Essentials for summer water sports.
Essentials for summer water sports. (Charles Dustin Sammann)

The Best Paddleboard Gear of 2018

Float, surf, and play hard

Essentials for summer water sports.
Charles Dustin Sammann

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Grass Sticks Green Grass SUP Paddle ($219)

(Courtesy Grass Sticks)

Light, sturdy, and sustainable, bamboo makes a solid shaft for a SUP paddle. The Green Grass has a durable fiberglass blade that works equally well on whitewater runs and mellow cruises.

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ExOfficio BugsAway Sol Cool Kaliani Hoodie ($90)

(Courtesy ExOfficio)

With a bug-deterring coating and a large hood, the Kaliani is a solid partner for afternoons on the water. Thumb loops stop the sleeves from riding up, and there’s a zip pocket for keys.

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Croakies XL Adventure Conservation Sunglasses Strap ($9)

Croakies Sunglasses Conservation Strap
(Courtesy Croakies)

Croakies let you avoid overboard catastrophes, and with its Conservation edition you can do good, too. Show your support for Trout Unlimited, Adventure Scientists, American Rivers, or the Ocean Conservancy.

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Vibram Five-Fingers V-Aqua Water Shoes ($90)

Vibram Five Finger Water Shoes
(Courtesy Vibram)

These toe-huggers take a little wiggling to get into. But once they’re on, the ultra-grippy sole and light, quick-drying materials turn your feet into amphibious paws. Drain holes in the footbed help avoid that squishy feeling.

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Patagonia Wavefarer 21 Inch Boardshorts ($69)

Patagonia Wavefarer Red Boardshorts
(Courtesy Patagonia)

The Southern California company hit on another successful formula: its boardshorts blend recycled nylon and spandex for a rash-free fit. And the 21-inch inseam keeps burn-prone knees out of the sun.

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Julbo Paddle Sunglasses ($130)

Julbo Green Paddle Glasses
(Courtesy Julbo)

The world’s lakes, rivers, and coastlines are littered with sunken eyewear. Along with its polarized lenses and wraparound design, which help protect against bright glare, Julbo’s Paddle has another feature that makes it perfect for the water: bubbles in the frame to keep it afloat.

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SealLine Blocker-Lite Compression 10L Dry Sack ($36)

SealLine Compression Dry Sack
(Courtesy SealLine)

Compression sacks aren’t just for backpackers anymore. Made for kayakers and SUPers, this one has a waterproof valve to vent trapped air, and the straps double as lash points.

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Surftech Bark Aleka 11'2″ Paddleboard ($1,349)

Surftech Bark Aleka Paddleboard
(Courtesy Surftech)

Shaped for a range of paddling, from shoreline outings to waist-high waves, the Aleka is an all-purpose ride. Made with a lightweight blend of epoxy, fiberglass, and bamboo, it handles as easily off the water as on.

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NRS Greenknife ($35)

NRS Greenknife Small Pocketknife
(Courtesy NRS)

Not all blades can stand up to routine water contact, but NRS made this one to get wet. The Greenknife is stainless steel, and the plastic grip won’t rot.

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From Outside Magazine, August 2018 Lead Photo: Charles Dustin Sammann

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