SUP for most paddlers goes off without a hitch. But every now and then there are those niggly equipment malfunctions or situations requiring your ‘hacks’ to put things right. Out afloat, or on land before and after launching, it’s worth keeping a bunch of essential tools close to hand for when required. The following are suggestions of what these might be.
Inflatable SUP repair kit.
All inflatable stand up paddle boards come with a repair kit. (Or at least they should!). Inside the tube you’ll find PVC patches, glue and a valve wrench. In the event of a hole in your inflatable, these patches can be used to seal the hole. Therefore the repair kit is worth keeping with you at all times. Close to hand if not actually onboard.
The issue with inflatable SUP repair kits is time. It takes time to actually have the repair become watertight. The glue takes a while to actually go off and set. No problem if you do have the hours but a lot of paddlers mightn’t. Still, better to be safe than sorry and keep the repair paraphernalia with you.
Tape: Gaffer tape, Duct tape and electrical tape.
All kinds of tape have been used in some way, shape or form to bodge repairs as an when. We’ve featured electrical tape in SUP hacks before. There’re a multitude of uses for all types of tape as quick fix solutions. Tape can be used for repairing your iSUP (if you’re not able to patch up using the repair kit – see above).
Hard shell stand up paddle boards are also good for some tape fix ups. Dinging your board can see the need for good old Duct tape to be employed. It’ll keep the session going and hold off water until you can get back to dry land.
Anyone who owns a hard stand up paddle board should definitely have some DIng Stick in their essential items box. Coming in the form of an epoxy putty, you mash it together to induce the setting process. It’s then a case of molding and kneading to the hole or ding on your board.
Ding Stick repairs never look pretty but they’re a fast solution as the putty hardens pretty quickly. Upon landing it’s worth further inspecting your SUP’s damage and getting it professionally sorted.
As with all these ‘bits’ there’s a multitude of different applications they can be used for in relation to SUP. Super glue can be a Godsend for repairs. And not just boards and paddles either. We’ve been known to fix sunglasses after a breakage which has greatly increased our SUP comfort on bright days.
We’ve also used super glue for fin sort outs until arriving back at base and replacing.
A quality screwdriver set and pliers.
A quality screwdriver set that has anti-corrosive properties will be worth its weight in gold when out for a paddle. The same with pliers! All too often we see SUPers scrabbling round for wrenches to kelp unscrew fin bolts and such. Pliers can be essential if you need additional grip when sorting your kit. Particularly needle nose pliers.
Take it from us. Don’t get caught out by not have these items close to hand.
By rope we’re not talking yards of the stuff, but enough that could be used to tow another stand up paddle boarder if needed. That’s one use for such an item. But there are plenty more. And just because it floats doesn’t mean it can’t be used on land. Having it as a floaty type, however, increases its usefulness next to water though.
We’ve used rope to lash SUP boards to a car roof have lost the ratchet straps!
Marine tool (with a serrated knife).
A quality marine tool – a little bit like a Leatherman, but for use next to and in water – is worth carrying. If it has a serrated knife blade then great. Having the ability to cut through things quickly can be a good idea. We’ve experienced the need for sawing rope fast to avoid injury and a potential emergency situation escalating.
With any sharp implement just be careful. Water can make items like slippery and we don’t want anyone slicing their fingers off!
Waterproof SUP dry bags.
Having a means of keeping all the above moisture free is important. Particularly when talking about screwdrivers and pliers for instance. Quality drybags will keep water away from dry kit and wet gear away from kit that you don’t want sodden. They can also be tied onto your board for easy transport whilst SUPing.
McConks 10litre dry bag
McConks 20litre dry bag
You can put also sorts of equipment into drybags. The smaller types, that you wear around your neck, can be used to stow away a mobile phone. Which is a good SUP safety point!
Being prepared is the best course of action with anything in life. These items are just some of what we’d suggest you keep in your SUP box. You may have others though. If so, let us know what.