The Inland Paddler: Summer Must Have Paddle Gear

Summer Must Have Paddle Gear

Summer Must Have Paddle Gear

With the temps starting to warm up, I recently made the decision to retire the dry suits to the storage closet and am anxiously awaiting the moment when I can do the same with all the neoprene.  This is the time of year when I start looking forward to the pieces of kit that I haven’t been able to use since last year.  The things I just can’t live without during the summer paddle season, and that I have missed for the last few months.  Here’s my top picks, in no particular order:

Bluesmith Spartan Boardshorts

These shorts…they are just the best. Durable, hydrophobic, comfortable fit, zippered pockets.  I miss these more during the winter than just about any piece of summer clothing I own.  As soon as I can retire the neoprene, these will be the first things I put on.


These are my preferred paddle shorts for outrigger.  The compression is perfect and the airprene panels provide support and padding in all the right places. I already have them laid out and ready to go for this year’s Carolina Cup.

Bark Commander Prone Board

I just can’t prone in the winter.  The amount of neoprene it would take to stay warm would severely restrict my range of motion and I just can’t see myself enjoying trying to transition to knee paddling and back, feeling like the Michelin Man.  So, when the water in my local lake reaches the Magic Temperature of 70 or so, I will be breaking out the Commander and will integrate it into the workout schedule for cross training. If you’ve never tried prone paddling, treat yourself.  The increased connection with the water, the feeling of gliding across it and the bad a** way it makes you feel makes it very addicting.


BanxBlock Sunscreen

Yes, I wear this in the winter but it’s still a very essential part of my summer kit.  I like using the cream version for extremities and the stick for my face.  So easy to apply, not greasy, does not run into my eyes and it stays on for forever. This is the sunscreen for people who don’t like to apply sunscreen.  And, it is mineral based, with no nano-particles and it’s reef safe.

Review: Banx Block Sunscreen

Ice Mule Cooler

Summer can get sweltering here in the South.  The Ice Mule is easy to carry on the board, and comes in a variety of sizes. It’s so effective, I have actually had liquids freeze solid in it.

Ice Mule


Gotta a favorite piece of summer gear? Let us know in the comments!


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