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2021 SUP Holiday Gift Guide

gift ideas for stand-up paddleboarders

Whether you’re shopping for a NEW Stand-Up Paddle-boarder or a PRO, we’ve got you covered! As experts in the industry, we put together this guide to highlight some of our favorite items in our online shop. Each item is broken down as a recommendation by skill level/paddler types to take the guess work out of gift-giving.


Paddler Type:

  1. Beginner to Intermediate
  2. Recreational to Advanced (experienced paddler who paddles mostly for leisure/adventure)
  3. SUP Racer (competitive paddler who trains)
  4. Grom (kids and youth paddlers)
  5. Kayakers


beginner paddleboard gear

1. Beginner to Intermediate

The OHANA has an adjustable length which allows paddler to test out different lengths before committing to a set length paddle. It’s also great for folks who plan on sharing their equipment with friends & guests who may want to paddle with you! It’s available in a 3-piece option (great for traveling paddlers or those with inflatable SUPs) OR an adjustable option (recommended for most paddlers).

We recommend these for any paddler, and they are essential for anyone starting out! They also make a great stocking stuffer to add-on with a larger SUP gift.

These cases allow you to bring your phone aboard to capture all the memories out on the water. They are also great for safety purposes, so you have a way of contacting someone should you encounter trouble!

Buying used is a smart way to go for beginners who want to save on their first board! We’ve often found that half of the people who start paddling an all-around SUP are looking to upgrade to a faster or more challenging board after a few years. All-around SUPs are perfect for learning to paddler, attending SUP Yoga & fitness classes, sharing among family members, or even just getting started!

We have a handful of used and new all-around SUPs in our online store for the holiday season. All of our rigid boards are available for local pick-up here in Annapolis, or you can order one of our several inflatable options for something that will ship right to your door in any state in the USA!

best gear for paddleboarding

2. Recreational to Advanced

Another must have for any paddler going on adventure paddles. Keep your belongings dry, attached to your board, and all in one place with a dry bag! Whenever you drop-in your board from somewhere other than home, you’ll need somewhere to keep your car keys, sunscreen, etc. on hand.

The 5L size is a good fit for modest paddlers who may want to bring the above and a few snacks or personal items along. It’s the right place to start, but for someone doing a day long adventure, they might need a larger size or 2 of these.

The LAVA is a step up from the OHANA paddle in its performance and lightweight design. Also available in an adjustable or 3-piece adjustable version, it is the best paddle for someone who paddles often and wants something lightweight without the price tag of a full carbon race paddle.

Once someone gets comfortable paddling near their home, they may desire paddling in destinations that are further away are require traveling. iSUPs are an excellent option for this type of paddler or those who:

  • don’t have room to store a full size SUP
  • would rather pack their board away inside the car than strap it up on top
  • can’t lift their SUP onto their car’s roof alone, and may not always have a friend to help

In this case we recommend any of our 3 different POP iSUP models, but especially “the POP-Up” or “El Capitan” models. “The Pop-Up” is a standard 11’0″ size for all-around stability and performance. It carries paddlers of most sizes. The “El Capitan” model is recommended for any larger or heavier paddlers due to its larger size and higher volume for increased stability.

Inflatable waist belt PFDs are everyone’s favorite upgrade from regular bulky lifejackets. Recommended for good swimmers and experienced paddlers only, they meet the USCG safety requirements for a SUP PFD, yet do not obstruct a paddler’s range of motion while on the water!

Every paddler needs their swag, and it helps that we have designed a whole new fitness collection made up of comfortable, moisture-wicking, and form fitting designs. Check out our new Fitness Collection to find paddling clothes to gift ranging from leggings & workout tops to shorts & rash guards. We have designs for both men and women, cold weather & warm weather!

best gear for sup racers

3. SUP Racer

Also great for traveling recreational paddlers with rigid SUPs, these roof rack pads are most popular among our Race Training team! When you race your SUP, you’ll need to bring it with you to races on the weekends and training on the weekdays. To protect your board from the pressure and prevents dings, it’s important to have pads as a cushion between your board and cross bars. Our rack pads are 30″ long, which covers the area needed for all race boards and even many all-around boards too!

If you’re going to start transporting your board on your car, you’ll also want to buy some Tie-down Straps.

For a tutorial on tying down your SUP up on a car, check out our Pro-Tip Tuesday YouTube Video.

Anyone who races is out on the water constantly throughout the summer. Rash Guards are essential for protecting yourself from the sun’s intense UV rays. Our rash guards are made with a stretchy material and will keep you cool while paddling!

Black Project has become a leader in the industry for SUP paddles, due to their advance engineering & pro-paddler product testing. The Hydro FlowX is a must have paddle for a SUP racer who hasn’t upgraded their paddle in a while!

There’s nothing worse than getting an unquenchable thirst out on the water! Every SUP Racer needs a hydration pack for training and racing. When you’re putting in the miles on the water, you need to be able to stay hydrated. This vest pack was designed for SUP, so it allows for a full range of motion while paddling, and you won’t chafe easily.

sup gear for kids

4. Groms

We advise that all young paddlers wear water shoes when paddle-boarding. Kids tend to spend more time in the water swimming and playing around. Water shoes protect their feet form the sea floor, especially in areas where you can’t see to the bottom! If you are planning to send your kids to our Grom Camp in the summer, water shoes are required, so you can get a head start by getting theirs early.

This is POP Board Co.’s smaller iSUP model! Not only doe sit have a super fun design, but it’s also the perfect size for kids to paddle. It’s on the smaller end of all-around paddle board options, so they can paddle longer without tiring out as easily. #STOKED

We have a bunch of kids and youth Capital SUP swag, so your favorite grom can represent. There’s nothing more exciting as a kid than putting on a memory of one of your favorite camps and thinking back to that summer fun!

pfds for kayaking - lifevests

5. Kayakers

While many of the above accessories work great for kayaking like the phone cases and dry bags, our favorite item to recommend to kayakers is the…

This style of inflatable PFD is awesome for kayakers! Flowing with the paddling rotations you make while kayaking, this vest is much more slim and comfortable than a full foam life vest. In the event you need help from a PFD, just pull the rip cord and the vest will inflate right there on you to help you float.


We hope you find this guide helpful when searching for gifts this holiday season! Thank you for shopping small and supporting our local Annapolis business. You all are what keep us going and doing what we do. Still unsure how to get started with all the gear involved in paddle boarding, you can always skip the gear and rent from us all summer long here in Annapolis with our 2022 Paddle Memberships.

We’re already thinking about all the fun we’re going to have next summer! 

Questions? Send us an e-mail at


the Capital SUP Team