As paddlers across North America are beginning to dust off their boards and prepare for the warm weather paddling season we thought it appropriate to release our Spring 2017 Gear Guide to add a little excitement and anticipation to the year. For this installment, we’ve assembled a curated collection of items for SUP and outrigger paddling. More than any other two paddling disciplines, SUP and outrigger have grown into a symbiotic relationship where the popularity of the former has inspired renewed interest in the latter. Therefore, without further adieu, here’s our take on some great items to place on your wish list for the year.
WAE Outdoor Rush: This waterproof bluetooth speaker is essential for paddlers seeking a reliable and rugged outdoor speaker to accompany them on their water adventures. It has a built-in FM tuner and is accompanied by a smartphone app for remote use. There are a lot of options when it comes to waterproof speakers, but this is among the best designs on the market this year.
Merrell Mico Lite Puffer Jacket – Spring 2017 Gear Guide
Merrell Micro Lite Puffer: It may be spring, but there is still a chill in the air during morning and evening paddles. Puffer jackets go hand in hand with paddlers and the Merrell Micro Lite packs some great features such as being fully packable and a two-way center front zipper. Pack it up and put one in your rucksack so you’ll have it when you need it.
Quickblade Smart Paddle: Embedded with a Motionize sensor, the Quickblade Smart Paddle is the most innovative technical accessory for paddling to hit the market since the original GPS watch. The Smart Paddle provides real time feedback on your speed, stroke rate, stroke angle and more. If you are a techie who enjoys gadgets, this is a must have!
Infinity SUP Blackfish and Whiplash: Updated designs for 2017, the production models of Infinity SUP’s paddleboards are nothing short of amazing. Grab a Blackfish if you are primarily a rough water paddler or the Whiplash for flatwater and all-around conditions. Either way you cannot go wrong with these two slices of the California dream.
Vaikobi V Ocean UV Paddle Top and Paddle Shorts: Designed specifically for sitdown paddling disciplines, Vaikobi’s paddle shorts are a must have for outrigger paddling. The Seamless Air Pad Seat panel offers unrivaled comfort and the articulated cut prevents chafing. Pair it with the UV paddle top for visibility and sun protection during long sessions on the water.
MTI PFDs: Use basic safety principles and common sense on the water by wearing a PFD when paddling. Our friends at MTI have a wide selection of personal flotation options from the popular inflatable belt packs to full vests and everything in between. There is simply no excuse not to wear one, so pick up yours today!
Hippostick Tahitian Bend Outrigger Paddle – Spring 2017 Gear Guide
Puakea Designs Kahe Kai OC-1: Outrigger paddling has directly benefited from the popularity of SUP as more and more paddlers look to cross-train and perfect their paddling skills on one of the world’s original paddlecraft. Released at the beginning of last summer, the Kahe Kai is the latest design from Johnny Puakea – one of the world’s preeminent paddling coaches and canoe designers. With a slightly higher volume than its predecessor, the Kahe Kai has quickly become one of the top OC-1s on the market.
Hippostick Outrigger Paddles: Not everyone can paddle like Danny Ching, but you can use the same paddle. A new entry to the crowded paddle market, Hippostick outrigger paddles are 100 percent carbon fiber and available in straight and Tahitian double bend shafts. Whatever your pleasure, the paddles’ oval shaft optimizes comfort enabling you to go the distance.
Shelta Hats: Simply the best technical sun hats available on the market today. Perfect for all paddling disciplines, Shelta Hats protect you from the sun and keep your head dry. The “Winged Vision Visor” brim will not flop and there is a style available for every paddler. Don’t leave home without one.
My Charge All Terrain+ Portable Battery: Use it to charge your Quickblade Smart Paddle. Compact and lightweight, this is an essential item for any outdoor adventurer. The All Terrain+ is waterproof, shockproof and capable of charging two devices at once. What more can we say.