Essentials for Stand Up Paddling

Essentials for Stand Up Paddling

Published by Daniel Jacobson on 1st Jul 2022

Essentials for Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Summertime is now in full swing and one of our favorite ways to take in the summer sun is out on the water! From short leisurely post-work paddles to multi-mile trips, here are essential items I take with me when heading out for a paddle.

Sun Protection

While essential for most summertime activities, sunlight reflects off of the water and increases the danger of a bad burn. Here are three paddling-focused forms of sun protection I recommend.


At Alpine Shop we carry specific sweat and water-resistant sunscreen from brands such as Coola, Sun Bum, and Supergoop. These won’t wash off in the water and will keep you protected from sunburn longer!


Eye protection from damaging UV rays is critical. We carry sunglasses from Smith and Oakley with lenses designed to cut glare on the water. We also carry Rheos, a brand popular with paddlers because the frames float!  Croakies are comfortable eyewear retention straps to hold onto your shades for the rare occasion you fall in. 


 A great hat is not only there for UV protection but protects eyesight for better focus on what's ahead of you. A wide brim hat can not only shade your eyes but the back of your neck and shoulders. 


As with any sport, hydration is key for maintaining momentum. Having some easily available water when paddling can make all the difference. We sell Hydro Flask bottles that can be attached and clipped onto your board. Bote paddle boards also carry clip-on and magnetic bottle holders.

PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

In Vermont, all paddlers are legally required to either be wearing a PFD or have one strapped onto the board. We stock US Coast Guard-approved PFDs that are light and easy to wear without compromising comfort and movement.

Bote Manual Inflatable PFD Belt

Inflatable belt-style PFDs are favorable among paddle boarders because they allow total freedom of movement. The Bote Inflatable PFDs are light, lined with lumbar padding for added comfort, and hold a CO2 cylinder that inflates when you pull the tab.

Bote Inflatable Vest PFD

The Bote Inflatable Vest fits similarly to life jacket-style PFDs, but without the bulkiness and still allows a free range of motion. Similar to the belt style, Bote Inflatable Vests come with a CO2 cylinder that provides twice the buoyancy of traditional life jackets and only inflates when needed. 

Additional cylinders are also available for purchase so you can reuse the belt or vest after inflating!


Leashes are an essential yet overlooked piece of gear, as they keep you connected to the board. Simply put, if you fall off your board, leashes are the one thing that prevents the board from floating away.

Where to go

In addition to these items of gear, knowing weather conditions and where you are paddling is essential for having a great time out on the water! Here are some recommended spots to check out and why.

Lake Champlain

There are a handful of put-ins along the Burlington Waterfront. These include Oakledge ParkPerkins Pier MarinaNorth Beach, and Leddy Beach. All of these locations are less than 4 miles away from Downtown Burlington, with Perkins Pier conveniently located in the heart of the downtown. North Beach and Leddy both offer unique views of the cliffs along the Rock Point Natural Area. All of these locations provide a view of Camels Hump and Mount Mansfield from the water, as well as scenic sunsets over the Adirondack Mountains.

Conditions on Lake Champlain are known for being variable and windy, which can pose a challenge for inexperienced paddlers. For those open to taking on the challenging conditions, keep your eye on the forecast, because on days with high winds North and Leddy beaches are known to have waves large enough to catch some surf!

Views of Burlington Waterfront and Mount Mansfield

Lake Iroquois

Lake Iroquois is a peaceful lake for paddlers looking to take in some gorgeous views and explore small islands without the bustling atmosphere and conditions of Lake Champlain. Put in for paddlers is at 94 Beebe Lane, Williston.

Waterbury Reservoir

A favorite paddling destination for many Vermonters, offering scenic views of Bolton Mountain and Mount Mansfield, the Waterbury Reservoir is beloved by beginner and experienced paddlers alike! Spanning 3.5 miles with public beaches and campsites, the reservoir is perfect for everything ranging from quick joy paddles to full weekend getaways. Day parking put in is at 177 Reservoir Rd, Waterbury, and camping parking is at 3444 Little River Road, Waterbury.

We have paddle boards available for rent! Click here to make a reservation for your next adventure!

Written by Daniel Jacobson, American Canoe Association certified Stand Up Paddle instructor