Best SUP Accessories | 8 Must Haves for 2021

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Top Picks for Best SUP Accessories Compared

Many newcomers to the sport of stand up paddle boarding buy a board and stop there, but these are the best SUP accessories that we think every stand up paddle boarder may want to own. While paddling is always fun, each of these items will undoubtedly add to your safety and enjoyment when you’re out on the water…

In this post, we’re going to share 8 of the best paddle board accessories that you won’t want to be without in 2021. So without any further ado, let’s jump right in and check out this must-have gear…

Top Paddle Board Accessories for 2021

1. Inflatable Belt Pack PFD

MTI 16g Inflatable Belt Pack PFD

Safety on the water is important, but it’s understandable if you might not want to wear a bulky life jacket on a beautiful summer day. That’s where inflatable belt pack PFDs (personal flotation devices) are so great!

When not inflated for use, they’re a compact and comfortable belt that’s worn around your waist and stays completely out of your way. After a few minutes you’ll likely forget you even have it on.

Should you have an emergency and need it, this type of PFD easily inflates with the simple pull of a T-cord which releases a compressed gas to instantly inflate the flotation device stored in the belt pack.

A few of our current favorites:

  • MTI 16g Belt Pack Life Jacket is a minimalist design that also includes a safety whistle and a handy D-ring attachment point for securing small accessories.
  • Onyx M16 Belt Pack sold by Sea Eagle weighs only .85 pounds and is a low profile design that is well rated for its comfort.

For more PFD options, check out our review of our all-time favorite SUP PFDs.

2. Waterproof YETI SideKick Dry Pouch

YETI SideKick Dry Waterproof Pouch

YETI’s brilliant SideKick Dry is an incredibly well-designed waterproof pouch that’s super lightweight and will keep your stuff bone dry while you’re out on the water. Featuring a unique closure system that consists of a magnet-lined rubber seal and fold over velcro flap, the SideKick Dry is essentially an airtight vault that still gives you quick and easy access to your phone, keys, camera, and other small items.

This versatile pouch can also be used with the new YETI Panga Backpack and a belt pack PFD, making it an incredibly useful SUP accessory that you can use in a variety of ways. Being a YETI product, it’s built like a tank and backed by a 3-year warranty.

For additional waterproof storage options, be sure to check out our list of this year’s best dry bags.

3. NIXY Landing Mat

A SUP landing mat is essentially a beach blanket, but extra long to fit your SUP. It’s the ideal surface for packing up your paddle board at the end of the day while making sure it stays clean of sand, dirt, and debris. And the rest of the time your landing mat is a handy place for organizing any of your other inflatable, water sports, or camping gear — or simply using as a beach blanket!

Our favorite is currently the NIXY landing mat which is made of 100% ripstop nylon, packs up small in its own stuff sack, and comes in three colors. The four corner loops and included stakes keep it from blowing away in the wind or you can put weight in the corner pockets when on terrain where stakes won’t work.

Alternate: the iROCKER Board Mat is very similar if the NIXY Landing Mat is out of stock and is also available in international markets.

4. Fishing Rod Holder

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but fishing is one of the most popular activities there is to do on a paddle board. Now that many of the most popular SUPs from brands like iROCKER, THURSO, Bluefin, NIXY, GILI, and more come with action mounts, it’s easy to attach a fishing rod holder to your SUP.

GILI SUP fishing rod holder accessory

If you’re not familiar with them, action mounts are a threaded fitting (be sure yours uses the standard M8 threaded insert) that allows you to attach all kinds of accessories to your paddle board.

A fishing rod holder is easy to attach and remove and makes that SUP fishing trip that much easier!

Here are a few solid fishing rod holder choices from reputable brands. They’re all very similar, so you can choose whichever has the best price or availability in your region:

5. SUP Cooler

SUP Cooler

Whether you’re into SUP fishing or just need something to keep drinks and snacks cool during your paddling adventures, a SUP cooler is an essential SUP accessory that paddlers of all types can enjoy.

