Tis' the season for giving and what better way to celebrate the Holidays than something for your SUP-crazy significant other? Choices abound. May your season be bountiful.
Phellas, no more swappin' shorts after a sess. The Wavefarer Board Shorts sport a forward inseam at the crotch to give you chafe-free on-land performance. Constructed of quick-drying nylon with a durable water repellent finish, these shorts are perfect to fit paddle, hike, paddle, burrito run, paddle, all in sequence. With utility in mind, the Wavefarer's also have a self-draining side zip pocket and a key loop to secure your goods ($59, www.patagonia.com).
Muscle-hugging rash guards aren't for everybody. But plain T's get stretched out and take weeks to dry. Ola, KoreDry Surf Shirt. With a "slim-T" fit and a water repellant, no-stretch Lycra material, the Surf Shirt's core will stay dry even when completely immersed. Most water beads. The rest evaporates extremely fast, keeping you cozy. Available in short and long sleeve ($38-$45, www.victorykd.com).
Does a base layer top designed for the extreme heat and aridity of the desert work exceedingly well in exact opposite conditions? Why, yes… yes it does. Top-notch moisture wicking capability gives the Capilene 1 Silkweight super-hero like drying speed. Plus it insulates when wet. With raglan-style sleeves offering full paddling motion and 15-UPF sun protection, this top makes for a stellar addition to your aquatic wardrobe ($45, www.patagonia.com).
As standup infilitrates every conceivable body of water on Earth, PFD requirements become an issue. Not to mention fodder for safety debate. MTI Actionwear provides a SUP-specific option regardless. While a standard PFD's bulk would impede the paddle action of SUPing, the MTI Fluid belt pack secures to your waist. A swift yank on the pull-cord shoots a Type III, CO2-inflated PFD right out of the pack. Secured by a tether, there's no worry about your life saving device floating away, rendering it useless. A whistle is included, just in case. Welcome back fanny pack. ($99.99, www.mtiadventurewear.com)
Kialoa has always kept the female athlete at the top of the priority list and the Pipes full Carbon Paddle is proof positive. Pipes is the first standup paddle built specifically for women. Its smaller diameter shaft better suits smaller hands and with a narrower blade profile that's light and quick, this paddle will keep Wahines ripping. Made completely of carbon fiber, the Pipes paddle can handle a race, a surf sesh', and, with its new pink Monstera graphics, the most critical of fashionista SUPer ($339, www.kialoa.com).
If fashion falls closely behind your passion for the outdoors, the Au Bateau Dress should top your wish list. Au Bateau has a cowl neck and mid-thigh length that make it both versatile and stylish. It's light, supersoft organic cotton/Tencel® fabric blend lends itself to layering or an easy throw-and-go top over jeans or leggings. Run, jump, climb trees, paddle……and look good doing it ($69, www.patagonia.com)
To hoody, or not to hoody…that was the question before Patagonia’s Lined Canvas Hoody where versatility meets utility meets fleece-lined, organic cotton canvas. When not needed, the Hoody's hood unzips down the middle creating a lay-flat, broad collar that lays across the shoulders and the high-pile fleece lining makes sure you don't catch Jack Frost's nip-age. Throw in some hand-warming pockets and a ribbed bottom hem and you have protection from everything winter ($169, www.patagonia.com).
If all backpacks were waterproof, the world would be a dryer place. But since they aren't Dakine created the Cyclone Roll Top Bag. Throw all your can't-get-wet-ables into the Cyclones 2200 cubic inches of space and free your mind of worries. Whether it just gets sprayed, or takes a full-on dunk, the Cyclones roll-top and snap closure ensures your dry goods stay dry. When loaded lightly, it can be easily worn standing; if it's stuffed to the max, strap it to your board. Either way, the wide, soft straps are comfortable for all-day paddling. A zipped front pocket adds some accessibility and welded seems add some peace of mind ($110, www.dakine.com)
In the ever-expanding web universe, we post everything we do all the time. But if it’s paddling, post 5MP photos and up to 1080p HD video of your next session using the GoPro HD Surf Hero that attaches to your board via adhesive mounts (included) or patent-pending camera mounting plug that fits FCS. In can be set up to take pictures automatically every 2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 sec., or 1080p/960p/720p HD video at 30 and 60 frames/second. At a svelte 5.9oz , the Surf Hero includes a removable polycarbonate housing and is waterproof up to 180 feet. Give it as a gift to your best paddling buddy. But don’t blame him when the party footage he posts online is crystal clear too. ($269.99, www.goprocamera.com).
Gerry Lopez understands your need for speed and mobility. That's why he and Futures worked together to create the Gerry Lopez quad setup. This Hex RTM (resin transfer molded) fin is specifically designed to handle and maximize the increased torque generated by a SUP in a hard turn or cutback. Futures uses tried and tested foil technology and design to create fins that are on the cutting edge… literally. A great gift for the shredder in your family ($110, www.Futuresfins.com).
Xcel offers a variety of top options for paddling, with the Xcelerator SmoothSkin 2/1 as a cold-water heavy hitter. Covering the front, back, and upper sleeves, the 2-mm SmoothSkin material is super stretchy yet wind/water-resistant. The lower sleeves and side panels are a lighter 1-mm UltraStretch material for unrestricted paddling. A short back zipper, boardshort loop and waist cinch complete this blend of smooth and solid ($89, xcelwetsuits.com).
Ladies, if Santa isn’t listening, be blatant. He's family. Translated, that’s what Ohana means but these beauties are all about you and your comfort with classic, compression-molded EVA midsoles and a soft footbed for comfort and support. A coral–reef lug design on the non-marking rubber outsole and quick-drying, jersey knit lining mean you're prepared for everything apres' paddling can throw at you. Santa will be stoked he's giving back too: all sales of ‘Ohana sandals support the OluKai ‘Ohana Giveback Program. ($65, Olukai.com).
Kick back with the Moloa Hulu, ideal for slipping on post-session, or patrolling your kitchen pre-kickoff. A waxy, suede upper and twin faced wool shearling lining says all you need to know about comfort. And if while you’re in chill mode things get dirty, that upper has stain protection and the footbed is removable, washable, and anti-microbial. Oh, and Moloa Hulu translates to lazy wool so freakin' relax already. It’s the Holidays. ($165, Olukai.com)
A svelte Waterman Collection jacket specifically designed for SUP paddlers, the Paddle Jacket's front and upper arms feature fleece-lined polyurethane to buffer the wind and spray, while the back, lower sleeves and armpits boast stretchy, unbrushed polypro for breathability. The dual-sided top is built to tour, with cyclist-like lower back pockets for hydration/food storage and an easy-venting front zip ($94, also available in plain front pullover, $84, collections.quiksilver.com).