet getting in and out of the water and to hike on the islands, I take my Chacos with me. I secure them under the back bungees.

As I wear glasses, I have them on a strap so that I do not lose them should I take a spill.

All of my water clothing is from Land’s End. I really like their board shorts and swim skirts. I always wear one of their rash guards for added sun protection. I do wear sunscreen under the shirt. Other items that I have mentioned came from Amazon or REI. My two large boards are a SOL and Isle, which I purchased directly from the company. I highly recommend both. I personally use the SOL the most. The Slingshot board is carried by several places on line. This is a fun board in that it is lighter than the two touring boards which makes it fast and less stable. This one is a work out. This board quickly becomes no fun when the lake becomes choppy or has waves.

I usually take extra bungee cords out with me so that we can connect the boards if we eat lunch on the water. I also take a long, straight (not coiled) leash with along in case we need to tow a board. This has happened a couple of time with the Slingshot when the water got rough.

Knowing how to flip a board or get an injured person out of the water and onto a board is good to know. This video makes it look easy:

11 thoughts on “Paddle Boarding: Board Set Up

  1. leelah saachi says:

    My God – but what do you do if all that luggage has been turned under the board and you cannot turn it around? you very brave person you –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Art of the Beat says:

    That looks like so much fun and so peaceful. I love water sports as they are less scary, even though I can’t imagine how anxious I would get if I tipped over in one. That Tennessee landscape is also gorgeous. I will add that state to my list of places I want to visit.
    I have taken surfing classes (never did stand up)and they also had classes for SUPs. I would like to try it, but maybe not in the ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    I’ve wondered about the how-tos of paddle boarding so thanks for explaining. I see people kayaking around here, but an inflatable paddle board seems more practical to me. Floating on the water looks so peaceful to me, but obviously there’s more to it than just floating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kathy says:

    We used to paddle board around our little cottage lake (downstate Michigan) but never did it seriously, just messing around. Yours is the second story this morning I’ve heard of flipping a watercraft–our son flipped his kayak while hiking in the Adirondacks this week. Thankfully everything was in a waterproof container and wasn’t lost.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Debbie says:

    Wow, who knew paddle boarding required so many additional items? Not me, for sure, as I’ve never been on one! Thanks for showing me what I’m missing, Sarah.


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