Are you interested in getting into water sports? Maybe you’ve been out on the water, but you think it would be more fun if you had a few more creature comforts while you were there.
Whether you’ve been out before or you’re headed out now, here are five accessories to bring with you to improve your experience.
An Inflatable Life Jacket
Most lakes where you can take out a paddleboard, a kayak, or a canoe will require you to wear a life jacket while you’re there. Sometimes, you just have to have it on board your vessel.
Either way, it’s always wise to have a Coast Guard-approved flotation device readily available.
However, traditional life jackets are bulky. They can make sitting in a kayak uncomfortable and it’s easy to get warm when you’re wearing them.
Enter the inflatable life jacket. There are vest versions or, for even more freedom of movement, ones that can be worn around your waist. These have inflators inside of them, so you simply pull a cord and your life jacket inflates. They are approved by the Coast Guard and most people can use them with as much ease as they would use a regular life jacket.
You will need to reload the inflator cartridge every time you use it. So, it may not be right for you if you rely on your life vest regularly.
A Floating Paddle
If you’re renting your watercraft, chances are that it will come with a paddle that does not float. Some rental places will put part of a pool noodle around the handle to help with this, but it only makes the paddle big, bulky, and hard to use.
Even if you don’t own your own board or your own boat, having your own paddle can take away some of the anxiety of the day. If you drop your paddle, no problem!
A Waterproof, Floating Phone Case
Many paddlers don’t know what to do with their cell phones while they are out on the water. They’d leave the devices behind, but they want to take pictures, or they need to stay in touch with someone.
Keeping your phone dry is one thing, and it’s easy to find cases for that. However, they now make cases that float, too. This protects your phone no matter what happens to it out on the water. You should be able to use your phone inside the case, so there’s no reason to take it out until you’re safely back to shore.
A Small Anchor
If you’re planning to spend more than a couple of hours on the water, you’ll probably want to stop and rest at some point. Instead of paddling all the way back to shore, take a break and toss in your small anchor. Even if it doesn’t quite hit the bottom, it will keep you from floating as far and as fast as you would have otherwise. You can rest a bit, even have some lunch, and not risk floating away.
A Floating Cooler
When you stay out on the water all day, you still have to eat and drink. They make coolers to go inside kayaks or other boats and to attach to the deck on a paddleboard, but you can save your space and keep things cool with a floating cooler. Simply tether the cooler to your craft and paddle away. It will follow you in the water, and being partly submerged will allow the coolness of the water to keep your food and beverages cold.
Make sure you get a cooler that is fairly robust. Inflatable versions can be great in the pool, but they may take too much of a beating when out on lakes, rivers, or oceans. You don’t want your cooler to sink!
With these accessories, you should be ready to enjoy your time out on the water. Have fun and stay safe!