Opening Photo: Jim Brewer

Gear is how you use it. But what really makes us standup paddlers is our dedication to the water. We're out there when it's ankle-high, when it's blowing 30 knots, when the tide's too low, when the river's water is too high and, of course, when it's perfect.

And the gear—a hole-ridden wetsuit or patched-up, yellowed board and wax-covered paddle—is a story, telling of a thousand wonderful sessions. What's also telling is the excitement and stoke that a new paddle or board can bring a seasoned veteran or a beginner. That piece is coveted, loved and guarded. And the story begins anew.

So for this Holiday Season, SUP magazine is giving you a gift: In this special digital magazine we present every gear review we've done in our print magazine throughout 2013—including the upcoming Winter issue. And to intersperse the gear, we're also including some of our best print photos from the year that was.

We have a lot of shiny stuff cross our desks, but it never leaves looking that way. We make the test gear pay the price to bring you insightful reviews on the standup market's best tools. And now we've put it all in one place.

We hope you enjoy our 2013 Gear In Review and find the perfect holiday gift for you or a loved one. Take it out there and put it to good use. Make that gear part of your story. —Will Taylor