Planning a paddleboarding trip can be easy. Follow these three simple steps and you’ll be out of the house, on the water with your SUP, and free to enjoy your next adventure in no time! This paddleboarding trip planning guide will help you reduce the time you spend planning, so you can spend more time getting excited about your upcoming trip. Here’s how…

For some planning an overnight paddleboarding trip can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. First, decide what’s important or a priority for you. Second, find an awesome place to stay. Third, pack your best gear. That’s it. You’re ready for your paddleboarding trip. Sound simple? Let’s dig a little deeper into each of the steps to help you streamline your paddle boarding trip planning process.

Bird's eye view of beach town

What will you plan for your next paddleboarding trip?

Step 1: What’s Important and/or a Priority for You?

This can actually be the most difficult part of planning a paddleboarding trip. Because inflatable SUPs are so versatile and easy to transport, your options are limitless. This of works in your favor as long as you can answer your own question – what’s important to you?

When thinking about what’s important, it’s best to start first by considering how much time you have. Obviously, if you only have the weekend, you’ll have to find somewhere relatively close to where you live. On the other hand, if you have a whole week to enjoy, your options expand.

A second thing to consider is what other activities you’re interested in doing during your paddleboarding trip. Do you want a chance to hike or bike while you’re enjoying the great outdoors? Would you like to get some fishing in? Take a few minutes to reflect and make you choice(s).

Lastly, it’s of course crucial to think about who you plan to bring along with you on your paddleboarding trip. Consider their skill level if they’re planning on paddleboarding with you. Do they have any experience paddling? If so, think about planning your route together. If not, think of what other activities they might like to do while traveling with you while you enjoy some time on the water.

Man walks along beach with Thurso Surf Roller Backpack

Made it to the destination and ready to head out on the water.

Step 2: Find a Place to Stay

Now that you’ve thought through how much time you have, what you’d like to be doing, and who is coming with you, you can start looking into places to stay on your paddleboarding trip. The internet makes this step easy. However, there are a few different strategies you can use to make the decision.

The most common way is to simply search for accommodation through a search engine. You can start broad and search something like “top SUP destinations.” If you’re lucky you’ll find out you’re nearby one of the top options. If not, keep digging. There are always options, often very good ones, nearby. Try narrowing your search to something more specific like “top destinations in your state or local area.” You can keep narrowing things down as you go. If you come across some dream paddle destinations you won’t be able to make it to this soon, add them to your bucket list for later in the year or whenever you get the chance! You never know when a work trip or unexpected event might come along and if you know where your top spots are, you’ll be ready to take your board along.

Another option to determine where to stay is by searching for bodies of water on a map. This strategy lets you look at your location and determine what your nearby options are. It’s quick and easy to find out how far it will take you to get there. However, it should be noted that you’ll also want to make sure you can paddle on the body of water that interests you. You don’t want to trespass, put yourself in danger, or end up not being able to paddle because you didn’t check if it’s allowed.

Woman hands man Thurso Surf iSUP Roller Backpack

Find your own secret SUP getaway.

Step 3: Pack Your Gear

Congrats, you already made it to the last step of planning a paddleboarding trip! Now all you have to do is pack your gear and you’re ready to go. You’ll of course want to bring the usual stuff you take along with you, but you might want to consider a few SUP specific pieces depending on what you’re up to. To avoid forgetting something, it’s recommended that you use a checklist. You’ll find a basic paddleboarding trip checklist below to help you get started. Feel free to print it out and add any other necessities you deem essential. If you save it your planning will go even quicker next time around.

Paddleboarding Trip Basic Checklist:

  • Stand Up Paddleboard
  • SUP Fins
  • SUP Paddle
  • Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
  • SUP Leash
  • Air Pump (for iSUPs)
  • SUP Travel Bag
  • Dry Bag
  • Sun Protection
  • Appropriate Clothing
  • Towel
  • Water Bottle
  • Snacks
  • Board Repair Kit
  • First Aid Kit
Woman paddles on Thurso Surf Waterwalker All-around SUP with kayak seat accessory

Accessories, like a kayak seat and paddle can enhance your paddleboarding trip.

As mentioned, that’s just a basic checklist to help get you started. Depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing you’ll probably want to bring a few other things along with you.

Paddleboarding Trip Extras:

  • Camera
  • GoPro
  • Fishing Gear
  • Snorkeling Equipment
  • Kayak Seat
  • Kayak Paddle
  • Bug Spray
  • Cooler
  • Beach Chairs
  • Sun Umbrella
Couple sits on beach near Thurso Surf Prodigy Junior SUPs

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your paddleboarding trip.

Paddleboarding Trip Planned!

That’s all it takes. Three easy steps and you’re ready to go. Remember, any extra time you put into planning will be rewarded when you finally get to take your paddleboarding trip. In fact, you may find that planning is part of the fun. Have a great time out there and share what you get up to on Instagram with #ThursoSurf.

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About the Author: Matt G.

Matt Gelgota is a traveler and all around digital marketing guy. His greatest adventure to date was the Mongol Rally, a 10,000 mile unsupported on and off-road saga from Sweden to Mongolia. He has visited more than 50 countries and has been paddling a Thurso Surf Expedition since 2018. Since then he’s had a chance to paddle board in Nepal, Thailand, Japan, and the US. When he’s not on the road he divides his time between Tokyo and Atlanta, Georgia.

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