Holiday Gifts for Paddlers: 2017 Edition

It’s that time of year again! The time when your family or loved ones ask that difficult-to-answer question: “What do you want for _____________ (fill in your preferred holiday here)?” As paddlers, we don’t go after the typical gifts. Who wants a new sweater when we may need a new paddle, right? So, I’ve created a list of some of my favorite holiday gifts for paddlers. Happy Holidays!

1) LockRacks

I first saw these racks in San Diego a few weeks ago and I fell in love with them! I haven’t bought mine yet, but I did see them in action on a SUP and was quite impressed, so I wanted to share them with you. The LockRack Universal fits onto your existing roof rack with adaptors for square or rounded bars, and holds a SUP, OC, surfski or similar watercraft in place. No need for straps at all.

And the best thing? They lock into place, so no one can steal your board or boat! No more fiddling with straps, just load your watercraft onto your car, adjust the rubberized lockable bars into place, and you are good to go. Why didn’t I come up with that?

Below is a video showing how the LockRacks work:

2) Custom Paddle Bag

These super cool paddle bags are each custom made with quilted fabric by Aloha Designs and are full of awesome Hawaiian vibes. You get to choose your accent fabric from over 70 different Hawaiian prints. Optional add-ons such as personalized embroidery or backpack straps are available. Having a unique paddle bag to protect your paddle is fabulous enough, but knowing that you are supporting a small business owner is even better. After a race, you’ll never again have to wonder “Which paddle bag is mine?” And, Aloha Designs has OC paddle bags, too!

Paddle bag

Photo: Aloha Designs

Paddle bag

Photo: Aloha Designs

3) HoldFast Grips

This grip tape made my summer list because I fell in love with the solid grip it gave me without adding bulk or stickiness to my paddle. Sure, you might not need this until the summer, but you’ll be glad you got it in your stocking. It comes in pink, clear, and black, all pictured below. They even have a longer grip tape for your SUP paddle.

HoldFast Grips

Photo: Amazon

HoldFast Grip

4) UGO

The UGO phone case also made my summer list of must-haves because it is so awesome. It’s a waterproof case for your phone that floats! I got mine in late spring and used it all summer long. I was able to take fun selfies and never once worried about getting my phone wet or worse, dropping it to the bottom of the lake.

So many people buy a waterproof case for their phone, or put their phone in a waterproof pouch, but they never stop to consider what might happen if the case or pouch gets dropped into the water – it will sink immediately to the bottom of the lake/river/ocean! The UGO case prevents that from happening.

Canadian residents, contact me for special pricing on your new UGO case, just in time for the holidays!

UGO case


5) Erg Seat Cushion

During the winter, many of us spend a lot of time on the Concept 2 rowing machine. Why not treat your posterior to a little cushion? This memory foam seat pad is comfortable yet thin enough to not get in the way. With an anti-slip silicone finish, it stays in place no matter how hard you are pushing yourself on the erg. They offer a 100% money back guarantee, so how can you go wrong?

ERG seat cushion

Photo: Amazon

6) Concept 2 Rowing Machine

If we’re making a wish list, why not wish big, right? Winter is coming, which means many of us will be training on the rowing machine. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your very own erg instead of always having to head to the gym? Personally, I love to hop on mine while watching Jeopardy! It keeps my mind occupied, while I crank out the longer pieces.

Prices have come down for the Concept 2 model D because the newer model E is now available, which means that although it’s still a pricey gift, the older model is more affordable than ever. I have the model D version, which works just fine for my needs. The monitor displays and records everything that I need to keep my training on course.

Concept 2 Rowing Machine

Photo: Amazon

7) Foam Roller

I’ve become so fond of my foam roller. Not only is it a wonderful way to help sore muscles after a workout, it’s excellent for pre-workout stretching. I have noticed that rolling on my foam roller before a workout increases my flexibility and mobility. At home I have a long, high-density multi-purpose roller, but at the gym I also use a shorter, textured roller. I like the idea of a 2-in-1 roller, too.

high density foam roller

High-density roller. Photo: Amazon

textured foam roller

Textured roller. Photo: Amazon


8) GoPro

Like the Concept 2 rowing machine, the GoPro has many different models, which means that the older ones are less expensive than before. The Hero 3 is a great little camera for the price and I have been able to shoot all of my fun photos and videos with it. The Hero 4 is slightly more expensive, but has features such as increased camera control as well as Night Photo and Night Lapse to back up its price. The Hero 5 Black is, understandably, even more expensive with added features such as Voice Control, 2-Inch Touch Display, plus QuickStories which sends the footage to your phone where the app turns it into an edited movie. How cool is that? And the Hero 6 Black is the most expensive with even more features such as Touch Zoom as well as HDR Photos. Don’t forget to get a Floaty to keep your new toy from sinking away!

Go Pro Hero 4

GoPro Hero 4. Photo: Amazon

GoPro Hero 5

GoPro Hero 5. Photo: Amazon

9) Dragon Saddle

I swear by my Dragon Saddle. In fact, the designer of the Dragon Saddle was on my team in Miami years ago and created the seat cushion because I complained about my painful rear end so much. So, clearly, I’m a die-hard Dragon Saddle fan! It’s a great way to help protect your rear end during those long training sessions once you’re back on the water. With a slip-resistant base and made of multiple layers of high quality wetsuit neoprene, each Dragon Saddle comes with two inserts so you can adjust your comfort level.

Dragon Saddle

Photo: Doug Bedgood

10) Hornet Paddle

I’ve been a fan of Hornet paddles for many years now, not only because of their performance, but also for their unique designs. This is a great, affordable carbon fiber paddle and you are sure to find a design to match your personality. The hybrid handle on the Hornet paddle is a bonus for me, since I find the T-grip too harshly angled and the palm grip too large. Make sure to enter code PADDLECHICA for a discount on your new paddle!

Hornet Paddles

Photo: Hornet Watersports


11) Hydroskin pants

These paddling pants by NRS have been on my favorites list forever. I honestly couldn’t do without them. I’m a huge wimp when it comes to cold weather, so these have been a lifesaver on many occasions. They are great for spring paddling when the weather (and water!) hasn’t warmed up yet, and they are fabulous in the fall when temps are starting to drop but you aren’t quite ready to give up paddling yet. They have a men’s version, as well, and though I haven’t worn the men’s, I’m sure they are equally as good.

NRS Hydroskin pants


12) Gift Card

And when all else fails and you just can’t decide but you know you’d like a gift that can be personally selected, you can’t go wrong with the gift of choice. The possibilities are endless with a gift card from Outdoorplay; they have so many great things for paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts. Cards range in value from $10-400 USD.

Photo: Outdoorplay

Now you’ve had a chance to see a few of my favorite items. Hopefully that gives you some good ideas for this year’s gift-giving so that you won’t be left with an ugly sweater or strange pair of socks. What’s on your wish list?

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!

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