There are a wide variety of cooler designs on the market, ranging from large, tough rotomolded options like the YETI Roadie 20 to smaller soft-sided models like the THURSO 20 Can Deck Bag.

To learn more about the pros and cons of each type of cooler and to find the best one for your needs, we highly recommend checking out our SUP coolers buyer’s guide.

6. Kayak Seat

One of the most popular paddle board accessories that everyone in the family can enjoy is a kayak seat. Held in place by adjustable straps that clip to the D-rings along the sides of your SUP, the seat will fit nearly any size board.

It’s a great option that opens up your paddle board to guests or members of the family who might not be comfortable standing while paddling, but who’d enjoy a leisurely seated paddle.

The kayak seats that we list below are all adjustable enough to be used on any brand of SUP, as long as you have the D-rings for attaching the seat (almost all of the top-rated boards on our site do these days).

  • NIXY kayak seat – Our top pick in the US, this generously padded seat also comes with a convenient storage bag on the back.
  • THURSO kayak seat – This seat has more padding than most and a small storage bag on back. Its also available in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe.
  • iROCKER kayak seat – lightly padded seat available in US, Canada, UK, Europe, and Australia.
  • Bluefin kayak seat – lightly padded seat available in US, UK , Europe, and Australia.
  • GILI kayak seat – lightly padded seat with a generous storage bag on the back. US only.

BONUS: For even more fun, also get a kayak paddle blade to convert your stand up paddle into a double-bladed kayak paddle. In this case, it is wise to get the blade in the brand that matches your existing paddle to ensure the best fit.

7. NIXY Navigation Lights

If you’ve ever thought about watching the sunset from your SUP or paddling through the earlier morning fog – nothing beats it. But you may not have thought about how difficult it is for you to be seen by other watercraft in reduced visibility conditions.

That’s where NIXY’s unique SUP navigation lights come in. The set of three battery operated lights — red for port, green for starboard, and white for stern — clip easily to D-rings on the board. Pressing the power button cycles them through two brightness and two flashing modes.

These lights are surprisingly bright — even in the day. They’re rated to last 3.5 hours at full brightness or 10 hours in the half brightness or flashing modes. Simply recharge them with the included micro USB cable.

8. Red Paddle Co Silent Air Remover

Red Paddle Co Silent Air Remover Accessory

Last but not least is the Red Paddle Silent Air Remover, a simple yet innovative gadget that we think every paddle board owner should have in their bag.

SUPs are designed for high inflation pressure and because of this, deflating an inflatable paddle board results in a dangerously loud blast of air that can produce noise levels of 130 dB and more — something that can cause permanent ear damage and long-term hearing loss.

Red Paddle’s new Silent Air Remover easily and effectively reduces noise levels by more than 60%, making it an essential safety accessory that can help prevent risk to you or your kids. Check out our Silent Air Remover review for more details.

Best SUP Accessories – Looking For Ideas

So those are eight of our top pick paddle board accessories that we recommend for 2021. What do you think… did we miss something? Is there a favorite accessory that you like to take when paddle boarding? Tell us about it in the comments and we’ll add the best ideas to the list!

More SUP Accessory Buying Guides

Read more of our recommendations for the best paddle board accessories in our buyers guides based on our in-depth hands-on reviews and reader feedback.

One comment

  1. It seems like most kayak seats are all from the same factory, only difference being the branding. Talk about kayak conversion attachment blades and seats!

    • Good question! You’re correct that most brands’ kayak seats are essentially the same (and will work interchangeably with any board). It’s worth noting that some seats may include a zippered storage pocket on the back of the seat for storing your keys and and snacks while others do not. The one seat out that that’s truly different is from THURSO SURF, which is more padded.

      What is more important, however, is the conversion attachment blade. We recommend getting the blade from the same brand as the paddle you’ll be attaching it to. This will ensure a better fit and balance. While other blades may fit, this isn’t a sure thing, and the weight or blade size may be different enough to make paddling awkward.

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