There are a few items that are absolutely NECESSARY in order to stand up paddle board such as a board and a paddle (duh!); however, there are some items that some don't always remember to bring with them. These items can include the following:
1. Correct clothing:
Many people forget that weather is contantly changing--especially in places such as San Fransisco--so it is extremely important to remember that you must pack for unpredictable weather. It is really important to note that layering can be helpful. The best and most efficient way to layer clothes is to wear a thin, waterproof layer on the base. This prevents discomfort from occuring when things get wet (which they most likely will!) The next layer should consist of an insulating layer, such as a wetsuit if the water is cold, or just clothing that won't be blown easily by wind. Clothing can get caught in thw wind and can completely change the way you travel. Make sure to be careful when you're out there! Bring the right clothes for the right occasion and be prepared for sudden weather changes.
2. A Wetsuit
As mentioned before, wetsuits are crucial when paddle-boarding in cooler weather, such as places like Canada, Alaska, and Oregon. They are great because while keeping you insulated and warmer than without one, they also are tight-fitting, preventing wind from catching you and making you slow down or go backwards. They are not as important in places such as Hawaii because the weather is much nicer there. If you know going into a day of paddle-boarding that you're naturally a "cold" person--that is, you get cold easily--you should rent or buy a wetsuit to prevent you from freezing and not having a good time.
Pro-paddle boarders tend to remember this one, as it saves boards from getting eaten by large waves and getting lost, but a lot of beginners may not realize a leash's importance. Leashes, whether the water is calm or not, can be important for saving your board from getting lost due to high wind speeds or high tide/surf. Leashes attach around you ankle and to the back of the board. They are the best way for beginners to get back on their boards because they will always be attached to the person. A lot of paddle-boarding locations will supply them for you with you board, which makes it a lot easier and less of a hassle to find one. Don't forget a leash when you go out on a board!
4. Dry Bags
A dry bag is essentially a wetsuit for all your important items that you feel as though are important to have while paddle-boarding. A phone, wallet, keys and energy bar may be necessary, and a dry bag will keep them dry!
5. Life Jackets
This one may seem self-explanatory, but there are much more to them than you think. Many beginners will often rent them from wherever they got their boards and paddles from, however, if a beginner realizes that they might just go out and buy a paddle-board on their own because they like it so much, they should also invest in a nicer life jacket. These are good because often times they have water-proof pouches (basically dry bags) to put things in such as phones, wallets, energy bars and other important items to the owner.
Life jackets are extremely important while on board!