Hot Paddling Gear

You can enjoy the water this summer while respecting social distancing regulations. In fact, paddling can help get you out and clear some of those quarantine blues away. Here are our picks for the best gear for the season.

Canoe
Old Town Discovery 199 Solo Sportsman
This stealthy angler’s best friend cuts though the water without scaring up the fish. The hybrid design, which includes a plush seat and foot pegs, means it’s stable enough for casting and fighting fish and it turns and braces with ease. That makes it a fun boat just for a casual paddle, too. Rod holders and tackle storage seal the deal. $999; oldtowncanoe.johnsonoutdoors.com

Kokatat Hustle

PFD
Kokatat Hustle
Comfort is key in a PFD, and the open, easy fit on this Coast-Guard -approved life vest makes it easy to paddle hard on a SUP or kayak without cramping your style. Plus there’s plenty of room in the front pocket to hold those essentials you want nearby when you are on the water. $139; kokatat.com

hobie adventure SUP
Hobie Adventure SUP – photo courtesy Hobie

SUP
Hobie Adventure
This do-it-all inflatable SUP is a sure ticket to—wait for it—adventure, both close to home and farther afield. Sure and stable, it can cruise flatwater lakes to explore remote shores or just provide the kids with some fun on a beach—but it’s also responsive enough to surf small ocean waves. The 10-foot-six-inch board weighs in at 28 pounds and deflated it rolls into an easy-to-haul roller bag. It comes ready for action with a paddle, pump, and repair kit included. $1,159; hobie.com

Astral Loyak AC

Water Shoes
Astral Loyak AC
The ideal shoe for SUP thanks to plenty of grip in its siped, non-marking Flex-Grip soles, the 6.7-ounce (in men’s size 9) Loyak AC also provides enough protection for clambering around on the shore. And your feet will thank you for the comfort of the breathable mesh upper. $110; astraldesigns.com

Body Glove Porter Kayak
Body Glove Porter Kayak, photo courtesy Body Glove

Kayak/SUP
Body Glove Porter Kayak
This inflatable kayak is simple to store in your closet and easy to haul around in your trunk, packing down to and weighing 26 pounds. Once inflated, the 9-foot, 6-inch boat is almost as rigid as hard plastic, thanks to triple-banded sidewalls and carbon stringers that add stability without much of a weight penalty. Translation: It cuts through glass, stays stable in chop, and even surfs waves. Want to change it up a bit? Pull out the removable seat and the boat becomes a stand-up paddleboard that’s just as stable and maneuverable. $999; bodyglove.com

Costa del Mar OREACH Switchfoot

Board Shorts
Stio Women’s CFS Board Short
Fast drying and sporty, these shorts prove their worth during long days out on the water. The stretch fabric offers up just enough performance without feeling too stiff, meaning you won’t be rushing to take them off. They also come in men’s. $89; stio.com

Costa del Mar OREACH Switchfoot

Sunglasses
Costa del Mar OREACH Switchfoot
Adjustable to your unique face and head shape, these polarized shades provide that mandatory protection on the water and cut glare, but they also sport just enough style to wear off the water. Plus, proceeds from the sunglasses support OCEARCH, an at-sea lab engaged in critical shark research. 209-$269; costadelmar.com 

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